I must ask, for a die-hard Philadelphia Flyers fan, is there a better feeling in the world than when our beloved Flyers are playing great and winning games?
I personally don’t think there is.
The air seems fresher, my food tastes better, it suddenly takes a lot more than usual to get me upset, and I also think that my hair stops falling out during that period of time.
Yup, you read that last part correctly; I may have accidentally found the cure to male pattern baldness for all Flyers fans: Watch the Flyers win, baby!
All joking aside, the Flyers are on a nice ride right now. Of course, it helps when you’re coming off back-to-back weekend games against the lowly Buffalo Sabres. Both Flyers goaltenders Brian Elliott and Carter Hart each earned a shutout in a 24-hour span against those Sabres. As a matter of fact, this Flyers team has not surrendered a single goal in the last 136:33 of play. But what was even more impressive is that the horrific Flyers penalty kill didn’t allow a single power-play goal versus the league’s number 1 powerplay.
As a result, the Flyers penalty kill went from 31st in the league to 27th after those 2 games. Undoubtedly a far cry from where it should be, but still, it’s a step in the right direction.
Perhaps that back-to-back success on the penalty kill is what gets them back on track in that department. On another note, after being outshot in 13 of their first 15 games, in the last 3 games, the Flyers have outshot their opposition 116 to78. Another step in the right direction.
The Flyers have only played 18 games this season, partly because the team went 10 days without playing a single game due to Covid protocol. Yet they sit with 25 points, good for 4th in the NHL’s East Division with games in hand on all 3 of the teams ahead of them. They could quite easily sit in 1stplace as they trail the division-leading Washington Capitals by 3 points while having played 3 fewer games. There are a few underlining stories in those numbers. The Flyers have a record of 11-1-1 against teams not named the Boston Bruins (and 0-3-2 against the Bruins).
When Sean Couturier returned from play after missing 10 games due to an injury, the Flyers are 6-1 with him in the lineup.
That there tells you how important he is to the team. He only played 1 of those games against the Bruins, and it was the outdoor game in Lake Tahoe where the team was missing 7 regulars in the lineup due to Covid protocols. With Travis Konecny being removed from the NHL’s Covid list as of Monday the 1st of March, the Flyers have a fully healthy roster for the first time this season. And the timing couldn’t be better.
The Flyers are headed into the toughest part of their schedule and need to be healthy and play their best hockey. Starting Tuesday, March 2nd, they play 3 straight games against their cross-state rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. The Penguins are currently in 5th place in the division, 2 points behind the Flyers, but have played 2 more games. The Flyers have a real chance here to bury their rivals for good.
After that, they play 3 out of the following 4 games against the Washington Capitals, followed by 3 of the following 5 games against the New York Islanders. Those 12 crucial games take place in a 20-day period ending March 22nd.
The Flyers need to perform well and come out of that 12-game set with at least 18 of a possible 24 points, MINIMUM.
The time is now for the Flyers to prove they are one of the upper echelon teams and are ready to compete for a Stanley Cup.
Featured Image: NBCSports.com