Flyers-Capitals: Game 3 Postgame Perspective

Embarrassing loss puts Flyers on brink

There was a lot to be embarrassed about in Monday's 6-1 loss for the Flyers in Game 3 to the Washington Capitals.

The Flyers allowed five power-play goals and six unanswered goals. Embarrassing.

The Flyers resorted to the fisticuffs when the game got out of hand. Embarrassing.

The Flyers fans only made matters worse, throwing plastic bracelets used for the pregame ceremonies onto the ice with the game well out of reach. Embarrassing.

With the series essentially now over in only a matter of time, reflections from Game 3 need to be about not what went wrong within the game, but how the Flyers are really just finding out how far away they are from being a team with the competitive nature that the Capitals have.

The special teams battle isn't much of a battle. It's a massacre. The Flyers are 0-for-12 on the power play in three games. The Capitals scored five power play goals on Monday, adding to the three previous power-play goals from the first two games in Washington. Between an impotent power play and an incompetent penalty kill, the Flyers could pin the entire series loss on those stats alone.

At the same time, the Flyers even strength play hasn't been much better. The biggest reason for this is the Flyers overall lack of scoring beyond the top line. 

Yes, the top line has accounted for one of just two goals for the entire team in the series. That said, when scoring depth doesn't extend much past Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn, it makes it easy for other teams to simply erase them and leave you looking for other sources.

Once Sean Couturier was out for the remainder of the series, the Flyers defensive skill took a huge hit and their forward balance did as well. The Flyers didn't have much balance at forward to begin with. Now, it was almost non-existent.

At the same time, the Capitals scoring depth, elite goaltending from Braden Holtby and as well-coached a team as you will find in these playoffs is good enough to go from meaningless hockey for six weeks to full-on playoff mode. Because that's what good teams do, they show up come playoff time.

That's not a shot at the Flyers for not showing up. Let's see this series for what it really is: a well-rested, deeply-talented, experienced team beating up a gassed, lacking-depth, inexperienced team.

The Flyers will be back and better next season, because the pieces of the future that were really supposed to get them to this point in the season will start arriving. This was a bonus. This was a pleasant surprise. And getting here, to a playoff game in Philadelphia as April starts to wind down, took everything out of this team.

It is unfortunate that in two more days, the series could come to an end and mark the end of a season with a lot of great memories. But the future is bright, the experience is invaluable and the Flyers are only going to get better for it.

Embarrassment is sometimes the best form of teaching. The Flyers and their fans learned a whole lot on Monday night.

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

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