Flyers Showing Poise With Playoffs Approaching
The Philadelphia Flyers continued their push towards the playoffs with a huge win over the defending champs, Chicago Blackhawks, on Wednesday. The important victory came after a win Tuesday night over the Detroit Red Wings, the very same team they are chasing for the second wild card spot in the Eastern Conference playoff standings.
After Wednesday’s action, the Flyers now hold the second wild card spot with 80 points. That puts the Flyers one point ahead of the Red Wings and two points behind the Pittsburgh Penguins, whom they face Saturday at 1 PM at the Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers hold the key to their playoff hopes as they control their own destiny. The main issue with trying to make up points on divisional and conference opponents this late in the year is that most games are within the conference so they need to worry about one or both teams gaining points. They have the advantage of playing the Red Wings once more and the Penguins three times before the regular season ends, twice of which are within the safe confines of the Wells Fargo Center.
Flyers Continue Impressive Run
The Flyers are arguably the hottest team in the league, hitting their stride at just the right time with a record of 8-1-1 over their last 10 games. They really took control in their game against Detroit last night, in a game both teams knew the importance of. It seems head coach Dave Hakstol’s system is starting to click with this team, which has led to lower shots against and a much more impressive all around effort from the team. After many slow starts earlier in the year, which led to a lot of their defeats, the Flyers are happy to finally be able to finish a game correctly. It’s no coincidence they are 23-1-2 when leading after two periods. Any team would love to end the first period with a 2-0 goal advantage and, more impressively, a 23-3 shot advantage.
With long term injuries to Niklas Kronwall of Detroit and Evgeni Malkin of Pittsburgh, not to mention Jakub Voracek is set to return for the Flyers, they seem healthy enough to finish this push to the playoffs. With momentum and health on their side, along with games in hand, the Flyers seem poised to make the playoffs. The Penguins are in a good position and with Sidney Crosby returning to his scorching form, the Red Wings have a tough road to traverse in order to make the playoffs in spite of their slim advantage over the Flyers at the moment. If momentum means anything, I would expect both teams from Pennsylvania to make the playoffs this season and end the record setting 24 year playoff streak of the Red Wings.