Are the Flyers really that far out of it? The short answer to that question is yes.
Could they make the playoffs? Sure.
51 games into the season, and the Flyers have 51 points and are still 9 points out of the 2nd wild card spot in the Eastern Conference. That
says a lot considering The Flyers are in the midst of a four game winning streak and have looked better in every aspect of their game.
What is the lesson we can take from this recent winning streak? It’s not impossible for this team to come back and make the playoffs, but it is going to be an extremely tall task.
The Flyers would definitely have to win at least 20 of their last 31 games to have a shot at the post-season. That would put them at a minimum of 91 points. 91 points would not have earned a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference last season. So now that puts into perspective just how tough it will be for this team to find a playoff spot.
The bright spots?
The Flyers at this point in their season last year, sat at 56 points. Not a huge difference from where they are now, they also clinched a few games early. They played some of their best hockey through February and March, and that earned them a spot in the playoffs.
The other thing the Flyers have going for them (or against them depending on how you view it) is inter-conference games.
The Flyers still have two games left against the Capitals. That’s absolutely huge. If the Flyers manage to take those two games that could bring them to within 5 points (using the current standings) of a wild-card spot. It could also drop them to 13 points back.
The other thing you may be missing? They have a relatively easy schedule compared to what they have played through all season. Twelve of their last thirty-one games are against teams who sit below them in the standings and two are against Pittsburgh, who they have dominated as of late. Win ten of those fifteen games and the Flyers are already halfway to the mark that should put them close to a playoff spot.
If the Flyers keep playing as they have been of late, they have just as good of a shot to make the playoffs as anyone else. That is
never something that I thought I would be writing after the abysmal first half of the season, and never something I thought I would be writing as the team still sits 9 points out of a playoff spot.
With a captain like Claude Giroux leading the Flyers, and a goalie playing the way Steve Mason has all season, the Flyers could make the playoffs. Keep in mind, this is largely the same team that made the playoffs last season and came within one game of ousting the Eastern Conference Champion, New York Rangers.
Could the Flyers make the playoffs? Yes they could. 20 wins. That’s the magic number.
Matt is a contributor for the Philadelphia Flyers at The Hockey Writers. He has previously covered the Flyers for GrandstandU. He enjoys playing hockey and making music in his spare time.