5 most troubling aspects to Flyers' elongated losing streak

5 most troubling aspects to Flyers' elongated losing streak originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

John Tortorella wasn't in Philadelphia last season.

However, one would think he's well aware that the Flyers were hit hard by injuries and stomached separate losing streaks of 13 games (0-10-3) and 10 games (0-8-2).

The Flyers are trying to not relive that ugly 2021-22 past. They've lost a season-worst seven straight games (0-5-2) and have become decimated by injuries once again. They've dropped to 7-8-4 overall after getting off to a 7-3-2 start.

Can Tortorella stop the bleeding? Good health be damned, can he prove this team will be more competitive than last year's club? That is the head coach's biggest challenge.

The Flyers tonight start a stretch of three games in four days when they visit the Capitals (7:30 p.m. ET/TNT). After Thanksgiving, they host the Penguins on Black Friday (5:30 p.m. ET/TNT) and hit the road again Saturday to play the Islanders (7:30 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Let's look at five troubling trends in the Flyers' skid:

1. Walking wounded

The most glaring concern for the Flyers is undoubtedly injuries.

There were questions about the club's talent level and ability to score goals prior to training camp. That was before the injuries to Travis Konecny (upper body), Cam Atkinson (upper body), James van Riemsdyk (broken finger), Sean Couturier (back), Scott Laughton (upper body) and Wade Allison (oblique/hip).

In the Flyers' 5-2 loss Monday to the Flames, 10 of the team's 12 forwards had under 200 games of NHL experience.

The absences up front are forcing others to play out of position and in roles they're not used to seeing at the NHL level.

The Flyers have put up just 2.14 goals per game in this 0-5-2 stretch and scoring won't get any easier until some reinforcements arrive.

2. Not enough dogfights

The Flyers have surrendered four or more goals in each of their seven consecutive losses.

They had yielded four or more just three times in their first 12 games as they started 7-3-2.

They've been outscored 32-15 during the slide. Five of the goals allowed have been empty-netters.

For a team that knew it would have to hang its hat on an effort-based, forecheck-oriented game, it's giving up far too much to be successful.

"It's a dogfight for us every night because we're just not going to fill the net," Tortorella said three days before the start of the Flyers' losing streak.

3. Hart of the matter

Carter Hart has not been able to bail out the Flyers as much as he was during his 6-0-2 start. He had a 1.97 goals-against average and .946 save percentage through his first eight starts. He wasn't going to sustain those numbers.

Since then, Hart has gone 0-4-2 with a 3.63 goals-against average and .876 save percentage.

The Flyers have hurt themselves with penalties, like in the 4-1 loss Nov. 12 to the Senators.

"Maybe it's the hockey gods getting us back for Hartsy standing on his head for the first eight games," Laughton said then.

4. Killer instinct?

Going back to Nov. 10, when the Flyers' losing streak started, the club's penalty kill has allowed a league-high eight power play goals.

The Flyers' PK was eighth in the NHL at 82.9 percent during the 7-3-2 start. It has now dipped to tied for 25th at 74.6 percent.

5. Power struggle

The Flyers had a power play goal in eight of their first 12 games. Since then, during the skid, the man advantage has gone 2 for 22 (9.1 percent) and permitted a shorthanded marker.

Konecny has one of the power play goals and Tippett has the other.

The Flyers haven't helped themselves on special teams.

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