After being eliminated Saturday afternoon by the Carolina Hurricanes, it would be easy to throw in the towel and wave the white flag. Playoff hockey will once again not be making an appearance in the city of Philadelphia. For the Flyers though, things are different. Wins are still meaningful and finishing the season strong is something the Orange and Black want to do.
The weekend matchups didn’t bode well for the Flyers. The Orange and Black were defeated by two Metro foes in the Carolina Hurricanes and New York Rangers and were outscored 8-2 in the two games. They now have three games remaining in the regular season, and you know they’ll want to prove they haven’t given up completely.
For a guy like Shayne Gostisbehere, these games still mean alot. Gostisbehere, who is in his fifth season in the NHL, has had a rough go this year. Defensively, Gostisbehere has been less than ideal turning pucks over left and right and having trouble staying with his man. Same goes when it comes to offense. Last year, he finished with a total of 65 points (13 goals, 52 assists) and was a force to be reckoned with on the powerplay. This year, through 75 games played, the Florida native has put up only 36 points (8 goals, 28 assists) and has had little success on the powerplay. These last three games, Ghost will surely be wanting to show Flyers fans that this season was just a fluke.
“You don’t want to just go out there and do nothing. You’re still going to play the same way, try and win games and have fun doing it”, said Ghost following practice this past Friday. “It’s just going to be a little different of a mindset, little different things on the line; but I think for us the most important thing is still winning”.
For a guy like Samuel Morin, a little more is at stake. The 6’6 defenseman hadn’t played a single game with the big club up until last week due to the fact that he was recovering from a ACL tear that he suffered back in May of last year during a playoff game with the Phantoms. His roll with the Flyers is still unclear, and you can bet Morin will want to make some kind of impact these last three games.
“These are big games” said Morin. “I have a chance to play now and I need to show I can play”.
Morin, who didn’t play in Sunday’s game versus the Rangers, is expected to be in the lineup for all three of the Flyers remaining games.
Guys look at this situation differently. For both Gostisbehere and Morin, it’s about showing what they got. For Sean Couturier, it’s a little bit different.
Coots has had another spectacular season proving to Flyers fans that the 2017-2018 season was no fluke. Offensively, Coots has been nothing short of dominant racking up 72 points (32 goals, 44 assists) in 77 games played. Not to mention he averages 22:06 of ice time per game, which is 2nd on the Flyers behind just defenseman Ivan Provorov (25:09).
Defensively, the Phoenix native has been solid. Not only is Couturier asked to kill penalties, but he’s also asked to go up against the opposing team’s top line time and time again. That can be tiring, especially for a guy who is asked to do so much. For Coots though, it’s just another day at the office. So for a guy like him, these last three games are about carrying momentum into next year.
“If we want to build a winning culture, whether it’s this year or down the road next year, I think it starts now”, said Couturier.”Just sticking together and trying to improve as a team. Like I said, finish the year strong”.
It all comes down to this, Flyers fans. The team as a whole is not ready to hang there skates up just yet. Despite being eliminated from playoff contention, they will want to prove that they’re still a force to be reckoned with. If that’s not passion, then I don’t know what is.
Next Up For The Flyers:
The Flyers are back in action tonight as they take on Tyler Seguin and the Stars in Dallas. In the only other meeting between these two teams this season, the Flyers came away victorious defeating the Stars by a final score of 2-1. Travis Konecny and James van Riemsdyk scored for the Flyers while Carter Hart stopped 37 of 38 shots fired his way. Jamie Benn scored the only goal for the Stars. Puck Drop is set for
As always, Let’s Go Flyers!
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports