From top seed in the Eastern Conference to a drop near the cellar, the Philadelphia Flyers’ disappointing 2021 season comes to an end on Monday night when they host the New Jersey Devils.
Coming off the heels of a frustrating 2-1 overtime loss to the Washington Capitals in which they conceded a lead with 40 seconds left in regulation, the Flyers have now lost five of their last seven games while missing out on their first opportunity to win two straight games since March.
It’s relegated them to a sixth-place finish in the Eastern Division, considered by many to be the toughest division in the NHL ahead of only the lowly Devils and the NHL-worst Buffalo Sabres.
Such a limp to the finish line further suggests that their first-place finish last season achieved in the round-robin tournament when the NHL returned from its COVID hiatus was more of a flash in the pan, considering the Flyers entered last season as a rebuilding club under head coach Alain Vigneault.
It shifts pressure back to the bench boss and general manager Chuck Fletcher to rectify what went wrong, re-developing the Flyers back to a perennial playoff contender.
For the players, it’s all about ending the 2021 season on a high note.
“Got to be a professional, come to the rink and be ready on Monday and have a good game at home in front of our fans,” forward Scott Laughton said. “Finish the right way and be a pro for your teammates.”