If the Flyers continue their awful road pace, they will miss the Stanley Cup playoffs for just the second time in the last 18 seasons.
Yes, the Flyers' 1-5 road record is a small sample. Yes, they can turn it around. Yes, it's early. But not as early as you might think.
The Flyers will begin their longest road stretch of the season Monday in Toronto, a game that will match players traded for one another in the off-season, Flyers defenceman Luke Schenn and Maple Leafs forward James van Riemsdyk. That will start a six-game swing that will also take them to Winnipeg, New Jersey, Montreal, the New York Islanders, and Pittsburgh.
When the trip ends, the Flyers will have played 18 games, which, in a lockout-shortened schedule, computes to 37.5 per cent of their season. In other words, this road trip carries a lot more weight than it would in a normal season.
Schenn says the Flyers need to simplify things.
"They don't have to be pretty games at all," he said. "You have to play a hard-nosed style of hockey on the road. It's more of a grinding effort. We're going to have to get to the tough areas and compete."
The Flyers' early road woes are surprising. This was a team that bonded and played terrific hockey away from the Wells Fargo Center last season. The Flyers finished 25-13-3 on the road, which tied Boston for the most away wins in the NHL.
Their lone road win this year was a 7-1 blowout in Florida. In the other five road games, they have managed a total of six goals.
"Our starts on the road haven't been where they need to be," said forward Brayden Schenn, Luke's brother, "and they're getting their team into it more and their fans into it more."
The numbers support Schenn. The Flyers have led after the first period in just one of their six road games, building a 3-0 lead in the win over Florida. In the other five road games, they have been outscored by a combined 10-1 in the opening periods. At home Saturday, the Flyers edged the Carolina Hurricanes 4-3 in overtime.
-- The Philadelphia Inquirer