While the Flyers are (were?) off to a good start, their recent trend toward stale offense impacted them Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Leafs goalie Jack Campbell was just as sharp as the Flyers’ offense was dull in what became a 3-0 Flyers loss at Wells Fargo Center.
The Flyers were flat on a couple of early power play opportunities and seemed to take their cue from that the rest of the way.
“The first couple of power plays, we couldn’t get anything going,” center Sean Couturier said. “We lost a lot of momentum on those power plays.”
Despite throwing 36 shots Campbell’s way, the Flyers didn’t seem to have that many real chances to score, and they wound up going zilch-for-4 with the man-advantage.
“The power play drained us of a little bit of momentum and energy,” head coach Alain Vigneault said. “We weren’t very efficient. … There’s obviously some adjustments we tried to make in -game tonight on our power play, but they didn’t work out. We’ll take some time here to analyze a few things.”
It won’t take AV long to analyze this: Over the last six games, his club has but nine goals.
“I wouldn’t say we got a whole lot of quality chances,” Couturier said. “…We’re getting some shots but maybe not enough quality shots.”
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Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis was on the practice ice Wednesday at the morning skate, though he was not dressed for the game against the Maple Leafs.
“He’s on the ice,” Vigneault said after the skate, trying to sound a positive chord about Ellis. “He’s day to day; he says he’s turning the corner. So … hope the corner arrives soon.”
Ellis has been bothered for weeks by an injury at the corner of hip and groin. He last played Oct. 20 against Boston and has played in only three games for his new team.
“I would say there’s never a good time to have injuries, but you’re going to get them,” Vigneault said. “You have to have that next-man-up mentality, and guys have to be ready and have to find ways to contribute. And that’s what we’ve been able to do without a couple of our good players who have big roles on this team (Ellis and Kevin Hayes).”
As for whether he thought Ellis might be available for the club’s next game, Friday night in Carolina, Vigneault said, “we’ll know a little bit on that tomorrow.”
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Oskar Lindblom, who looked beefed up and ready to go in training camp, hasn’t scored a goal in 18 games. Through 11 this season, he has but one assist.
Prior to Wednesday night’s meeting with Toronto, Lindblom was trying to shake that fact off.
“You want to score, but as long as you’re winning games…,” Lindblom said. “Hopefully one bounce will go in soon, but you have to keep going and make sure we can win more games.”
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NOTES >> With two goals against the Flyers, William Nylander has seven points in his last five games. … The first Leafs goal was a tad controversial, as a cross pass from Auston Matthews deflected off Nylander’s skate and went in. At first it appeared it may have been a kicking motion from Nylander, but that was shot down in a replay. Said Carter Hart: “I’m not 100 percent sure what the rule is there. I saw him lift his skate a little bit, and it deflects off his toe. … A lucky bounce.”