The Philadelphia Flyers find themselves 5 points out of a playoff spot with a difficult schedule ahead of them. Although other teams in front of the Flyers may have a game or two in hand, playoffs hopes are not completely out of the window just yet.
It may be a long shot, but the Flyers are still chipping away and battling for a potential wildcard position.
With all of the drama this season, it is perplexing to think that this current team still has a shot at the postseason. With a difficult schedule against divisional opponents, it will not be an easy task. However, the Flyers are still clawing away and competing for a playoff spot.
With teams having an edge in games played, the Flyers will have to play their best hockey of the season, along with hoping that other teams begin to falter and miss out on some points.
Are playoffs probably going to happen for the Philadelphia Flyers? Probably not, however, they are not mathematically eliminated and still in the race.
A narrative that seems to be going around is that this season is wasted if the Flyers do not make the playoffs…That could not be further from the truth.
After Ron Hextall and Dave Hakstol were fired, it seemed as if this season was going to be a lost cause for the Flyers. Especially with injuries to James Van Riemsdyk, and sub-par play from Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere. Add the ever revolving door of goaltenders and it seemed as if this season was an easy chalk-up.
As the season progressed, the Flyers were quickly gaining momentum, in part of Carter Hart giving this roster a much needed boost. Carter Hart was playing great in net, and his presence also allowed players to find their game as well.
Since the Hakstol firing the special teams improved, goaltending was stealing games, the penalty kill was finally doing its job, and the players were playing with a confidence that was not seen for quite some time.
Since the season started off so poorly, it was critical for the younger players to prove their worth and find their competitive edge. Players like Nolan Patrick, Travis Konency, Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Shayne Gostisbehere started picking up their play and helping this team win games.
There is no doubt that Carter Hart was a huge factor as to why this team started banding together and playing more confidently. Good teams play with confidence, and that confidence trickles down from the strong goaltending to the rest of the line up.
Players like Sean Couturier and Oskar Lindblom are other major reasons why this team is still competing for a playoff spot. Couturier has been phenomenal, and has played less time with Giroux than previous seasons.
Travis Sanheim is blossoming into a great defensemen, and Phil Myers has been producing ever since being called up.
It is also important to understand how this team has come together even in light of the Flyers losing one of their most beloved leaders, Wayne Simmonds.
Ryan Hartman has quickly filled a role in the depths of the Flyers lineup. His aggression and grit has helped the bottom half of the lineup progress quickly.
Do not let anyone tell you that this season is a waste. This season is exactly what the Flyers needed for their youth. The determination to overcome that hardship has this team banding together and playing for one another, along with their head coach.
The young players are excelling, and this will help with not having to waste time early on next season trying to figure out what the young guys are. This is what fans have wanted to see for years.
Young players going through growing pains, making mistakes, learning from those mistakes, and then finding ways to overcome them. This process has helped better the young core as the season comes down to its final stretch.
Not only is the young players progressing benefitting themselves and the franchise, but it is also benefitting Chuck Fletcher. All indications point to Chuck being a buyer this summer. Whether that is a third line center or top six winger, things could get very interesting. However it is important for Chuck Fletcher to understand what he has, what he wants to keep, and who he thinks he should move in order to make this roster a contender in the next couple of seasons.
Featured Image: Heather Barry Images™