Someone made the comment on Twitter on Sunday that the Philadelphia Flyers were starting to resemble the same team that Peter Laviolette coached earlier this season.
If you'll remember, Laviolette was fired after the Flyers got off to a horrendous start to the season. Just really terrible stuff. They couldn't score. Their special teams were a mess. Claude Giroux went through a startling regression. And Steve Mason looked like the Steve Mason that Blue Jackets fans have come to know and loathe over the last few years.
When Craig Berube took over, Philadelphia turned a corner and began climbing back into the playoff race. Now some of the same old habits are seeping back in. That was never more evident than in Sunday's 4-1 loss in Manhattan. Luckily for Philly, the East is weak and the playoffs are well within reach. But Flyers fans have to be wary about the kind of play they're seeing from their team right now.
All the NHL Scores
Maple Leafs 3, Devils 2 (SO)
Rangers 4, Flyers 1
On Sunday we asked you five burning questions about the day's games. These are your cool, soothing answers.
1. Can Dallas stop John Tavares?
Not when they needed to the most. The Tavares line made Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley look silly all night long before setting up the game-winning goal with under two minutes remaining. Dallas has now lost six consecutive games and is fading quickly from the playoff race.
2. Will Jaromir Jagr pass Mark Messier in all-time goals?
Jagr was held off the score sheet on Sunday, so he'll have to wait a bit before notching that goal. But that doesn't mean he wasn't a factor. Amazingly, the 41-year-old seemed to get stronger as the game wore on, creating numerous chances for the Devils in overtime.
3. Can Philly tighten up defensively, or will Steve Mason have to bail them out?
I'll just leave this here.
(The answer is no, on both accounts.)
4. Can Edmonton build off its big win?
Not quite. It was a typical night for Edmonton, as the leaky defense allowed over 40 shots on net while the offense tried desperately to keep the ship afloat. The Oilers also missed a chance to leapfrog the Flames for 13th in the Western Conference.
5. Will Cody Hodgson and Ville Leino make an impact?
Hodgson made an early impact with the primary assist on Tyler Ennis' goal in the first period. Leino, as he has been since arriving in Buffalo, was virtually nonexistent.
The one play or moment from Sunday that is going to be making headlines over the next couple of days.
The Toronto Maple Leafs managed to eke out yet another shootout win against the Devils on Sunday, but coach Randy Carlye's comments after the game should keep fans anxious:
Randy Carlyle on tonight's shootout win: "We can breathe. There's been a lot of gasping going on."— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) January 13, 2014
The fact is, this win isn't something the Leafs should feel relaxed about. They've still only won four times in regulation in the last month or so and playing in three-point games isn't going to stop their free-fall in the standings. Comments like this from Carlyle are yet another indication that he's focused on results, not the underlying problems that will continue to drag the Leafs down until changes are made.
Stat of the Night
Not exactly money well spent:
Post to Post
- Mikhail Grigorenko is finally going back to the QJMHL.
- Martin Brodeur isn't ready to retire, so he might leave New Jersey.
- Best own goal ever.