By Harry Allison
The Flyers have lost their first two games of the new season, but they may have set a record for:
Earliest team meeting by a team that had just been embarrassed!
Team leaders criticized everyone’s play after a 7-1 loss to the Florida Panthers.
“It’s game 2 and you lose 7-1, I think we gotta have a little talk here,” alternate captain Mark Streit said.
This one was over 6:46 into the game. By then, Panthers were up 4-0 and Flyers goalie Steve Mason was pulled for Michal Neuvirth.
“There’s nobody to put this game on except myself,” Mason said after a four-save, four-goal performance that he called the worst of his career. “I take full responsibility for the outcome of this game. When your starting goaltender performs like that, it puts everybody behind the eight ball right away. I’m disappointed by my effort. Right from the beginning there was nothing I could be too proud of tonight.”
“For me, it’s really tough to explain because we had a really good game in Tampa against a really good team,” Streit said. “We had a good start. We had a good 60 minutes and got a point.
“Tonight was like a different team out there and we gotta be ready to compete, to skate. If you don’t have a good gap out there and you’re not aggressive enough, they’re going to take advantage of it and they did. We didn’t skate, we took penalties and they took advantage of it. If you’re down four games after 4-or-5 minutes, it’s tough to recover. We did a little bit better, but it doesn’t do any good.”
That’s why the players’ only meeting was called afterward, one that Flyers coach Dave Hakstol downplayed.
“It’s early in the year,” he said. “The one thing that is absolute is nobody’s going to overreact. You take this situation and you deal with it for what it is. You deal with it honestly and most of those dealings will take place in the locker room.”
In the locker room, players pointed fingers at themselves.
Defenseman Luke Schenn, who was a team-worst minus-3, did a good job of summing up the night.
Right wing Jakub Voracek, scoreless on a game-high six shots, offered up an even better summation:
“It wasn’t a good game. They beat our asses.”