Flyers entering a tough weekend of must-win games

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As I said before, the way you make up ground in the playoff race is you play against your conference. Well, with the Flyers playing almost all their games against the Western Conference to start the season, they have to do plenty of that over the final 25 games.

Especially, against their own division, the Metro.

The Flyers currently sit in 3rd of the Metro Division and in a playoff spot. Which means, any team other than Pittsburgh or Washington, are below them and are fighting for their playoff life.

Which, if you saw last nights game, it clearly showed. The Devils had tremendous fight in them to battle back from a 3-1 deficit and a late 4-3 deficit to earn a point. Eventually, 2 points in the shootout win.

With the Flyers giving up the tying goal last night and the Devils getting 2 points, it was a huge swing in the playoff standings.

Here is a comparison of the standings going into last night and what they are and could have been.

Feb 13th Feb 14th
M1 Washington 70 M1 Washington 71
M2 Pittsburgh 66 M2 Pittsburgh 68
M3 Philadelphia 65 M3 Philadelphia 66
WC1 New Jersey 62 WC1 New Jersey 64
WC2 Carolina 61 WC2 Carolina 63
Columbus 60 Columbus 62
Islanders 60 Islanders 60
If Flyers Won in Regulation If Flyers Won in OT / SO
M1 Washington 71 M1 Washington 71
M2 Pittsburgh 68 M2 Pittsburgh 68
M3 Philadelphia 67 M3 Philadelphia 67
WC1 Carolina 63 WC1 New Jersey 63
WC2 New Jersey 62 WC2 Carolina 63
Columbus 62 Columbus 62
Islanders 60 Islanders 60

As you can see, the Flyers blowing a late lead really costed them some cushioning on their playoff hopes. However, with the loss and letting the Devils get 2 points, the next 4-games for the Flyers are extremely important for their playoff hopes.

Why?

Well, the Flyers next 4-games are against Columbus Away, Rangers Away, Canadiens Home, and Columbus Home.

If you look at recent history, the Flyers have struggled in the buildings of their next two opponents, Columbus and the Rangers.

In Columbus, the Flyers have not won in their last 11 games. The Flyers are 0-5-6 in their last 11 games in Columbus. You have to go all the way back to Dec. 13 2005, for their last victory in Columbus.

In New York, the Flyers are 2-13-0 in their last 15 games at Madisen Square Garden.

Which is why last night’s game was so important. If the Flyers would have won, they would have had a 4 point lead on the next team below them. And, a 5 point lead on the last team out of the playoffs. Giving them, essentially, the ability to lose the next to games and not lose any ground. Expect to tighten up the race.

However, that is not the case now. The Flyers now only hold a 2 point lead on the next team below them.  And, a 4 point lead on the last team out of the playoffs. But, the last team out of the playoffs is the team they play Friday night in a building they haven’t won in since 2005.

If Columbus beats the Flyers in regulation on Friday, that could be a huge 4 point swing in the standings. Even with the Flyers ahead of them, it would tighten up the standings even more. Especially with the Flyers going into Madisen Square Garden on Sunday to face the Rangers. Another building where the Flyers struggle to win in.

However, if the Flyers break the streak and win, they will almost secure themselves a spot in the playoffs. With a win, the Flyers could open up a 6 point gap on the last team out of the playoffs. This would possibly create a gap that might be too tall to climb.

In any case, the Flyers need to get a point or two out of these next two road games, in Columbus & New York. If they don’t it sets up a big 2-game home-stand against the Canadiens and the Blue Jackets.

Its amazing how quickly a 5-point can turn on you when you have to play so many games against the teams below you in the standings.

I told you it was either a blessing or a curse.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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