Flyers can’t hang with the big boys

1 Whistle blowers — The Flyers held Evgeni Malkin (three shots), and Sidney Crosby (zero shots) in check all afternoon, then gave up the winning goal after a delay of game call on Kimmo Timonen gave the Penguins a man-advantage with less than four minutes remaining.

2 The pessimist —
Since their Dec. 23 epiphany, the Flyers’ record has been a stellar 11-4-1. Against potential playoff teams, however, the Flyers are just 5-7-3. Outshot 10-2 some 13 minutes into the second period yesterday, this team has yet to display the ability to play 60 minutes of quality hockey against a quality team.

3 Shopping spree — With defenseman Ryan Parent scheduled for surgery on Jan. 25 to remove a herniated disc, the Flyers find themselves in need of at least one blue-liner. Oskars Bartulis (minus-13) and Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (2:50 of ice time after the first period) aren’t cutting it. Look for a deal with Calgary, perhaps to peddle Dion Phaneuf or Robyn Regehr. Minnesota and St. Louis are also potential suitors.

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