How enigmatic are the Flyers these days?
The first period Tuesday night may have been their best 20 minutes of the season.
The last period may have been their worst.
They coughed up a two-goal lead and lost to the visiting Anaheim Ducks, 3-2, and now have the worst 11-game start (3-8) in franchise history.
They had won two straight _ both victories after Ed Snider visited with Pope Francis in Rome _ and, after taking a 2-0 first-period lead, looked as if they were building momentum.
And then came a sloppy second period, followed by a worse third period.
Anaheim outscored the turnover-plagued Flyers in the final 20 minutes, 2-0.
It seemed worse.
The Ducks outshot the Flyers, 16-6, in the final period, and only Steve Mason’s strong goaltending prevented the home team from losing by at least three goals.
Oh, and this was against a Ducks team that is in the middle of a two-week road trip and should have shown signs of third-period fatigue.
Afterward, the Flyers had no answers. They talked about not moving their feet, about standing around, about sitting on their lead instead of going for the jugular.
It has become a familiar refrain for a team that has been outscored, 14-5, in the third period of games.
If those third periods had been, say, even, the Flyers would probably be 6-5 or 5-6 instead of 3-8.
The Flyers are looking a lot like the team that didn’t seem to know how to put 60 hard minutes together through much of last season.
The season is still young. There is still time to turn things around.
But only if the players realize they have to stop analyzing their listless periods and start doing something about them.
Breakaways. Claude Giroux, goal-less in 11 games, was minus-2 and is minus-7 for the season…..The Flyers’ top line of Giroux, Vinny Lecavalier and Michael Raffl was a combined minus-5….Scott Hartnell had a team-high seven shots….Raffl had five hits…..After the first period, the Flyers were outshot, 27-13….Flyers host Alex Ovechkin and Washington on Friday.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.