Flyers-Canadiens: Postgame Perspective

With chances to win, Flyers slip in Montreal a bad team loss


If the Flyers victory on Tuesday in New Jersey was a good team win, then Friday's defeat in a shootout to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday was a bad team loss.

Forget the magnitude of the game for the Flyers and their dwindling playoff hopes — which for one night, actually got better by gaining a point. Forget the fact that, all in all, the Flyers played a solid game that had them in position to win.

This was the game the Flyers really had no excuse for losing. And they found a way to do it.

Start from the end and go in reverse.

In the shootout, Nick Cousins stepped up first for the Flyers and scored. Michal Neuvirth did his job through two rounds, keeping the Canadiens off the board. That left Claude Giroux with a chance to win the game. He tried a deke on Mike Condon, but never made an effort to elevate the puck. Easy save for the Montreal netminder.

Max Pacioretty stepped up for Montreal in the third round and tied the shootout. That still didn't completely affect the Flyers, who could still win if Wayne Simmonds scored on his attempt. Simmonds never made a move and just threw a shot into Condon's pads.

Neuvirth again made a save in the fourth round, setting up Jake Voracek for a chance. He tried the same move that won the Flyers a shootout in Detroit. Condon was ready for it.

Three chances at the win, all wasted.

The Flyers had three chances in overtime too. While executed better than the shootout, Condon saved the game for Montreal.

What was truly frustrating was the lack of offensive pressure from the Flyers. Yes, they had 37 shots, but many of them lacked the quality they should have. 

Condon was shaky coming in. He had not won a start in over a month. The Canadiens as a whole were in total freefall mode. The Flyers somehow managed to sink to their level again.

Unlike most of their previous games, there wasn't one particular period where the Flyers controlled the play. They had strong possession numbers and chances generated, but did not do enough to capitalize on those chances.

The Flyers let three power plays go by the wayside. With Condon and the Canadiens clearly in survival mode in the first, the Flyers didn't attack and found time and space to be at a premium in the latter half of the game.

When they finally got the lead in the third, Giroux took a third penalty — Giroux had three of the Flyers four penalties in the game — and Montreal finally took advantage.

The two goals Montreal scored in regulation were also not very good either. Neuvirth appeared like he was disappointed in allowing the tying goal in the third and the Canadiens first goal was the result of a bad bounce off the skate of Nick Schultz.

Lucky for the Flyers, they get to play again on Saturday and therefore have a short memory. But the Flyers needed this game like they need all of the others and it was within their grasp. They let it slip.

So while there is a quick turnaround for the Flyers, the implications of this loss will hang around for a lot longer.

Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.

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