Talks of One-man Show, the Core Illustrate Trying Times for Flyers

Sunday was not a pretty day at the Wells Fargo Center.

The scene on the ice was unbecoming and the postgame vibe felt worse.

These are not the prettiest times for the Flyers. A season with expectations spiraled into the general manager and head coach being fired, and couldn't be resurrected. 

The Flyers were officially eliminated from playoff contention Saturday in Raleigh, North Carolina. They came home and played an uninspired game Sunday in front of fans who are just as disgruntled with the 2018-19 season. 

The Flyers lost, 3-0, to the rebuilding Rangers, a team that had lost 13 of its last 16 games and owned just one road victory since Feb. 20 (see observations)

For the Flyers, there was little rhythm, little execution and apparently not much togetherness.

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"I know we still have to stick with each other, play our game, play for the team, and that didn't happen today," Robert Hagg said. "It was too much of a one-man show out there, trying to do too much. For me, not a point-producing guy, it's frustrating. We're talking about before the game to do all the small things right for the team and we're going out there and doing exactly the opposite. It's frustrating.

"We have all the pieces, but we need to stick together and play as a team. I don't think we're doing that right now. It doesn't matter who you put out there, if you don't play together, it doesn't matter. If you're trying to do a one-man show for 60 minutes, you're going to end up 3-0 and in the back."

The Flyers were left questioning pride and effort Sunday. Just add it on to the laundry list of questions this season has produced. 

"We're a frustrating team right now," Claude Giroux said. "We're our worst enemy."

Once again, the Flyers are experiencing a fate becoming all too common. They've missed the playoffs in four of the last seven seasons, which includes the 2012-13 shortened campaign, and haven't made the postseason in consecutive years since 2010-12, when they last won a series.

Jakub Voracek has never shied away from talking about the team's core. After the Flyers missed the playoffs in 2016-17, he said, "It's going to get blown up and we all know it," if the team didn't get back to the postseason and start winning some series.

On Sunday, Voracek was asked how the Flyers could break their pattern of making the playoffs one season and missing them the next.

"I don't know … I think we said the core was going to get traded," he said, frustrated and purposefully dramatic. "Maybe the core? Maybe we've got to get traded - me, G, Coots, I don't know. You'll figure it out."

General manager Chuck Fletcher probably isn't contemplating trading away Voracek, Giroux and Sean Couturier. He's probably trying to find ways to make the Flyers better, to provide a promising start in 2019-20, so they're not requiring a Herculean second-half run just to be in the picture.

"I mean, everyone is watching, people are still watching, we have fans out there expecting us to go out there and play our best," Hagg said.

Fletcher is watching and he'll be looking for answers this summer - because these are not pretty times.

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