Not much has gone right for the Philadelphia Flyers this season, though they are coming off a positive result as they prepare to host the struggling Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday.
Despite blowing a three-goal lead, the Flyers rallied to earn a 4-3 shootout win over the New York Rangers on Sunday.
“It’s definitely been a long year, personally and team-wise,” said Philadelphia forward Kevin Hayes, who scored the shootout winner on Sunday. “We’re just trying to finish off these games the right way, set a culture for next year.”
One of the brightest performances for the Flyers (22-36-11, 55 points) belonged to 21-year-old defenseman Cam York, who scored a goal and blocked four shots as the Flyers snapped a four-game losing streak. The ever-improving York has played very well alongside Ivan Provorov.
“He’s super easy to play with,” York said of Provorov. “I’m not used to playing the right side that much, but he makes it easy on me — and we try to play in the (offensive) zone as much as we can.”
Since captain Claude Giroux was traded to the Florida Panthers, Hayes has stepped up to assume more of a leadership role to guide young players such as York and Morgan Frost.
Hayes will turn 30 next month.
“When you’re a young kid, you’re just happy to be in the NHL,” Hayes said. “I’m sure (the young Flyers) are happy that they’re playing in the NHL, but it’s a demanding job. You have to show up and be consistent, and that’s what I try to show them, and it’s nice to see the young guys playing well.”
The Blue Jackets will hope to avoid an eighth consecutive loss when they visit Philadelphia.
Columbus (32-32-6, 70 points) picked up one point but ultimately fell to 0-4-3 in its past seven with a 3-2 overtime loss against the visiting Boston Bruins on Monday.
During the skid, the Blue Jackets have squandered plenty of chances to earn wins. In each game, they committed costly mistakes. In overtime on Monday, a Columbus giveaway in the defensive end set up Boston for a virtual three-on-one opportunity that led to Jake DeBrusk’s decisive goal.
“They’re tough games,” Columbus forward Justin Danforth said. “We battled hard, but these moral victories aren’t going to cut it for us. … We want to go out on the road and get a greasy two points and build and build. We’re not happy.”
Columbus last picked up a win on March 19 when it beat the visiting St. Louis Blues 5-4.
The Blue Jackets hadn’t lost more than four in a row this season before they dropped the past seven games. It’s their longest skid since an 0-7-2 stretch in April 2021.
“It’s just not good enough,” Columbus forward Gustav Nyquist said. “It’s something we talked about that we didn’t like our start to the last few games.”
What’s the solution?
“We know what kind of team we are and what makes us successful, and that’s playing north, playing simple, putting it behind their D, using our speed and playing in the offensive zone,” Danforth said. “That’s where we’re most successful. We know what we have to do, it’s just being ready.”
–Field Level Media