There are many theories on the Flyers season-beginning scoring drought. With just six goals in five games following Friday’s 2-1 loss to the Phoenix Coyotes at the Wells Fargo Center, the Flyers are either snake-bit, simply not good enough or somewhere in between.
Coach Craig Berube felt the Flyers (1-4) had plenty of scoring chances and he’s right. They had a season-high 37 shots and while Phoenix goalie Thomas Greiss had a strong game, the Flyers also misfired on many good chances.
Berube feels the Flyers have to play with more urgency.
“We are not desperate enough around the net for me and we don’t have enough traffic at the net getting second and third opportunities,” Berube said. “We need to get some greasy goals.”
Actually, goals of any nature will do for now.
The task won’t get any easier with news after the game from general manager Paul Holmgren that Scott Hartnell suffered an upper body injury and Vincent Lecavalier had a lower body injury. Hartnell was injured in the first period and Lecavalier in the second.
Holmgren said he expects both to be out at least a week, pending MRI results on Saturday.
Injuries aside, Holmgren felt the Flyers didn’t lack chances but he suggested this is a team that is pressing.
“I thought we had enough opportunities to score,” Holmgren said. “We’re just fighting it right now.”
Nobody is fighting it more than captain Claude Giroux, still looking for his first point this season.
“We’re going to the net, we’re creating our own chances,” Giroux said. “When you see that, I think confidence goes up."
The confidence won’t truly go up until the Flyers start cashing in on some of those chances.
When the top player struggles, it has an impact on the entire team. If Giroux gets untracked it would go a long way toward getting the Flyers out of their scoring rut.
And finding their finishing touch on Saturday in Detroit against the Red Wings won’t easy. This is a Red Wings team that lost at home to Phoenix, 4-2 on Thursday.
The Flyers biggest fear is being buried deep to begin the season. In last year’s shortened season due to the lockout, the Flyers started 2-6 and never truly recovered.
The pattern looks to be repeating itself and now with the two recent injuries, the hope of turning things around is getting more difficult by the day.