By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
On Monday, the Flyers took on Lausanne HC of the National League of Switzerland as part of the NHL's Global Series. From the start, the game went awry with Lausanne taking a commanding 4-0 lead just a period and some change into the match. For the latter part of regulation, the Flyers were forced to play catch-up ultimately falling short and being defeated, 4-3.
To preface things, the game was ultimately meaningless, as it was the last exhibition game before the team's regular season opener this coming Friday. The best case scenario was that no one got hurt and it panned out, except a scare when Travis Konecny went hard into the end boards.
All that aside, the supposed "new look" Flyers suffered from the same old pitfalls that have plagued them last season and for many years prior.
One of the biggest problems with the team last season was their inability to start games strong. On numerous occasions, the Flyers came out completely flat against their opponents, as was the case in Lausanne. For the first half of the game, Philadelphia looked flat-footed, out of sync, and were unable to generate any sort of offensive pressure. In Monday's case, and far too often prior, the slow starts have proved fatal for the Orange and Black.
Adding to the slow start dilemma came the allowance of the game's first goal; forcing the Flyers to play from behind. On Monday, they allowed the first four goals. From then on, the wheels slowly started to turn, yet, as mentioned before, it was too little too late. Once again, as was the situation last season, playing catch-up cost Philadelphia. On 32 occasions last season, the Flyers fell behind 2-0.
Another one of the usual suspects involved in the Flyers' struggles was special teams. In Switzerland, they went scoreless on multiple power plays but allowed two man-advantage goals against. Although the coaching staff is likely still fine-tuning the special teams units, the inconsistency on both ends wasn't something to be proud of.
It may be nitpicking to take away so much from an exhibition game. However, the stand-out struggles were all too familiar in a special setting for the Flyers. They have the time to regroup and hopefully remedy the pitfalls that have been consistently costly.
With an underwhelming preseason behind them, the Flyers need to, now that the games start to truly count.