Flyers Playoff Hopes in Peril after Losing Two Straight Must-Win Games

(Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

After coming out unscathed from a grueling seven-game stretch, where they faced off against some of the top teams in the league, it seemed as though they would get a bit of a reprieve as the vast majority of their remaining games were to be against some of the leagues bottom-dwelling teams who had no hope of making the playoffs.

But much to the Flyers’ dismay, the team, for some reason, has been unable to come to the rink these past two games with the same tenacious attitude that allowed them to battle back in games against teams that, on paper, they had no business being on the same ice with. Instead, Philadelphia has been playing down to their opponent, underestimating them to the point that by the time they get down by two or three goals, they have looked as though they would be happy just to concede defeat and forgo even coming out for the third period.

Because of their lackadaisical approach to the last few games, the Flyers now find themselves removed from the comfort of their third-place standing in the Metropolitan Division by the likes of the Washington Capitals (who have two more games in hand) and are now being forced to fight for a Wildcard position.

Now, we all know that this kind of effort is not at all what their head coach, John Tortorella, comes to expect from his team, and changes will indeed be on the way. One area where you can expect to see those changes will be in net. Especially after Sam Ersson gave up five goals to the Blackhawks who have long been since eliminated from any hope of playoff contention. And are points-wise considered the second-worst team in the league, with only 49 points tallied on the season.

Not all is bad, though, as Flyers fans will now surely get the chance to see the long-awaited Ivan Fedotov in net. After seeing his KHL team booted from the playoffs, Fedotov quickly saw his contract terminated so that he could join the Flyers, who he should have been playing with all season if you go by IIHF rulings. But if you don’t know that story, I’m sure you will hear it told time and time again in future game broadcasts. The Flyers selected Ivan in the seventh round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft, and at 27, he finally seems destined to get his first opportunity to start a game in the NHL tomorrow night against the New York Islanders.

But this is no ordinary rookie; this 6’7 goaltender has been playing professional hockey in Russia for parts of seven seasons! He even won the league championship (the Gagarin Cup) back in 21-22, along with awards for being viewed as the League’s Best Goalie.

So, with any hope, Ivan will be able to light a fire under the 19,537 Flyers faithful that will be attending the Wells Fargo Center for the game tomorrow night to the point that they “will” this team to victory.

Lance Green

I’m a lifelong Flyers fan who has been playing the sport of Ice Hockey we all know and love competitively for over 30 years now. I grew up playing in-between the pipes where I was able to take in the whole game and analysis just what the team needed to do to help us win. Over the years I always enjoyed reading and gaining as much knowledge as possible about this great sport, but always thought it lacked something. A players prospective!