Trap Game or Not, Flyers Failed
Thursday night, the Philadelphia Flyers lost 4-1 at home against the New York Islanders for the first time in seven seasons.
Tuesday, the team defeated Minnesota at home, 5-1. Saturday, they travel New Jersey to face the Devils. Sunday, they host the defending Stanley Cup champion Boston Bruins.
Sounds like the Islanders game was what some refer to as a 'trap game', right?
In the first period last night, the Flyers played like garbage and luckily, goalie Sergei Bobrovsky kept them in the game. It could have been a trap game then, as they were sleep-skating on the ice, with no purpose.
As Coach Peter Laviolette puts it, the team had 'no jam'.
That's all well and good and fine and dandy when the score is 0-0. But, when the Isles scored just 28 seconds into the second stanza, where was the jam after that?
It wasn't there. In fact, it never really came until the game was far out of reach.
Every team has an off night and perhaps that's the plain and simple explanation for the Flyers performance on Thursday. The team hasn't been great at home this season, maybe that's an indicator as well.
Whatever it is, it's befuddling that the team couldn't get their wits about them and make a push when the Islanders took the lead. Or when they added another goal to make it 2-0 at the end of the second.
Claude Giroux did his best to inspire his troops with a fight after the second goal. A player who is one of the league's premier talents dropped the gloves. The same player who lost games due to a concussion and the after effects put himself in harm's way to ignite the team.
It didn't work.
At no point did the Flyers realize that they should be more careful with the puck. Not after the first Isles breakaway. Or the second, third, fourth, and fifth.
Where was the poise and determination? It was out the window, along with a chance to gain ground on the New York Rangers, who lost to Pittsburgh on the same night.
The odds that the game started out as a trap game are high. After falling behind, the fact that it should still exist as one should disappear.
Maybe Philadelphia tried to write another chapter on how to play uninspired hockey and still beat the team from Long Island. They've done it in the past and gotten away with it. With credit being given where it's due, the Islanders were determined to skate off Wells Fargo Center ice with a win and that's precisely what they did.
The Flyers didn't have that determination Thursday night until the game's final seven minutes.
It was too late, and the game was represented in the 'L' column. Not the trap game column.
That column doesn't exist.
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