Flyers feeling deja vu, something has to give

Take in these stats.

Defenseman Mark Streit leads the team in points with seven in 10 games. Defenseman Luke Schenn has more goals, one, and more points, four, than Jake Voracek — no goals and three points — and Schenn has been a healthy scratch for four games. Expected secondary scorers are among the top point contenders leading the team after 10 games: Brayden Schenn (six), Sam Gagner (five), and R.J. Umberger, Scott Laughton, and Luke Schenn (four).

Team leaders, Claude Giroux (five), Wayne Simmonds (five), Jake Voracek (three) and Michael Raffl (one) were to be considerably higher at this point in the season.

Last season, the month of October finished with a record of 4-4-2. This season, October appears to be a repeat of events, again with a record of 4-4-2.

Elite teams such as the Chicago Blackhawks and the New York Rangers are beaten by the Flyers, while losing twice to the lesser Buffalo Sabres in two games, seems a familiar trend.

The power play is 0-for-10 in the last four games. The penalty kill, in the last five games, has given the opposition goals.

These stats are the least of the team’s worries.  

It seems like the team has not evolved from last year. Juggling lines, changing defensive pairings, chasing goals, starting games slowly, and too many turnovers lead to frustration among players, unnecessary scrums and unnecessary penalties.

Inconsistency is déjà vu for many fans. How can the Philadelphia Flyers pull themselves out of this spiraling behavior?

It’s not like head coach Dave Hakstol isn’t giving his "good ol’ college try" to get things going.

"We’re going to look at a couple different things," Hakstol said. "We’re going to try to keep evolving. Push. What’s the right timing to do that? There’s no script for it. We need everybody. Every single night."

Push he has. Line changes, with the most desperate one occurring against Buffalo when Giroux, Voracek and Raffl were each placed on separate lines, hasn’t really changed anything. Defensive pairings were shuffled around as well. Again, it really didn’t make a difference.

Something has to give. The Flyers have talent but they need to get on track. It is early enough in the season to make strides. The road trip to western Canada will be telling. Will the big boys show up? Will Hakstol discover some chemistry? Will GM Ron Hextall pull the trigger and make trades?

So many questions, and if the answers are yes, then the Philadelphia Flyers can become contenders. Patience and focus will lead the team to where they need to be. It's just up to them to determine how long that journey takes.

Denise Mroz is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @denisemroz10.

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