National Hockey League

Are players thinking about outside factors as Flyers sink near bottom of NHL?


Then again, one can argue this team has yet to return from a three-day holiday break as it has failed to win a game during the post-Christmas portion of its schedule, now 0-6-2 following Tuesday night’s 5-3 disappointment to the Capitals (see observations) .


Of course, the Flyers likely wouldn’t be in this situation if it wasn’t for the NHL record they matched Tuesday night as they started their seventh different goaltender — a dubious accomplishment established by the 1989-90 Quebec Nordiques.


The one breakdown was how the Flyers allowed Jakub Vrana to rip down the left side before his lead pass to Tom Wilson led to an unstoppable goal.


• The usually responsible Sean Couturier was caught in a very high-risk situation trying to leave the puck for Claude Giroux just inside the blue line when Vrana picked off the pass and, with his acceleration, there was no one capable of catching up to him.


Overall, McKenna gave the Flyers an honest effort in his team debut on a night when they needed exceptional play against some of Washington’s quality scoring chances.


• After going with rookie Carter Hart Monday night against the Blues, interim head coach Scott Gordon will give newly acquired Mike McKenna his first start in net since joining the Flyers on Saturday.






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