COLUMBUS, Ohio _ The Flyers insist they are not having a hangover from last season's remarkable playoff run.
Could have fooled us.
Their power play has been alarmingly bad, and their offense has resembled Ryan Howard in the post-season - lots of chances, but little productivity.
They are 3-4-1 after Monday's listless 2-1 loss in Columbus, and they have failed to put together any winning streaks in eight games.
If not for Brian Boucher's oustanding goaltending, Monday's loss could have been 5-1.
Afterward, coach Peter Laviolette ripped his team in the media, saying they had no energy and no passion - and that they played "mindless" hockey.
The Flyers will try to ride this out for a while, but the hunch here is that if things don't improve by, say, Thanksgiving, major charges are in order.
The team is overloaded with quality centers. Claude Giroux, who is currenly playing out of position at RW to accomodate Jeff Carter, Mike Richards and Danny Briere aren't going anywhere.
If things don't improve, Carter - who can become a restricted free agent after the season - could be offered in a trade for a much-needed, high-quality winger. (Thus far, Nik Zherdev has been a disappointment.)
The Flyers don't want to trade Carter, but if the puzzle pieces don't fit....
Give me your take.
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