Flyers beat Panthers; Clinch Playoffs
Last night, the Philadelphia Flyers took on the Florida Panthers in game 79 of the regular season. After a shaky 1st period, the Flyers stormed out in the 2nd period and scored 4 unanswered goals, leading the way to a 5-2 victory and solidifying their spot in the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
After the teams 0-3-0 start, firing of the their then head coach, Peter Laviolette, hiring Craig Berube, and even then going 1-7-0. That is when the captain, Claude Giroux, made a bold statement. A statement that most of us, myself admittedly included, thought was a silly promise and will end up a broken one.
“We’re not far off at all. How many points are we out, six? To think of the start that we had and we’re that close. We never thought about not making the playoffs. We’ve got to go game by game and we will make the playoffs.” -Claude Giroux
Man,are most of us laughing at ourselves and really would apologize to Giroux for doubting his prediction.
The issue now for the Flyers becomes where will they land in the seeding. They still have a game in hand against the New York Rangers and are just 2 points behind them.
For the Flyers, a team that has struggled largely in Madison Square Garden, getting ahead of the Rangers in the Metro is their next step.
Comparing the remaining schedules for the Flyers and Rangers, it’s a difficult task for the Flyers. They will likely need to win out against Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, and Carolina.The Rangers have Buffalo and Montreal left on their docket. As of today, the Rangers own the tiebreaker over the Flyers with 40 ROW wins compared to the Flyers 38.
No matter how we break down the remaining schedule, the Rangers are the nearly guaranteed opponent for the Flyers. I don’t agree with a few fans I’ve overheard saying to lose out the rest of the season of snag a wild card and face the Penguins in the first round.
That is entirely too risky, you could easily end up playing the Boston Bruins instead of the Penguins, and that will end miserably for the Flyers.
The best case for the Flyers right now is to win out and take on the Rangers, preferably on home ice, but anything can happen in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Let the playoff beards flow my fellow hockey enthusiasts.