While a lot of the blame for the Flyers’ recent struggles has been placed on the defense, the offense hasn’t exactly been setting the world on fire.
So the Flyers were looking to get untracked in Thursday night’s game against the New York Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.
That’s as good a place as any to start because the last time the two teams met – eight days ago – the Flyers scored no goals and the Rangers tallied nine.
If that isn’t incentive to get things going on the scoring side of the game, it’s hard to imagine what is.
At post-morning skate media Zoom call from the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., Kevin Hayes was asked what the basic problem has been in the scoring department.
“It’s easy to point fingers,’’ Hayes said. “It’s our whole team game that needs to be better. You can’t blame the goalies, you can’t blame the defensemen, you can’t blame the forwards. It’s a full team effort.
“We can’t just wait until the last 10 minutes when we’re down three goals. It’s happened a couple times this year. We need to get back to basics, we need to get the puck out of our zone as fluidly as possible and sustain an offense in their zone.’’
Hayes is correct on all counts. The Flyers have had a difficult time generating scoring chances even in power-play situations because they aren’t creating enough traffic in front of the net. Plus, shots aren’t getting through.
“I feel we have too many momentum shifts throughout a game,’’ Hayes said. “I think our team just needs to kind of battle together here and put a full 60-minute effort. I think our offense needs to sustain a more offensive threat throughout the game.’’
Added coach Alain Vigneault: “It’s us generating scoring chances and playing defense in the right moments. When we’re in proper position (in the defensive zone), it’s easier to come up cleaner. I think we’ve gotten a little away from that. But I look at our scoring chances and we’re getting quite a few good looks.
>Morin making progress
Defenseman/forward Samuel Morin was called up to the active roster on Thursday and Vigneault indicated there was a good chance he would play against the Rangers as a defenseman.
Morin, coming off a pair of ACL surgeries in recent years, was used as a forward in training camp this season and even saw some game action there with the Flyers.
Recently, he’s been playing well on defense with the Phantoms which earned him the callup.
Vigneault received good reports from Phantoms coach Scott Gordon.
>Hart gets the start
Vigneault announced Carter Hart will start Thursday night’s game. Hart surrendered four goals in relief of Brian Elliott in last week’s 9-0 rout.
>Lindblom receives congratulations
A bunch of players rushed over to congratulate Oskar Lindblom for apparently some upbeat news at the skate. However, everyone was waiting for their teammate to divulge what the news was about.
“Oskar got some great news,’’ Hayes said, “and it puts things in perspective. Big day for Oskar.’’
Lindblom’s game has picked up of late, having scored three goals since a one-game “reset’’ last week.