WASHINGTON -- Adapting to interim coach Scott Gordon’s new system hasn’t been the main reason the Flyers entered Tuesday with just seven goals in the last six games, most players said.
“There’s a lot of things going on in a lot of heads," Gordon said before the Flyers faced the defending Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals on Tuesday. "Sometimes it’s your own personal success and failures. Sometimes it can be contracts. Sometimes it can be who you’re playing with on any given night. It’s not so much about systems because that’s the one thing I did when I came in -- I didn’t want to overload them with a bunch of changes.”
In other words, a lack of execution has been the main cause for just four even-strength goals in their last six games before Tuesday.
On the other side of the puck, Gordon said he made “a couple tweaks in the defensive zone, and we’ve been doing well with that. ... Our defensive-zone coverage has been [good]. Our biggest failure has been of the rush. That’s an area we need to get better at.”
Mike McKenna, 35, made his Flyers debut Tuesday, and he has been on the roster of nine NHL teams, including two (Florida and Vancouver) for which he never played a game. McKenna has played games with Tampa Bay, New Jersey, Columbus, Arizona, Dallas, Ottawa, and the Flyers.
Entering the night, McKenna had played in 34 NHL games since being drafted by Nashville in 2002, and he had a 7-16-3 record, a 3.58 goals-against average, and an .892 save percentage.
Gordon said he didn’t want to play 20-year-old rookie Carter Hart three games in four nights, which is why he turned to McKenna.
The Flyers' penalty kill, which was at the bottom of the league earlier this season, has made major strides in the last six weeks.
Entering Tuesday, the PK had killed 83.3 percent of its penalties in the last 20 games, placing it 10th in the NHL in that span.