The Philadelphia Flyers capped off their week Saturday night losing to the Washington Capitals 2-1 in overtime. The Flyers finished the week 2-0-1 and now sit three points behind the New York Islanders who hold the final Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers needed points and taking five out of six was a good start.
The Flyers won two of three by defeating Colorado on Tuesday and beating Florida in a shootout on Thursday. Steve Mason started all three games and played exceptionally well. He stopped 94 of 97 shots he faced and was the Flyers best player in all three games. Captain Claude Giroux recorded his first multiple point game since January 14 against Boston with two assists against the Avalanche.
The Flyers are still having trouble scoring They did score four against the Avs on Tuesday, but that is also against the team that allows the most goals in the league. It took a shootout to beat the Panthers 2-1 on Thursday and only scored once against the Capitals on Saturday night. The Flyers top line was virtually invisible against the Panthers and Capitals. They need their best players to be their best players each night. Giroux and Wayne Simmonds need to lead the way if they want to sneak into the playoffs for a second straight year.
The trade deadline came and went. General Manager Ron Hextall had a chance to make some noise and make room for their young players by unloading players on expiring contracts. He was only able to move defenseman Mark Streit to Tampa who then went on to trade Streit to the rival Pittsburgh Penguins. He also resigned goalies Michal Neuvirth and forward Pierre Edouard Bellemare to two year extensions. The Bellemare signing can be justified to some extent. Neuvirth’s signing is a head scratcher. Statistically speaking, he has been one of the worst goalies in the league this season..and numbers don’t lie. His goals against is .887 on the season. That’s well below average.
The Flyers need wins. They begin a critical week against Buffalo on Tuesday before taking on Toronto on Thursday. Newest Flyer Valtteri Filppula has fit in nicely as the second line center behind Giroux even scoring in his first game. Hopefully this takes some of the pressure off of the captain. Each point is vital. Just getting points is not going to help. They need wins with only 18 more games to go in the season.
Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports