Not Christmas. Not the All-Star Break. Not the trade deadline.


There is no longer time to wait for the Flyers do do something, anything to change the culture and identity of this team.

This can be done in several ways. It can be a firing, head coach or assistant. It can be trade from the NHL roster – and it needs to be an impact one, not something small to say, “oh hey, we made a change.”

And if none of that happens, it can be done with a change in management.

But something has to happen, because what you saw, if you cared to watch, was possibly the worst period this season that resulted in a 5-2 loss in Buffalo Wednesday.

And I’m not talking just for the Flyers. No. It was certainly their worst period. I’m saying it could have been the worst 20 minutes played by any NHL team at any time in this season’s first two months.

And it was a complete and utter failure by everyone from the top down.

The Flyers, after three days off, were completely outplayed, out-skated, outworked out-everythinged by the Buffalo Sabres for the game’s first 20 minutes. The effort was completely, absolutely and absurdly unacceptable.

Dave Hakstol knew it. He used his timeout nine minutes into the game. Of course the team was already trailing 3-0. And he was as animated as I’ve ever seen him on the bench laying into his players.

It didn’t matter… not until the second period at least.

Because from the start of the second period until the Sabres got an empty net goal to ice the game, the Flyers were excellent. They played pissed off. They ramped up their physical play. They controlled puck possession. They generated scoring chances. They had the Sabres on their heels. They even outscored them 2-0. Frankly, we have a hockey game and probably a different outcome if they would have, you know, started the game this way.

But they were completely unprepared… again. Their penalty kill let up a goal… again. They have an AHL caliber goalie in net… again.

Alex Lyon is a competitor. He’s not going out there and purposely messing the bed. But he gave up four goals on 12 shots. Three on rebounds and one from a bad angle. That can’t instill confidence in the team in front of you.

Not that the team in front of him was any help. They were the freakin’ Keystone Cops on the ice for the first 20 minutes. It was really embarrassing. Turnover, Turnover, Turnover. Out of position. Lame defensive effort. You name the negative plays that result in goals against and the Flyers had them on grand display for 20 minutes against the Sabres.

Frankly, it sucks to keep writing about this, too. Not just for me, or any other person who is actually paid to cover this team, but for the fans who take to their own blogs, or online forums, or social media to write the same thing every day.

I am personally most thankful for them on this Thanksgiving evening. The fans who put up with the same lather, rinse, repeat mentality of the Flyers every day. It’s especially frustrating for them and I feel their pain.

So, in honor of them, rather than give you more repeated analysis of the same breakdowns of bad goals from the game, or highlight more turnovers, or say things like, “hey, they’re playing better and showing some fight and trying to comeback again” after goals by Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, even though that is for naught, I decided to share some of the fans Twitter fire.

They deserve to be heard. The Flyers should definitely be listening.

And for the record, this is all from a Twitter search of the word “Hakstol.” I could be here all day if I wanted to search other Flyer-related words too. In chronological order:

That one is just wrong Josh….. but it did make me laugh!

I’m not sure if Mike Sielski ever knew what he would have wrought on this city with that Hakstol profile last summer. His story was sort of the Bizarro Gritty.

When the patient get inpatient, you know it’s bad.

Note: This is not my burner account.

This is definitely something that Hextall has to take blame for. Definitely. He had two injured NHL goalies and a bunch of AHL goalies. What did he think was going to happen?

I liked the last part of Bobby’s tweet. It does seem like that sometimes. Not always… but sometimes.

Unfair to put blame on Giroux. He plays his ass off. But hey, I understand the vitriol, even if it’s misguided.

What’s the definition of insanity?

Thanks Colin!!

Oh… there it is…. I know someone would provide the answer. Thanks Rich!

Gotta love a vague Chip Kelly reference.

Russ and I talked about this on Snow the Goalie a couple weeks ago. This is a fair point. If playing well for five games gets you back to mediocrity, is that a good enough reason to hold on to the coach?

This really is true, isn’t it?

Comcast is the biggest, and I mean BIGGEST problem with the Flyers right now. I can’t stress that enough.

It could get ugly tomorrow, especially if the Rangers score first.

Yep Tyrell Goulbourne… that’s the answer the team needs. I’m done.

Happy Thanksgiving, Flyers fans. Don’t ever change.

For more Flyers coverage, be sure to check out our pregame and intermission shows “The Press Row Show” before and during home games via Facebook Live on the Crossing Broad Facebook page and Periscope via Anthony’s Twitter account. Also, listen to our Flyers podcast Snow the Goalie ([iTunes] [Google Play] [Stitcher] [RSS]), leave a 5 star review, and follow us on Twitter:@AntSanPhilly @JoyOnBroad