A fine line between winning 10 straight and losing 9

Flyers' Sean Couturier talks on Monday about team's recent turnaround.

VOORHEES – This time last year the Flyers were embarking on unexpected 10-game winning streak.
Now, they’re experiencing a completely different fortune and hoping a streak of nine straight losses doesn’t reach that catchy double-digit number.
What’s different now, compared to last year?
Some players say last year’s team might have gotten a little lucky. And this year’s team hasn’t.
Others point to things like special teams play, closing out games in the third period (the Flyers have been outscored 14-2 in the final frame during this 0-4-5 skid), and inconsistent five-on-five play.
Ultimately, the Flyers weren’t as good as their 10-game winning streak indicated (they failed to make the playoffs, the first team in the 100-year history of the NHL not to do so).
Conversely, they’re probably not as bad as the numbers of this ongoing slide would indicate.
“We were finding ways to win,’’ said Andrew MacDonald, talking about last year after Thursday’s practice at the Skate Zone. “Whether we were playing great games or not.
“We were just getting timely goals. Our special teams were better, I’m sure. There are a number of things that go into it. There were games where there were points we probably stole.’’
Which brings us to now.
“On the flip side, in this stretch there have probably been a couple games where we deserved to win and came up short,’’ MacDonald said. “It’s kind of the way things go sometimes. You just have to battle through it.’’
What about the lopsided third period statistic – good teams find ways to close out games in which they lead. The Flyers have frittered away a handful of games in which they led by at least two goals.
“Some of it, I think, is just falling back on our heels a little bit,’’ MacDonald offered. “Not playing the same way, maybe protecting leads a little too much, instead of going at it. That’s not a recipe for success.
“It’s about staying focused to the game plan for the full 60.’’
Sean Couturier was injured during last year’s streak but he was able to watch what the Flyers were doing right during that three-week run.
“You win 10 games in a row, you’re doing something right but there’s some luck, too,’’ Couturier said. “The same thing goes on when you lose nine. I mean, we’re not playing bad for nine games. There’s a bit of bad luck involved. . .so we have to stick together and create our own bounces.’’
A closed-door players-only meeting after Tuesday night’s loss to San Jose might have helped clear the air and reinforce the trust factor.
“The air isn’t really nice around here when you don’t win for nine games in a row,’’ said defenseman Radko Gudas, who’s been inactive the past six games due to a 10-game suspension. “The meeting gave us a little better feeling of what we need to do to get the two points in our next game.
“When things aren’t going your way, the best thing you can do is just stick together, work together as one unit. I think we did a pretty good job of that in practice today. I think the guys are on the right page to turn this around.’’
Short shots
Jake Voracek had the day off as a maintenance day. . .With Danick Martel returned to the Phantoms, Jordan Weal is expected to be back in the lineup for Saturday afternoon’s home game against Boston. . .Michael Raffl left practice early with an undisclosed injury.

Avatar photo
About Wayne Fish 2409 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.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.