If the Flyers played every game on Long Island, they might be challenging the Tampa Bay Lightning for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Instead, with time running out on their playoff hopes, Philadelphia still holds an outside chance of sneaking into the postseason.
The Flyers are coming off another dominant showing in New York against the Islanders, taking down the Metropolitan Division’s second-best team, 5-2. It was the second straight clinic put on by the team at Nassau Coliseum in as many weeks after they beat the Islanders, 4-1, on March 3.
It was an impressive response after being beaten down by the defending Stanley Cup champions and current division leaders the Washington Capitals, 5-3, on Wednesday. They’ve now won five of their last seven games to remain in the chase, an unlikely scenario considering the dreadful start to the season that saw GM Ron Hextall and head coach Dave Hakstol fired.
Captain Claude Giroux continues to lead the way as he’s in the midst of a seven-game point streak in which he’s posted three goals and nine assists (12 points) during that stretch.
Entering tonight’s slate of games, the Flyers remain just five points out of the final Eastern Conference Wild Card spot with 14 games left to play.
Monday night provides a winnable game at home against the NHL-worst Ottawa Senators. The Flyers will be rooting for the Islanders on the very same night as they host the Columbus Blue Jackets, who hold that coveted final playoff spot in the East.
But Philadelphia’s schedule becomes far more brutal in the coming days, which made their performance against the Islanders — and tonight’s game against Ottawa — so important.
On Thursday, the Flyers host the Capitals before flying up to Toronto to face the high-powered Maple Leafs just one night later. After hosting the in-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins on Sunday, the one team that separates the Flyers from the Blue Jackets in the Montreal Canadiens are next.
To put it simply, it’s make-or-break time for the Flyers, who could see their season end quickly should things go south this week.