Consistency Is Key For Flyers Down The Home Stretch
When it comes to the Flyers, if it’s not one thing, it’s another.
If the forwards provide an offensive onslaught, the defense and/or goaltending breaks down.
If the back end is solid, the offense is lifeless.
Lately, it seems like the Flyers cannot find their consistency, and it is costing them points that they can’t afford to lose.
After a great win on Tuesday night against the Winnipeg Jets, a win that should have boosted the team’s confidence and lit a fire underneath them for their next game, they just came out flat.
In Thursday night’s matchup against Edmonton, Ilya Bryzgalov put on one of his better performances, coming up with some spectacular saves while allowing just two goals on 30 shots.
Unfortunately, the rest of the team looked sloppy, and couldn’t score a single goal against Devan Dubnyk, giving the goalie his first shutout of the season.
It’s been a common problem as of late – the Flyers just can’t seem to play a full 60 minutes.
Scott Hartnell spoke of the team’s struggles after Thursday’s loss.
"This is crunch time,” Hartnell said to reporters. “Even when you are playing a team that's near the bottom of the Western Conference, there are no easy games."
With only 22 games left in the season and the Eastern conference so tight, the Flyers (33-20-7) desperately need to find their footing and start playing consistent hockey again.
They’ll attempt to maintain consistency throughout all 60 minutes when they take on the Calgary Flames (28-23-10) on Saturday night, the first and only matchup between the two teams this season.
Calgary is only two points out of eighth place in the West, behind the Dallas Stars, and could be tied for eighth with a win over the Flyers, as the Stars do not play on Saturday.
The Flames, who have gone 5-1-4 in their last ten games, will be working hard to get those much-needed two points.
Philadelphia has played well on the road this season, with a 19-10-2 away record, placing them third in the league.
They’ve won three in a row against the Flames in Calgary, though those wins have been stretched out since 2001, as these two teams don’t face one another often.
Ilya Bryzgalov (21-12-6) will likely be in net for the Flyers on Saturday. He has a 9-7-1 record against the Flames in his career.
Calgary’s Miikka Kiprusoff (27-18-6) has a 4-2-1 career record against the Flyers and will be between the pipes for the Flames.
Calgary’s home record is 23rd in the league, which might signify an easy game for the Flyers on Saturday.
However, an inconsistent Flyers team facing a desperate Calgary team could prove unsuccessful for Philadelphia.
They’ve got to come out firing on all cylinders from the get-go, as they’ve had issues with coming from behind.
Consistency will be key in Saturday’s matchup, and the Flyers need to find it the moment they take the ice, or else Saturday’s game will be another struggle.
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