PHILADELPHIA – Would it be OK if the Flyers removed their logos from center ice at the Wells Fargo Center and just pretend their playing all their games on the road?
After all, the Flyers have been struggling all season in the friendly confines of the WFC, as their 4-6-1 record will attest.
Only a late four-goal rally on Saturday afternoon saved them from losing the final three games of this five-game homestand in regulation time.
What’s the problem?
It can’t be fan support. Led my mascot Gritty, the fans were raising quite a racket until the Flyers fell behind by a 5-1 count.
But as soon as Travis Konecny scored the first of two goals at the 10:24 mark of the third period, the volume went back up again.
The Flyers are 5-3-1 on the road, so the discrepancy is rather glaring.
“We want to be a good team at home,’’ captain Claude Giroux said. “We want to be a tough team when we play in front of our fans.
“That’s not the case right now. But I think today is (a step in) the right direction. We worked really hard to get that one point.’’
The Flyers got off to a quick start on this homestand but then struggled. Obviously they can’t keep going at a 4-6-1 pace at home and expect to have long-term success.
As for the homestand, Konecny shook his head.
“It definitely started good (with wins over Arizona and Chicago), we played a lot of good hockey coming off that (3-0-1) west coast trip,’’ he said. “It’s tough to lose three in a row at home but we will bounce back.’’
There are many theories why the Flyers look uncomfortable at the WFC. Are the Flyers trying to get too fancy, not keeping it simple like they do on the road?
“You never want to let too many (losses, regulation-time) string together,’’ James van Riemsdyk said. “You want to have good responses. I think again, we’ve had some good process-related responses, we’ve carried the play. We’re paid here and we’re here to get results. It’s not good enough but again there are some things that are encouraging, and some things we can still work on.’’
Sean Couturier sounds puzzled by the lack of results on home ice.
“It’s tough to say,’’ he said. “Our record obviously shows that we’re better on the road. Some of these results might not look good but some maybe we deserved better. It’s still early in the season to dictate if we’re a good home or away team. Maybe the mid-way point in the season you can come up with the stats. Right now it’s still pretty early to say we’re that bad.’’
>Power play untracked
The Flyers entered the game on a two-for-32 skid on the power play but finished up getting three goals on power plays (the most in a game this season, and the first three-goal PP game since Jan. 4 last season, spanning 62 games).
“I think if you look at the goals, it’s pretty simple,’’ Couturier said. “Just put pucks to the net, shooting pucks and good things happen. Sometimes when you get too cute, you control the play but you really don’t get much done. I thought we brought pucks to the net (vs. Tampa) and battled hard.’’