Sure, we can all say it. The Flyers are still making a push for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. It’s exciting, the prospect of making it to the playoffs, because anything can happen when the series’ start.
However, let’s not get too excited.
The teams that will likely represent the Eastern Conference are playing pretty well, and especially against the Flyers. You have Tampa Bay, Boston, and Toronto likely representing the Atlantic Division, and Washington, the New York Islanders, and Pittsburgh likely representing the Metropolitan Divison.
The Wildcard is anybody’s guess at this point, but looks to be down to Carolina, Montreal, Columbus, and our very own Philadelphia Flyers.
Against the Washington Capitals, the Flyers have been abysmal. This year, they lost all three games against their foe to the south, giving up 5 goals in each game. With one game remaining on the schedule between the 2 teams, all signs point to another L hanging on the schedule for the orange and black.
The New York Islanders present a unique case. The Flyers were clearly outplayed in their first contest against each other, losing 6-1. Their last two games, the Flyers got the best of the Isles, winning 4-1 and 5-2. There’s one more game between the 2, so anything can happen when you think of it, especially considering the circumstances surrounding Jake Voracek and Johnny Boychuk.
Cross-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins, have been not-so dangerous as they have been in years past. The Flyers hold a 2-1 record against the flightless birds and have one game remaining against each other this weekend.
Looking at the Atlantic, it’s very similar to the Metro when discussing the opponents, and the Flyers’ success against those teams.
The Tampa Bay Lightning have put a hurting on the Flyers this year, winning all 3 contests. The Flyers have played them close, taking them to overtime twice, but recently fell 5-2 against the league leader in points. A playoff series between these two opponents could be a death wish.
The Boston Bruins, much like the Isles, won their first tilt against the Flyers this season, but lost their next two. While a much younger, and seemingly hungrier team than the Flyers, the B’s could prove to be a pesky out come playoff time, another team that the Flyers may want to avoid.
Then comes the Toronto Maple Leafs. The only game between the two teams saw Toronto blank the Flyers 6-0. There are 2 more games remaining to be played between the Flyers and Leafs, and if the Flyers hope to make a push into the playoffs, taking both of those games may prove crucial.
Between the Carolina Hurricanes, Montreal Canadiens, and the Columbus Blue Jackets, all of whom are sitting above the Flyers in the wild card standings, the Flyers are a combined 1-7 against them, with 3 games left, one against the Habs, and 2 more against the bunch of jerks in Carolina.
If history tells us anything, or at least the Flyers success against Eastern Conference foe thus far this season, it’s that the Flyers may not have much of a shot at making a deep run. Tampa Bay seems to be their kryptonite, while Washington, Toronto, Montreal, Columbus, and Carolina all hold winning records against the orange and black.
Every team sitting ahead of the Flyers right now pose a unique threat to the fly guys. That threat may be too much to overcome for the Flyers. While mathematically still in the playoff race, they seem to be hanging by a thread. A thread held by these other teams.
Mandatory Credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports