Frustrated Flyers repeat mistakes in 5-2 loss to Vancouver

PHILADELPHIA – A five-game winless streak apparently isn’t that big a deal to the Flyers, who are firmly entrenched in the Metro Division basement.
Nope, it’s just some little things to clean up and things will be all better, the Flyers insisted after Tuesday night’s lopsided 5-2 loss to visiting Vancouver.
They say the good thing is, they get to play again right away, which is true.
Except they’re heading to Brooklyn to face a hot Islanders team which has yet to lose at home in regulation-time this season (6-0-2). The teams meet again on Black Friday in Philadelphia.
The Flyers probably knew they were in trouble after they fell behind by a 3-1 count early in the second period. Philadelphia had taken 24 shots and had one goal to show for it; the Canucks 11 shots with three goals on the ledger.
Coach Dave Hakstol admitted he probably should have lifted starting goalie Michal Neuvirth after the third goal rather than wait until the fourth.
“Somewhere, fairly or unfairly, we need a save from our goaltender,’’ said Hakstol, whose team is now 0-3-2 over its last five contests. “That one’s on me, I should have done it (switched to Brian Elliott) after the third goal to give our team the best opportunity.
“Once it got to four, it’s tough to dig out of that hole. Our guys tried but the change after three would have been the spark our team needed.’’
Hakstol doesn’t want his team to give in to frustration or a lack of confidence.
“It wasn’t due to lack of effort,’’ he insisted. “You talk about the frustration. We came into tonight with points in five of our last seven games.
“You have to take a step back and look at the reality of it. Again, if you’re going to allow frustration or confidence to be the mantra, that’s false. We have to put the work ethic, the preparation and the togetherness back into our game.’’
As for the players, they realize they’ve been taking too many penalties and not killing them well enough when they do.
It happened again on Tuesday.
With the Flyers down, 2-1, Travis Sanheim went to the box at 1:20 of the second and Brock Boeser promptly scored at 1:56.
Then Brandon Manning took holding penalty at 12:41 and Sven Baertsch connected at 14:40 and that had fans starting the chant of “E-A-G-L-E-S. . .EAGLES!’’ which generally means the outcome has been decided.
The Flyers mounted a mild rally in the third as Jake Voracek’s goal at 9:58 cut the deficit to two. But that’s as close as they would get.
“We can’t expect to make the playoffs (with efforts like that),’’ Voracek said. “We didn’t come at them enough with speed. That’s how you generate offense.’’

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About Wayne Fish 2452 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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