Steve Mason didn’t parse his words — he was humiliated.
The Flyers, less than a week ago, were on the cusp of playoff contention, just seconds away from beating the Bruins in regulation and sitting just two points behind them in the playoff race.
But sometimes, you are what your record says you are. And they Flyers’ slow start, inconsistent defense and lack of secondary scoring support cost the team three straight losses at the worst possible time.
They now sit nine points behind the Bruins after a 2-1 loss to the Stars Tuesday.
“I’m embarrassed,” Mason said after the winnable game slipped away Tuesday. But perhaps he was talking about their weekend too.”I hope everybody else is embarrassed because we have an effort like that at home in situations where we have to come up big, and we come up empty. We have to be a lot better.”
Mason and the Flyers also faltered against the lowly Devils Sunday, as the Bruins, with two games in hand, took care of business on the days the Flyers lost, expanding their lead and putting the Flyers on the verge of elimination from contention.
“I think after a tough weekend with a lot of emotions, it still could’ve gone either way tonight,” Vincent Lecavalier said, referring both to the Stars loss and the devastating weekend.
The Flyers have played some of their best hockey against the best teams in the league, like the St. Louis Blues and the Calgary Flames. But they can’t keep their level of play up to defeat some of the NHL’s bottom feeders like the Devils, or the Sabres.
“We’ve had the inconsistency all year,” Mason said. “We have to improve in all areas. Right where we’re at right now, we’re not cutting it. We’re not in the playoff picture, and we’ve got to be a lot better.”
With very little left to play for, the Flyers no longer need to watch the scoreboard. Baring some catastrophic breakdown over the last month of the season, the Bruins will probably easily make the postseason.
“You can’t look at the standings,” Ryan White said. “It’s in here. It’s the way we play. We play well those two games last week like you said, and we’ve just got to be better in here. We weren’t good enough the last two games to win and obviously we didn’t win.”