The Flyers and the Rough Road Ahead

Photo Credit: Len Redkoles Getty Images

Last night we Flyers fans were made to swallow a harsh dose of reality when the orange and black were dealt a crushing 6-2 loss by way of the Atlantic Division’s third place team the Toronto Maple Leaf’s.

But sadly, this may be just the start of what’s to come. Over the course of the next two weeks Philadelphia will have to try and endure the wrath of the Atlantic Division’s second place team the Boston Bruins on Saturday (who currently have accumulated 93 points on the year). Then they face the Maple Leaf’s again on the following Tuesday, the Metro Division’s 2nd place team the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday the 21st. The Bruins again on Saturday the 23rd. The NHL’s best overall team the Florida Panthers (who have compiled 94 points so far this season) on Sunday the 24th. Just to finish the carnage on Tuesday March 26th up in New York when the Flyers have to face off against the Metro’s 1st place team the New York Rangers.

So, if you think about it the Flyers could conceivably go from a playoff lock to a team fighting for a wild card spot in the matter of a couple weeks. Now if this statement is proved true it will likely be reaffirmed by the New York Islanders, who are currently only four points behind the Flyers in the standings and have now had time to get implemented to their new head coach Patrick Roy’s system. And as if the Islanders needed anymore help, New York in fact has two games in hand on Philly being that have they only played 65 games to the Flyers 67.

And since we’re being honest, I wouldn’t count out the New Jersey Devils just yet either. Because while they may be eight points back from the Flyers, they did seem to go out and solve their goaltending problem at the deadline when they acquired both Kaapo Kahkonen from the Sharks and Jake Allen from the Canadiens.

When we’re factoring in all what maybe stacking up against them in recent months, what certainly doesn’t help the Flyers in the short term is that defenseman Nick Seeler, Jamie Drysdale, and Rasmus Ristolainen all find themselves currently on the Injury List. Not to mention the team having their hands tied and forced to trade the impending free agent defenseman Sean Walker to the Avalanche for a coveted first round pick.

All of this of course complied with the fact that the team lost Carter Hart to legal troubles earlier this season and Philly’s newly appointed general manager Danny Briere failing to go out and secure his team a veteran netminder who could help this club down the stretch. And I think the Flyers as a whole have thrown both of their rookie goaltenders in Samuel Ersson, and Felix Sandstrom to the wolves. Where night after night they will be forced to have to face guys like Auston Matthews (who is on pace to score 70 goals this year), David Pastrnak (who is already at almost 100 points this season), and Sam Reinhart who is nearing the fifty-goal plateau for the Panthers.

Now, I don’t know about you, but I find it hard to believe that if these two young netminders are going to be getting lit up for 3 or 4 goals a night (like they did last night against the Leafs) then they surely won’t be able to hold up during the onslaught of what’s still to come over the next two weeks.

So, in my mind the team has two choices they can either rally around their promising young goalie tandem and give them the support they need. Or they can start to scout higher rated draft prospects because the likelihood of them reaching the playoffs if they continue to play like they did last night, will only result in disappointment.

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!