The Philadelphia Flyers are playing really good hockey lately. Head Coach Alain Vigneault finally has the Flyers playing at a level that is playoff-worthy. They currently sit in the eighth playoff position prior to tonight’s game where they host the seventh seed, Columbus Blue Jackets. That will bee followed up with an away game in Columbus on Thursday.
These are the types of games this team seems to be made for. At home, they have been dominant, but they have started to play better on the road. But finding consistency is the key to success. They have dominated the Washington Capitals, only to get shut out by the New Jersey Devils. This is something they must correct now if they hope to make a playoff run.
Flyers Keep Scoring Goals
Although sometimes it feels as though they aren’t going to put the puck in the net, The Flyers have been scoring this year. In fact, they never seem out of the game. Despite falling behind two playoff teams 3-0 in the first period this past week, the Flyers refused to quit, fighting to get back in each game. They are fun to watch.
Since the beginning of January, the Flyers have only been held to less than three goals in four out of 19 games. The ironic part is that two of those teams that held them to this will not make the playoffs. Also, they have played fifteen of these games against teams in playoff contention. The takeaway is that the Flyers are a good team that can certainly make some noise in the postseason.
JVR and Secondary Scoring
Over the past five games, James Van Riemsdyk has been on fire. He has four goals and four assists. He currently sits second on the team with 18 goals. JVR needs to maintain this level of play, which is continuing to drive the bottom six forwards. In fact, the line of JVR, Scott Laughton and Tyler Pitlick has been really good lately, accounting for three of the Flyers’ six goals against the Panthers in Florida.
Coots for Selke
Sean Couturier should be a lock for the Selke trophy. He leads the team in points with 52, but he is also the team leader in plus-minus at 19. That stat amazes me as Coots is usually sent out to shut down the lines consisting of NHL top scorers like Alex Ovechkin, Nathan MacKinnon, and others. Not only that, but he is also tasked with going out and being the center that gets the crucial goal that the Flyers desperately need. He usually rises to the task and has proven to be one of the NHL’s elite players.
On a non-Flyers related note, and purely for my amusement, here is a snippet of everyone’s least favorite face licker getting what he deserves.
Photo Credit: Alex Mcintyre