Yes the game was played on a football field. Yes, there were 70,000-plus fans in the stadium. Yes, it was on national television.

But it was not the Super Bowl. The Flyers lost their Stadium Series game to the New Jersey Devils 6-3 and it wasn’t that important.

Oh, it had the pomp and circumstance of the Super Bowl, from the coordinated outfits the players wore into the stadium, to the live musical performances, to the special commercials and yes, even the terrible broadcasting, but really, it was just one of 82 regular season games.

Would it have been preferable if the Flyers would have won? Sure. It would have created a nine-point cushion between them and the Devils with just 26 games to go, and that would have been a far more daunting number for New Jersey to overcome – even with two games in hand.

So, yeah, it was a missed opportunity.


(Note: Just had to include a Nick Seeler goal. We don’t get to see many of them, and the dude puts his body on the line every game, so it’s worth giving him some love, even if the game didn’t go the Flyers way.)

As I’ve written in this space before, the Devils are the one team the Flyers have to worry about most when it comes to making the playoffs. Of course missing a chance to bury them could come back to bite them eventually.

But beyond that? It was just another game.

The Flyers didn’t play their game. They weren’t terrible, but they were a little out of sync. The chances ended up being even on the whole, but that’s because the Flyers were super dominant for the first 15 minutes of the second period.

It ended up looking more like a game of shinny on an outdoor rink in Saskatchewan than in the swampland of New Jersey.

The game ended up being wide open, with a lot of mistakes, a lot of penalties, and a lot of unevenness.

It was ugly, as most of these outdoor games are. Usually, it’s more of a slog, with not a lot of scoring. This one had nine goals because the teams just weren’t committed to a defensive style in the elements.

Usually the ice isn’t great for outdoor games, and you could tell it wasn’t especially smooth with all the snow that gathered on it as the game wore on. And because of that, both teams had to gamble a little bit more. Both teams were just firing as many shots as they could and hope for good fortune. The Devils got a couple rebounds. The Flyers did not.

It was the difference. Plain and simple.

But the instant reaction to the loss on social media was different than a usual loss:


Oh there’s more… lots more. Feel free to scroll through TwiXter from last night. It gets ugly.

But should it?

Let’s throw it to Torts:

He couldn’t be more right. If this game were at the Prudential Center or at the Wells Fargo Center or at your local shopping center, it would have had the same impact.

But it was at big ol’ Met Life Stadium, so of course everyone wants to overreact to the outcome.

The bigger danger for the Flyers is the players thinking the loss mattered more than it did. Letting that seep into their mindset can cause them to trip up in their next game against a God-awful Chicago Blackhawks team.

That’s what is the most important job for this coaching staff coming out of this game. It’s to make sure they hammer home this message to the players:

“Hey, you played in the game. You got to experience playing outside. It was different, yes. And yes, you lost the game. Hey, it happens. It’s no different than when you lost 2-1 in San Jose. Or shit the bed against Ottawa before the All-Star break. Or any number of other losses you felt like was a blown chance. But hey, we’re back at it on Wednesday and if we flush this one and get after Chicago, we can be right back on the path we want to be on heading into a busy weekend.”

That’s the right mentality. This team is playing such a good brand of hockey and Torts has pushed the right buttons all along. Fans should be far more confident in that continuing than in letting a loss in an outdoor game in atypical conditions derail their season.

This Flyers team has proven they’re committed to playing this way to the end, do or die. And while that outcome is still up in the air, one loss in one silly game up the New Jersey Turnpike doesn’t spell impending doom.

What happens at the trade deadline will be far more impactful on the outcome of this season than this one loss.