Flyers Remarkable Run to Playoffs Has Division Within Reach
When the Flyers returned to action on Nov. 27, the Monday after Thanksgiving, there was a determination to exercise the demons of the previous seven games, all losses.The Flyers took a 3-1 lead into the third period in Pittsburgh that night. That lead was gone within two minutes. They had a 4-3 lead late in regulation. That vanished. They lost the game in overtime for their eighth straight loss.
The next night, the Flyers hosted the San Jose Sharks and looked rather lifeless and indifferent, falling 3-1 for their ninth straight loss. There was a team meeting after the game. There were three days off before their next game, another lifeless loss to the Boston Bruins, 3-0. Ten in a row.
The Flyers were 8-11-7 with 23 points in the standings, dead last in the Metro, tied with Florida for the second lowest point total in the East and fourth lowest in the NHL. The word playoffs was met with laughter. It was a joke to think this team would be playing beyond April 7.
There have 37 games played for the Flyers since then. Out of a possible 74 points in the standings in that time, the Flyers have earned 55 with a 26-8-3 record. The playoffs are no longer a question. They are essentially a lock. And the Flyers remarkable run now has a division title within reach.
The Flyers remarkable turnaround began on Dec. 4 in Calgary, the first of six straight wins for the Flyers that had them slowly making up ground in the standings.
As good as the six straight wins felt for team morale and overall rise in the standings, the Flyers ended 2017 on a bit of a slump. Their winning streak ended on Dec. 18 against the Kings in a 4-1 loss. They won their next game against Detroit, then dropped three straight, one in a shootout.
But they ended the year on a high with a 5-3 win in Tampa against the NHL’s best team, and at the end of 2017, the Flyers had used a 8-3-1 run over 12 games to climb back to within five points of a playoff spot.
Kevin Durso is Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.