Mark Madden

Mark Madden

The Super Genius of Pittsburgh Sports.Full Bio



The Philadelphia Flyers trail their first-round playoff series with the Penguins for a good reason: Nobody on their roster is playing well.

Usually, even when a team loses, a player or two draws legitimate kudos.

But no Flyer deserves even a small degree of praise. Not one.

Claude Giroux, Shayne Gostisbehere, Ivan Provorov, Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek have one goal between them and are a combined minus-19. Giroux and Gostisbehere are each minus-7.

Those are the Flyers’ “best” players.

With those stats, it's a wonder the Flyers didn't get swept. It's no wonder the Flyers were outscored 17-1 in the three games the Penguins won.

The Flyers' statistical "leader" is Sean Couturier: One goal, two assists, minus-3. Couturier is unlikely to play in today's Game 5 due to injury inflicted in practice by a teammate.

This matchup was supposed to be a mismatch, and it is.

It's difficult to imagine the Flyers getting back in the series by winning tonight. For that to happen, somebody has to rally the Flyers. Put the team on his back.

There are no likely candidates. No one has approached that level, or even a reasonably good level.

It's certainly not going to be the goalie, whoever starts out of the Flyers' three. Sidney Crosby has scored on each, BTW.

The time for gloating has not yet arrived, however. Four wins are required. In 1975, the New York Islanders overcame a three-games-to-none deficit to win a quarterfinal series against the Penguins. If you witnessed, you understand.

That was a bad year. The Flyers won the Stanley Cup. But that hasn’t happened since.

Have you ever seen the Flyers win the Cup? These kids haven't.

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