By Michael Donovan

Possibly lost, but certainly overlooked, by the lame-ass local media in the wake of the hype of the Eagles-Pats this weekend was the historic meltdown by the Flyers, who gave up a 3-0 lead in the third period and lost a shootout to the New York Islanders Saturday night.

“We should win this game,” Oskar Lindblom, one of the goal scorers in the 4-3 shootout loss, told reports after the game. “That’s a great team on the other side, I think if we hadn’t stopped working we were gonna win this game but we didn’t.”

While the media were emphasizing the fact that the Flyers picked up a point for the umpteenth straight game, the reality was stark, as pointed out by Dave Isaac of the Courier Post:

It’s not just a problem because they ended up losing the game, although 12 minutes and change should be enough to protect a three-goal lead. It’s a problem because it’s the first occasion this year where the postgame comments didn’t match the eye test. At all.

“We came out real well in the first, a little bit more challenged in the second,” coach Alain Vigneault said. “The third we were in good shape until a couple bad line changes. The same thing a little bit in the second there. Our (defensemen) got confused there on three occasions there. We were ready to play. We competed hard. Just came up a little short.”

The Flyers did not come out well in the first.

Brian Elliott twice gave the puck away and created prime scoring opportunities for the Islanders but they didn’t hit the net either time. The Flyers were outshot 7-1 to start the game but their lone shot, from Sean Couturier, beat Thomas Greiss.

They spent most of the night on their heels despite goals from Couturier, Lindblom and Ivan Provorov.

“They were down 3-0 so of course they were going to push in the third,” Provorov said. “We couldn’t handle it and honestly, we hurt ourselves more than they did something.”

This week they have the Florida Panthers, Carolina Hurricanes and Calgary Flames, three teams that were all in playoff position as of Saturday night. If they continue to cough up leads late in games they’re going to pay for it and likely won’t be able to even hang on for getting past regulation.

What they need are their top players to step up, which is something Vigneault has called for in the past.

Kevin Hayes hasn’t mustered a point in 10 games. For Shayne Gostisbehere, no goals in 11. None in 10 for Jake Voracek. That’s a combined cap hit of $19,892,857.

The Flyers have been carried by Couturier’s line with Lindblom, which usually has Travis Konecny on it but Saturday it was Joel Farabee.

Some parts of their team have been fine through the first quarter of the season. Goaltending largely hasn’t been an issue. Only the Pittsburgh Penguins allow fewer shots per game on average and both special teams have spent most of the season in the top 10. James van Riemsdyk, although he has only four goals, is creating tons more chances he just hasn’t buried and has been defensively responsible.

There’s certainly plenty of reason for optimism for a team with several new players and a new coaching staff…as long as games like Saturday’s don’t happen.

“I believe that we’re a work in progress and I really believe we have steps forward to make,” Vigneault said before the game. “We’re not where I want this team to be. We’re not where I know our team wants to be but we’re in a good place. We’re right there with a lot of good teams, battling, and tonight we’re playing against another good team.”

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