Philadelphia Flyers are in a Must Win Situation


The Philadelphia Flyers return to action tomorrow after a week’s layoff to take on the New Jersey Devils at home.

After a week of rest and relaxation, our boys in Orange and Black need to bounce back in a big way against a Metropolitan rival. Despite Sunday’s embarrassing loss to the Capitals, the Philadelphia Flyers entered their bye week clinging on to the eighth and final wildcard spot. As of this morning, they are out of the wildcard but tied with the Toronto Maple Leafs at 50 points. The wildcard race is a cluster, many teams are within three or four points of a playoff berth. For example, a regulation loss to the Devils tomorrow night gives the Devils their 49thpoint, one point behind our Flyers. Needless to say, this game is critical for the Flyers.

Our Philadelphia Flyers have been subpar, to say the least since their ten game win streak ended last month. In their past five games, they are 1-3-1, their lone win came by way of a shootout against the Vancouver Canucks. The three regulation losses were ugly: 0-5 against the Washington Capitals, 3-6 against the Boston Bruins, and 1-4 against the Buffalo Sabres.

On the flipside, the New Jersey Devils are pretty hot in their past five games, boasting a 3-1-1 record. Their three wins came consecutively, with victories over the Minnesota Wild, Calgary Flames, and an overtime winner over the Vancouver Canucks. The Flyers need to find a way to cool of the Devils come tomorrow night.

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The Flyers need to improve their defense overall. The game on Sunday against the Capitals was entirely too sloppy. If the Flyers want to be a true playoff team they need to step up on defense. The defense will be better tomorrow night, they are coming off a week where they players could relax and get their minds off hockey. Our team needed this, they appeared to be both physically and mentally exhausted. Expect our high-energy guys like Shayne Gostisbehere, Radko Gudas, and Ivan Provorov to be fresh and ready as ever.

Similar to the defense, the offense was just as exhausted. Expect our offense to be rejuvenated and expect a lot of scoring chances from the veterans, Wayne Simmonds, Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, and Brayden Schenn. Even expect to see some offense from the two-way guys like Sean Couturier, Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, and Chris VandeVelde. With a week’s time away from hockey expect to see a good product come Saturday night.

Finally, the goaltenders have the most to gain from the time off. It’s no secret that Steve Mason was underperforming after playing lights out during the win streak. With a week off expect the best from both Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth moving forward.

Next: It’s Time to Give Steve Mason a Break

The Philadelphia Flyers find themselves in a must-win game this Saturday night against the New Jersey Devils. It is getting to be a critical part of the season and the Bullies can’t afford to keep losing games at the rate they were before the bye. It is imperative that the Flyers grab a firm hold on that wildcard spot and there is no better time to start than tomorrow night. Once the Flyers get in a groove they are a scary hockey team, the problem is finding said groove.

After a week away from the stress and grind of hockey there is no excuse for the Flyers to come out flat. I expect a high energy game once the puck drops at seven o’clock.