Disastrous 2021-22 season comes to end with loss


Flyers’ disastrous 2021-22 season comes to end with loss originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia

A long and dreadful 2021-22 season from the Flyers reached the finish line Friday night with a 4-2 loss to the Senators at the Wells Fargo Center.

The defeat ended one of the Flyers’ worst years in the 54 seasons of the franchise’s existence.

James van Riemsdyk and Owen Tippett tallied markers in the loss.

Ottawa’s final goal was an empty-netter.

The Flyers (25-46-11) came two losses away from matching the franchise’s all-time worst total of 48 set by the 2006-07 club.

Mike Yeo finished 17-36-7 in his interim head coaching duties. He was dealt a ridiculous hand.

The Flyers went (1-2-0) against the Senators (33-42-7) in their three-game regular-season series.

• Following his third full season as general manager, Chuck Fletcher has serious work to do. Suffice it to say he has to win over the fan base.

The Flyers missed the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time since the 1992-93 and 1993-94 seasons.

“He deserves a shot to really right this thing,” Comcast Spectacor chairman and CEO Dave Scott said Jan. 26. “I’m going to give him a blank check, we’re going to get this right. Whatever we need to do. I don’t want to wait, I want to deal with it now.”

The 2021-22 season was a nightmare for the club.

After starting 6-2-2 in their first 10 games, the Flyers went 19-44-9 the rest of the way.

Alain Vigneault was fired Dec. 6 after an 8-10-4 start. The club had to sell at a second straight deadline, a disappointment highlighted by the trade of all-time Flyers great Claude Giroux.

Among the NHL, the Flyers finished dead last in power play percentage, second-to-last in goals per game and in the bottom 10 for penalty kill percentage and goals surrendered per game.

They had a staggering minus-87 goal differential.

Their 2021-22 résumé took an absolute beating. The Flyers had separate losing streaks of 13 games (0-10-3) from Dec. 30 to Jan. 25, 10 games (0-8-2) through Nov. 18 to Dec. 8 and six games twice — one during Feb. 9-22 (0-4-2) and another from April 9-19 (0-6-0).

“I’ve got to be honest, it was pretty miserable and not fun,” Scott Laughton said of the season after morning skate. “It’s never fun when you lose games, especially the way we did. Just not the way you want your season to go. I thought Chuck made some pretty good moves last summer, I thought he helped our team. It’s up to the players at some point to kind of show what you can do and we didn’t do that this year.”

• The Flyers can still fall into the NHL’s bottom three.

They’re 29th in the league’s 32-team standings but only three points ahead of the expansion Kraken, who have two games left. Seattle plays the Sharks tonight and the Jets on Sunday.

More on the Flyers’ draft lottery odds here.

• van Riemsdyk’s goal gave the winger sole possession of the team lead for the season.

The soon-to-be 33-year-old finished with 24 and was the lone Flyer to play in all 82 games.

His 24th came on the power play with a sweet between-the-legs move to hand the Flyers a 1-0 first-period lead.

Ottawa evened things up in the second period and took the lead early in the third period.

Tippett tied it up on the power play but Brady Tkachuk netted the game-winner for the Senators four minutes later.

• Martin Jones made 32 saves on 35 shots.

Ottawa netminder Anton Forsberg stopped 32 of the Flyers’ 34 shots.

• The Flyers announced their team award winners prior to the game.

• An offseason with just about every unknown and uncertain you can think of commences for the Flyers.

We’ll have much more on all of that.

First things first, they’ll have to find and/or decide on their new head coach.

The NHL entry draft is July 7-8 and free agency opens July 13 at noon ET.

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