Sometimes, coaches get a little more out of certain players than they hope for in certain situations.
For head coach Peter Laviolette, he wanted to neutralize Washington's top scoring tandem of Alex Ovechkin and Mike Ribeiro. By doing so, he put forechecking specialists Sean Couturier and Ruslan Fedotenko out onto the ice.
Laviolette wound up getting more out of Fedotenko in that situation than he had hoped. Fedotenko got himself in the right position, scoring the game-winning goal to seal a comeback win for the Flyers, stealing an important two points in the process.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced on Friday that Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. With only a handful of games left in the season, this likely means his season is done.
The length of his departure all depends on the degree of his shoulder's separation, but risking further injury in a season like the one that has unfolded makes close to zero sense. Coburn's departure has promped a callup of Adirondack Phantoms defenseman Oliver Lauridsen.
Originally a steal in the trade from the Atlanta Thrashers for Alexei Zhitnik back in 2007, the 28-year-old Saskatchewan native posted just five points through 33 games—a stark contrast to his 36 point season in 2007-08. His point production has sharply decreased since that point to the lowest it has ever been in his career as a Flyer by far.
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.
That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
If a player's offensive production includes two goals and three assists in 14 games, it's easily assumed that is the stat line of a fourth line forward.
For the Flyers, it was top-liner Scott Hartnell.
The struggles continued for Hartnell, who found himself demoted in the third period of a frustrating 4-2 loss to Tampa Bay on Monday. It's safe to say the demotion was a long time coming for Hartnell, who hasn't been the same player that led the Flyers with 37 goals.
(Pictured: Scott Hartnell battles with Matt Carle. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)
Kimmo Timonen's 1000th game and 38th birthday wishes were rained upon by the Tampa Bay Lightning in a 4-2 loss at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The loss was the Flyers' fifth in their last seven games and fourth in a row in Tampa Bay.
Ilya Bryzgalov put forth a second consecutive strong start, keeping the game close throughout two periods of play. The Flyers only have one victory to their credit when deadlocked after two periods of play.
The Flyers had five minutes of overtime to work with in hopes to not allow the game to carry to a shoot-out.
What many consider to be a glorified skills competition, the Flyers have considered their lack of success in the final determination of the second point to be a nightmare. It's been especially hard on Ilya Bryzgalov, who was going to be the netminder of choice in the Flyers dance with chance.
(Pictured: Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov makes a snow angel save in the overtime period. AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Heading into Sunday night, the Flyers had allowed seven straight goals, blowing a 4-1 lead to Pittsburgh to lose 5-4 on Thursday and then getting shut-out 3-0 to the Bruins on Saturday.
Speed and an inability to have a physical presence in front of the net cost the Flyers the game on Thursday. Saturday's loss was three minutes of embarrassing hockey in which they were again out-worked.
Compound those two losses with the 4-2 loss to New York on Tuesday in which the Rangers scored three unanswered to win and the Flyers found themselves on a three-game losing streak and three games under .500.
Hosting the last-place Buffalo Sabres on Sunday, the Flyers needed to drastically change something.
(Pictured: Wayne Simmonds fights with Mike Weber in the first period after Simmonds' hit on Tyler Ennis. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)