Penguins won't bury Flyers yet
Claude Giroux doesn't have a goal. Peter Laviolette doesn't have a job. Do the Philadelphia Flyers have a prayer?
The Penguins aren't counting out their biggest rival. When they meet Thursday in Philadelphia, the Penguins have an opportunity to take a 10-point lead on the Flyers just two weeks into the season.
“I am surprised to see them with the record they have now,” Penguins coach Dan Bylsma said.
The numbers speak for themselves:
• At 1-6-0, the Flyers have the NHL's worst record and fewest amount of points (two).
• The Flyers have scored 10 goals in seven games, equating to the second-to-worst goals-per-game average at 1.43.
• Giroux, dubbed the “best player in the world” by then-coach Laviolette when the Flyers defeated the Penguins in the first round of the 2012 playoffs, has zero goals and two assists.
“It's fine (that they're struggling),” Penguins defenseman Matt Niskanen said. “I'm not sad about it. I'm not cheering for them to fail, but I'm not sad that they are, either.”
The Flyers are dealing with injuries — forwards Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier are unlikely to play Thursday because of ailments — but still showcase proven scorers like Giroux, Hartnell, Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds.
Former NHL coach Rick Tocchet, a standout forward with the Penguins and Flyers, told the Tribune-Review that Philadelphia's problems are mental.
“Their confidence level is really low,” he said. “That transpires into a costly mistake during a tight situation.”
“It's a long season,” Penguins right wing Pascal Dupuis said, warning that the Flyers are capable of heating up. “There are things in their system that they aren't doing right. I'm sure they're trying to address that, and I'm sure they're looking at this game as a stepping stone for them.”
A lack of scoring has been the Flyers' primary problem.
New goaltender Steve Mason's record is 1-4, but he has been stout between the pipes, boasting a .227 goals-against average and a .926 save percentage.
The team has just 10 goals thus far.
“The thing about this league right now is the parity,” Penguins defenseman Paul Martin said. “If you just have a little stretch where your team is off its game, you're not going to win many games.”
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Russian winger Plotnikov could join Penguins in August
- Hurricanes owner rips Rutherford, Penguins
- Penguins’ Kessel ‘thrilled’ with chance to play with Crosby, Malkin
- Penguins sign defensive prospect
- Penguins get their man in making trade with Toronto for Kessel
- Starkey: Rutherford hits jackpot with Kessel
- Penguins notebook: Rutherford proves savvy in deal
- Defenseman Martin’s agent planning meeting with Penguins at draft
- Starkey: Kessel worth Penguins’ inquiry
- No team did less than Penguins at NHL Draft
- Penguins deflect trade inquiries, decide to stand pat during NHL Draft