The Philadelphia Flyers clearly have reached their low point of the season.
The Flyers were crushed 7-1 by the two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay Lightning on Sunday. Philadelphia's schedule doesn't let up as the Flyers will host the imposing Colorado Avalanche in the second game of a back-to-back on Monday night.
On Monday morning, however, the Flyers fired Alain Vigneault after two-plus seasons as the team's head coach. Michel Therrien also was dismissed, with fellow assistant Mike Yeo being tabbed to serve as the team's interim coach against the Avalanche.
If the Flyers hope to halt an eight-game winless skid (0-6-2), they'll have to play better in every aspect.
The power play went 1-for-3 against the Lightning and is 9-for-67 coming into this matchup against the Avalanche.
"I think the main thing for us and how we're going to create offense is killing plays in the 'D' zone," Morgan Frost said. "I think if we defend well first and get the puck back, then it'll create more offense for us. I think we're kind of lacking a bit of confidence and maybe not defending as well as we should be."
"We've got to close faster," defenseman Justin Braun added. "We've got to end plays. We can't give teams 30- and 45-second shifts in the offensive zone."
The Avalanche will look to rebound after a wild 6-5 overtime loss to the Ottawa Senators on Saturday.
Colorado struggled defensively, and some costly giveaways ultimately handed the game to Ottawa.
"I didn't like the way we played in the first half of the game," Avalanche head coach Jared Bednar said. "We didn't manage the puck very well. Both goal one and goal two against, they're both turnovers, one in the neutral zone, one in the offensive zone."
While the overtime loss was frustrating, Colorado is still 1-1-1 on this five-game road trip heading into Philadelphia.
"It's a big point. I don't love the game from us but I love the resolve to stick with it and believe that we can come back," Bednar said. "It's not easy, down three against anybody is not easy. It didn't come easy for us tonight. We didn't have a lot of power plays (1 for 2) but we stuck with it. I will take the point."
The Avalanche were quite short-handed, and it's unclear how their lineup will look against the Flyers.
Colorado was without six key injured players including Nazem Kadri, defenseman Cale Makar and goaltender Darcy Kuemper.
"We're kind of just watching how the next few days play out and see if he's going to be able to bounce back from his injury in a hurry or not," Bednar said of Kuemper.
Even with the depletion of the roster, the Avalanche have managed to compile 12 victories with a 5-5-1 mark on the road.
--Field Level Media