It would be easy to sit here and tell you what how abysmal the Flyers 8-2 loss in their home opener to the San Jose Sharks was and break down all the misery that was the defensive abomination.

It would be easy to do a 5,000-word breakdown, as some are wont to do, analyzing every failing on every goal and to tell you how terrible the defensive pairs were, blah, blah, blah, blah.

But if you watched the game, you saw just how miserable it was. You were probably on Flyers Twitter making all kinds of cynical commentary about the state of the team.

And if you didn’t watch it, you were the lucky one.

But rather than rehash all of that nonsense, let’s just let the Flyers players tell you how bad it really was.

Here’s Shayne Gostisbehere, who actually played his ass off and had a good game amid the rubble of the full-team implosion:

“Yeah, we sucked. It is what it is. I mean I feel so fucking bad for Moose (Brian Elliott) right now. We left him out to dry, he was our best player tonight. It could’ve been eight nothing after the first [period]. I mean it’s a little ridiculous. Some of us really have to look in the mirror on this team, and we just gotta respond tomorrow. To leave a guy out to dry like that, it’s really not fair.”

That’s pretty damning words from a defenseman on a team that just gave up eight goals – the most the Flyers ever allowed in a home opener.

But he wasn’t alone.

Take Elliott, for example, the goalie, who was not only left out to dry by his team, but also by his coach Dave Hakstol, who made him endure the embarrassment of letting up all eight goals, never once calling time out, never once pulling him from this debacle and saving him the dubious honor of having a snowman added to his ever-growing goals against average. He had this to say:

“I don’t think we had the structure to take on their attack. They did a good job. Four guys joined in the rush, and a lot of odd-man rushes tonight. It kinda felt like wave on wave. We could’ve handled it better.”

He mentioned structure again in another question, so I just had to ask him about it further. I mean, if the goalie thinks there’s a lack of structure…

“I think they played their game, a fast game. That’s just one word that I just have been thinking about…we shouldn’t give up that many of those types of scoring chances again and again. I think a bit of our structure was off. That’s how it felt out there.”

I’d be thinking about structure too – or lack thereof – when you play a game like this.

But wait… there’s more.

Here’s the captain, Claude Giroux, who actually assisted on both Flyers goals and played O.K. What did he think?

“I just think we played like shit tonight. The score shows it. We just left our goalie to dry and Moose played a good game, he didn’t deserve that and it’s on us.”

No, he didn’t deserve it. He made 40 freaking saves and still allowed eight! Think about that for a second. He made 40 saves in a 60-minute game, and STILL allowed eight goals. Where the hell was the team around him?


“Yeah, I think Brian got hung out to dry… [I] Should have gotten him out of there probably after the second [period]. I wanted to give him an opportunity to keep battling, thought he was battling on every puck and every shot and by the time we got to the third period, the sixth one against, it’s too late to get him out and put Pick [backup goalie Calvin Pickard] into that situation.”

Sorry, that’s not good enough. You don’t do that to your goalie. I’ll flash you back, real quick, to Patrick Roy’s last game in Montreal before being traded to the Colorado Avalanche:

Credit Brian Elliott for holding his tongue as best he could. He could have gone the full Patty and celebrated with fans after an easy save, or told Ron Hextall to trade him right after the game, as Roy did, but he didn’t. He stuck it out.

And when I asked him if he was surprised he was still in there for all eight goals, he didn’t take the bait and told me, “That’s not my decision. If I’m in there I’m gonna stay in there and battle to the end.”

But you know what his team is saying? You know what those players are saying when they are criticizing themselves for leaving the goalie out to dry and calling him the best player on the ice?

They’re being good teammates, yes, but they’re also sending a message to Hakstol that not getting Elliott the hell out of there was unacceptable.

I’m sorry, Dave, you just can’t do that. Not when this is happening:

Or this:

Or this:

Or this:

The optics on this are not good.

Here’s all you need to know:

  • The eight goals allowed by the Flyers are the most they’ve given up in a home opener in their history. The previous high came in the first home game of the 1971-72 season, a 7-0 loss to Los Angeles on October 21, 1971; the six-goal deficit tonight is the second largest in a home opener only to that game.
  • The eight goals are the most San Jose has scored against the Flyers since San Jose’s inception in 1991. Their previous high was a 7-3 win in Philadelphia on Feb. 27, 2014. The 48 shots are also the most they’ve had against the Flyers, eclipsing the 45 they’d had twice before, on Oct. 18, 2008 and Oct. 13, 1997, both in San Jose.
  • The 48 shots against are the most the Flyers have allowed in a game since they allowed 52 at Pittsburgh on Nov. 27, 2017. It ties the record for the most shots allowed at the Wells Fargo Center, last set on Dec. 20, 2008 vs. Washington, and is the most they’ve allowed in a home game since Montreal had 49 on Dec. 23, 1990 at the Spectrum.
  • The last time the Flyers allowed eight goals to any team was October 27, 2011 when they dropped a 9-8 decision to the Winnipeg Jets.

And you know what game that was? Let me share my own video that sorta went viral after that game:

This is the level of embarrassment the Flyers reached in this game. When we’re comparing it to a Ilya Bryzgalov meltdown.

Anyway, I’ve pretty much said enough. There’s another game in less than 24 hours against the woeful Ottawa Senators in Canada’s capitol.

But before I go, here’s a hit list of individual Flyers who were notably terrible in this loss:

  • Ivan Provorov had his worst game as a Flyer. Seriously. Worse than that minus-5 as a rookie against the Blackhawks. He was really sloppy with the puck and seems to have lost his spot on the second power play unit to Travis Sanheim.
  • Travis Konecny was demoted from the top line to the second line and played like he was unhappy with the demotion. He was only credited with three giveaways, but I counted five. He had chances to shoot the puck from point blank range and passed them up to either make an unnecessary pass that didn’t work, or try a wraparound that never materialized.
  • Robert Hagg and Andrew MacDonald were each turned inside out on what ended up being a Sharks goal.
  • Travis Sanheim was constantly out of position and didn’t really play a hard game.
  • Oh, screw it, they were mostly all bad. Here’s who gets a pass: Elliott, Gostisbehere, Raffl, Laughton, Lehtera… (yeah, I said Lehtera)… that’s it.