Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Race to the finish line: Philadelphia Flyers

The Philadelphia Flyers are bulldozing their way through the remainder of their season, kicking butt and taking names as they’ve toped two hot teams in the past few days. Beating their cross state rivals twice in home-and-home games over the weekend, the Pittsburgh Penguins, who lead the Metropolitan Division. Also last night, clinching the W over the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks. With only 4 weeks left in the season are the orange and black going to ride this winning streak right into the playoffs?

The Flyers tend to plateau right when things are going well. Whether from nerves or over confidence the Flyers are bound to have a disjointed game in the coming weeks as they face off against some though competition. There is no one formula to use against every team but if they can keep their opponents at an arm’s length like they did last night, it’s going to be challenging to get scored on. A lot of credit goes to Laperriere who has crafted a solid penalty kill team. For a team like the Flyers who at times take questionable penalties, a strong pk unit is going to benefit them in the long run.

If the Flyers are looking for a strong push into the playoffs they are going to have to perform a lot like they have been in the last three games. Last night Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews said,” They did all the little things they needed to do to win the game. If you ask me, they deserve to win it – and we didn’t.”

With the Metropolitan division’s ever fluid standings, the Flyers have been able to hold onto 2nd place but they have the Rangers, Blue Jackets, Capitals and Devils nipping at their heels. With one misstep Claude Giroux and company could be watching another post season from their couches. 

The Flyers have not been able separate themselves from the pack this season which makes every point important.  Every day is a new challenge and every game is a big game. The Flyers are going to have to continue consistently doing all the little things that add up to the BIG wins if they want to continue on this up swing. As for the next 4 weeks, I do not think that the Flyers are going to give us a perfect finish but I think they will land in 3rd seed in the Metropolitan division, which is just good enough to head to the post season.  There is always that chance they totally fall to the bottom of the pack since this division is so close. There is no time to lose or take their foot off the gas as they race to the finish line.