Flyers must head into Olympic break winners

The Philadelphia haven’t had an easy past week. Besides the dismantling of the Calgary Flames a week ago today, they’ve hit yet another wall.

The wall that currently restricts them is the act of scoring goals. The Flyers were shutout by the putrid Edmonton Oilers 1-0 last Wednesday, then scored one meaningless goal in a 2-1 loss to the Minnesota Wild on Saturday. A scoring drought is something the Flyers do not need at this time.

The Flyers have two home-and-homes coming this week before they hit the Olympic break. The New Jersey Devils will be first up for the Flyers tonight from the Wachovia Center, then on Wednesday in New Jersey. It’s clear the Devils are going to present a bigger problem than usual this time around with the addition of superstar sniper, Ilya Kovalchuk.

Next up for will the Montreal Canadiens on a back-to-back situation Friday and Sat. Ray Emery’s status is unknown at this point so the weight once again will be bestowed upon Michael Leighton. Over the past two games Leighton has kept his team in contention to win the game; however, the Flyers with many scoring chances couldn’t find the back of the net.

A problem that coach Peter Laviolette thinks is something that has to work itself out.

“It hasn’t bounced for us, and it seems like it’s been bouncing the wrong way. The only thing you can do is keep the process right and hope that they start to drop,” said Laviolette. “We’re generating offense, and we have to take advantage of it. The opportunities are there, and we have to cash in on them.”

The Flyers should have collected all six possible points during the three game West coast trip last week. Without a doubt. The stars have to start stepping up and that begins by showing up with the desperation attitude that both the coach and the players preach daily.

Captain Mike Richards has just three goals in his last 13 games whereas Jeff Carter has six in the same stretch. They have to be better than that. When they are, the Flyers win games. The story of the 2009-10 Flyers have been streaks, two games that look great followed by two or three not so pretty games where they look like a Stanley Cup contender.

The Flyers have to at least go 3-1 in their next four games for their confidence to be high heading into the Olympic break after Sat. game in Montreal. Anything below that, things are going to be looking scary for this team.

Philadelphia are currently sitting in the eighth spot in the everyday crowded Eastern conference with 59 points. The importance of this week shows when you see the separation between the Flyers and the sixth seeded Habs. The Canadiens have 62 points and will face the Flyers twice this week. The Flyers also have an advantage by having four games at hand at this point than Montreal.

The fact remains, the solution to the Flyers problems right now is to score goals. Recent history has shown that Leighton can hold a lead, the only issue is the Flyers have to score to get their netminder that lead. They’ll have their chances with the Devils and Canadiens this week.


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