Skip to content

Tortorella: Flyers 'hit the bottom' in loss to Blackhawks

Minas Panagiotakis / Getty Images Sport / Getty

The Philadelphia Flyers' playoff hopes took a sizeable hit Saturday night with their 5-1 loss to the basement-dwelling Chicago Blackhawks, but coach John Tortorella hopes the defeat serves as a wake-up call.

"We sucked tonight," he told reporters postgame. "We didn't execute, we didn't make one play. ... I think we hit the bottom tonight here. Maybe that needs to happen for us to get back into it."

Tortorella called the loss "a good old-fashioned drubbing."

The Flyers trailed 2-0 after the first period, but rookie Tyson Foerster brought them within one with his 20th goal of the season. Philadelphia couldn't capitalize on two consecutive power-play opportunities in the second period before Nick Foligno cashed in on the man advantage to restore the two-goal lead for the Blackhawks.

Chicago scored two more in the final frame, and those in attendance at the Wells Fargo Center booed the team off the ice to show their disdain for the Flyers' fourth straight loss.

Philadelphia didn't get much help from its divisional rivals, either. The Washington Capitals picked up a point during their 3-2 shootout loss to the Boston Bruins to overtake the Flyers for third place in the Metropolitan. The two teams have 82 points each, but the Capitals have played in two fewer games.

As a result, the Flyers have been bumped down to the second wild-card spot, where things get even more crowded. The Detroit Red Wings are just two points behind Philadelphia with one game in hand, and the New York Islanders are five points back with two extra contests to play.

"We're certainly making it interesting here," Tortorella said. "We've gotta try to figure it out. They're all big games now."

The Flyers have gone 3-5-2 over their previous 10 games, dropping their last two contests to teams far outside the playoff picture.

Tortorella suggested fatigue as a possible factor behind the Flyers' slump in form, though he acknowledged that "there are a lot of teams that are tired this time of year."

"I know (Travis Sanheim) and (Cam York) are on fumes," the bench boss said. "Just watching them play, they're not even thinking correctly."

He added: "We're killing them as far as ice time."

Sanheim has averaged 24:10 of playing time over the last 15 games since March 1, while York has posted 25:27 per contest. Both players are a minus-six over that span.

"We know that we're relied upon," Sanheim said of his and York's workload. "We've gotta contribute and play well in those minutes. We're going to need to be much better moving forward."

The Flyers face the Islanders on Monday.

Daily Newsletter

Get the latest trending sports news daily in your inbox