No one expected the Flyers to turn into an offensive juggernaut and light up the scoreboard this season. Still, their punchless start to the year is a slight cause for concern.
Although they sit at a respectable 2-2-1 heading into Wednesday’s game in Boston, the Flyers have managed just eight goals and two or less in all but one contest.
There are a myriad of reasons for the scoring void so far but two stick out like a sore thumb. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
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Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek off to slow starts
The Flyers’ dynamic duo combined for 154 points last season, which trailed only the Stars’ Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin and the Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom as the top scoring pairs in the NHL.
Through the first five games, Giroux (one goal and an assist) and Voracek (one assist) have combined for three points. Regardless, neither all-star is ready to hit the panic button.
“As long as we are winning games, (it’s doesn’t matter),” Voracek told reporters earlier this week. “Every single season my starts aren’t the best and I am trying find the quickest way possible to get to that midseason form.”
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Flyers coach Dave Hakstol knows it should only be a matter of time.
“They just have to stay with it and they will,” he said following Tuesday’s 2-1 loss to the Stars. “I thought they played really well tonight other than the puck going in the net. (They just have to) stay positive, stay with it and come back and play really well (in the next game).”
Struggling power play
The Flyers finished with the third-best power play last year and owned the best percentage at home. This year, the Flyers are 3-for-20, ranked 21st in the league and are a putrid 1-for-13 at home.
Special teams, particularity the man-advantage, has been one of the team’s consistent strengths each of the past three seasons. While they have struggled at five-on-five and, at times, on the penalty kill, the Flyers could always rely on their power-play to carry them.
However, they are out of sync in the early going. Passes aren’t hitting their marks, timing is just off and shots are getting blocked or goalies are making the big save.
“There’s nothing wrong with the power play. It’s fine,” said Wayne Simmonds, who led the team with 14 power play goals last year. “Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t work. We’re getting opportunities and chances. If we weren’t getting chances there would be something to worry about.”