Are the Flyers trending the right way?

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Jordan Hall
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Are the Flyers trending the right way? originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

Alain Vigneault and his staff consistently evaluate 10-game segments.

A deeper dive below the surface of the results.

In their last 10 games, the Flyers are 5-5-0. The five regulation losses have come in the past seven games, a stretch in which the Flyers have held an intermission lead only one time. The Flyers trailed by three goals in the third period of Saturday night's 5-4 loss to the Capitals at the Wells Fargo Center. The defeat wrapped up a 1-3-0 homestand that commenced with Flyers fans juiced to be back in the building and watching what they hope is a contender.

It's safe to say a portion of the fans lost hope after seeing the results of the homestand.

Following the most recent hope-dampening defeat, both the head coach and captain said they felt the Flyers were trending the right way.

That's a tough sell in this city, in a results-driven business — and the Flyers know it.

"I do believe our game is trending the right way," Claude Giroux said postgame Saturday night. "It’s hard to evaluate it like that when you're losing games, but we’re doing a lot of good things out there. A few mistakes that cost us, but overall, I think if we keep playing like this, keep trending the right way, keep doing the right things, we’re going to win a lot of hockey games. It’s tough to say that when you're not getting the results, you're not getting the wins, but I do think we have a lot of confidence in our locker room."

In fact, Vigneault, a coach that has made a living in pressure-filled markets, understands if Flyers fans think he's a bit cuckoo for holding such a stance after a 2-5-0 stretch littered with deficits.

But he has reasons to hold such a stance when dissecting the meat of the Flyers' work. 

Since Feb. 24, the Flyers are putting up the NHL's second-most shots per game (35) and allowing the third-fewest per game (25.3) over their last 10 games. The Flyers were outshot in 13 of their first 15 games. In their last 10 games, they've outshot the opposition nine times, seven of those times by double digits.

Could that be a sign the Flyers are trending in the right way?

"I know I've been saying that a lot lately, but the results aren't there," Vigneault said Sunday after practice. "It's probably hard for anyone to believe that I'm making sense and I'm saying the truth, but I do believe we are trending the right way.

"Sometimes you go through some of these stretches that are challenging for your team and for the character of our group, and you have to respond the right way. And that's one thing that we can control is our response. We got behind the 8-ball yesterday quite a few times but we always controlled our response, we always came back fighting and we've been coming back fighting this last little while. This is why I have faith in this group and I believe in this group that we're going to come out of this, come out of this stronger, better, and we've got a chance to prove it tomorrow night."

They need to start proving it soon. Fans can at least hold onto the fact that Vigneault proved it in 2019-20.

At the beginning of last season, his first with the Flyers, the head coach expressed a similar sentiment during a similar stretch to this one. The Flyers were 2-3-1 and had lost four straight games. The latter two losses were by a combined score of 10-4.

Vigneault said the process was "good" and that "you’ve got to like our game."

He was right, as the process eventually yielded the desired results.

While the 13-9-3 Flyers are starting to win the shot battle and dictate possession, mistakes are habitually turning into goals against and stay-afloat saves are missing from their goaltenders.

It's led to a stretch sorely missing the results.

Once again, Vigneault and the Flyers are asking fans to trust the process.

In a shortened, time-crunched, division-loaded season, the task feels taller this time.

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