The Flyers defensive struggles this season continued in their 6-1 loss to the Bruins last night. Aside from a lone Kevin Hayes goal the Flyers scorers were kept in check by Jaroslav Halak and a young Bruins defense lead by Charlie McAvoy. Carter Hart’s frustration at his and the teams performance boiled over last night in a Hextall-like performance of breaking his stick into pieces over his net.
Hart apologized for his strong emotions in the post game presser, but from a fans perspective it’s nice to see some emotion from the youngster and will hopefully rally the troops around him.
The Flyers lack of strength is becoming glaringly evident, which was a huge problem in the playoffs last season against the likes of the Montreal Canadiens and the New York Islanders, who are already off to hot starts this season. Things need to change and to change quickly if the Flyers wish to contend in the post season.
Two players the Flyers can call up immediately to help bring some physical force and defensive help to the team are Samuel Morin (LW/LD) and Egor Zamula (LD). Sam Morin drafted 11th overall by the Flyers in 2013 has been plagued by injury most of his professional career and at 25 years old is looking at his last shot of playing in the NHL with the Flyers based on this season, and I suspect he'll play any position the team would give him if it means he is in the lineup on game night. Egor Zamula a 20-year-old undrafted defensemen from Russia is looking to show off his offensive ability and hopefully add size and strength to a weakened Flyers defense. Along with these prospects, Shayne Gostisbehere should be making his return from the Covid-19 protocol list soon and will be a much welcomed addition if he can return to his previous playing abilities, which he showed flashes of in this year’s past playoffs.
Aside from defensemen, winger Carsen Twarynski could be used to add some grit to the Flyers already deep forward lines. With only 6 games being played so far this season and a 3-2-1 record the Flyers need to adapt quickly with the shortened season at hand.
The Flyers face the New Jersey Devils next on Tuesday (1/26). Currently the Devils stand at 2-1-1 and are a solid defensive team anchored by their young goaltender, Mackenzie Blackwood. Blackwood is highly touted, similarly to Carter Hart, and the rivalry between the two will certainly heat up this season.