By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor
The final score of Tuesday’s game between the Flyers and Capitals might just be the defining numeral of the Flyers season. After all, it’s a score everyone is familiar with by now. The 6-1 result on Tuesday was the fifth time the Flyers have been defeated by that score.
A four-goal first period set the tone for Washington, which has lately looked like the offensive juggernaut they can be when everything is going their way. For a while, it didn’t even involve their star player, but Alex Ovechkin did get in on the party in the third period.
Instead, it was the new guy that stole the show. Anthony Mantha, Washington’s go-for-it acquisition on deadline day, had a goal and an assist in his debut, almost instantly fitting in on Washington’s second line.
But it was far less about Washington’s talent and more about the Flyers overall response. Forget the final 40 minutes. They don’t matter when you play as poorly as you did in the first 20 minutes.
First impressions can be everything. When you take the ice for a game, your first shift can set the tone. If you can start stringing shifts together over the first five minutes or 10 minutes of the period, you get into a rhythm and you establish a confidence in your game.
The Flyers don’t do any of that. On Tuesday night, they were as flat as can be to start this game. On the day after the Flyers more or less set the tone for what figures to be a busy and interesting offseason, especially from the GM chair of Chuck Fletcher, the Flyers delivered another disastrous result. It came just hours after Alain Vigneault insisted that the team would be prepared to play, that the team was still in the fight, that they could still make a run.
The play on the ice said differently, and it was just the latest chapter in a season that still has miles to go before completion, though it is definitively over.
Here are five takeaways from Tuesday's game.