Finally, with a win over Columbus on Thursday night, the Flyers have gone above .500% on the season bringing their record to 16-15-4. All season we have been tortured an teased by a team that, when under .500 has played well enough to dominate games and reach the .500 mark only to completely forget how to play hockey when on the verge of going above the halfway goal.
It seems that Santa Claus took pity on us and decided to give Philly some Christmas gifts early. Tuesday night in Philly, the Flyers kept a home winning streak going to 7 games with a 5-2 win over the Capitals, evening out a home-and-home series and also putting the Flyers at .500 with a record of 15-15-4. The game was tied in the second period until Capitals Tom Wilson charged and boarded Brayden Schenn resulting in a 5 minute power play for the Flyers.
After the hit, Schenn told the Flyers medical staff that he felt fine and they decided based on his word that no concussion testing was necessary. On the resulting 5 minute power play Mark Streit and Jakub Voracek both scored to put the Flyers up 4-2. Later in the third, Wayne Simmonds scored to give the Flyers a 3 goal lead, but unlike their previous game in Washington, The Flyers were able to hold onto this lead for a win. Schenn appeared to be fine in Thursday’s game against Columbus which is another gift.
Which brings us to the Flyers second home-and-home series with the Columbus Blue Jackets. The first game was back at the WFC which was a blessing for the Flyers who seem incapable of losing at home recently as they looked to extend their home winning streak to 8 games. The game went south early on when Columbus’ Cam Atkinson scored a short handed goal on an odd man rush. That’s a 2 on 1, during a goddamn Flyers power play. Not their best moment, but it was dealable, that is until Columbus tallied two more times in the second period to give the Flyers a 3 goal deficit going into the third. It would be a hard mountain to climb and nothing about this season has suggested that the Flyers could pull off a 3 goal upset, in fact in the second period after Columbus’ second goal, the team became noticeably discouraged and their play just looked deflated.
Something changed in that locker room and the Flyers were filled with a holiday fire that we can only assume feels somewhat like whisky. Four minutes into the third period Jake Voracek put the Flyers on the board and shortly after Braydon Coburn scored to cut the lead to one. Columbus came back to put their lead to 2 again, but Erik Gustaffson put it right back. Then we the fans got one of the best gifts of all in a pair of goals by Claude Giroux to put the Flyers up 5-4. The game winning goal came off a no look back handed shot from the side of the net.
Thursday’s win brought the Flyers home streak to 8 games and finally put the Flyers season above .500%. But wait there’s more! That’s right with this win the Flyers have squeezed into 3rd place in the Metropolitan Division which means a playoff spot. While it’s not locked up right now, it does show how much improvement there has been from the cringe inducing start to this season. The come back loss is sure to have lit a fire under Columbus for Saturday’s game and the back end of this home-and-home series.
If that wasn’t enough holiday fun for you, Vinny Lecavalier has said that he could be returning in time for the Flyers 6 game road trip beginning on the 28th.
- Recap: Flyers 5, Blue Jackets 4 (wyff4.com)
- Jakub Voracek leads Flyers over Capitals, 5-2 (wfmz.com)