“Flyers on a 5 game winning streak.” It sounds good doesn’t it? Say it again, go ahead. Good right? Now add to that “Playoff threat.” Yeah, if you’re a fan there’s a good chance those phrases have been getting you a little hot and bothered lately. Philadelphia is on fire, the Flyers have taken down some of the NHL’s top teams including the absolute top St. Louis Blues, a feat that almost everyone had accepted wouldn’t be possible before Saturday’s game.
In the last stretch of the regular season, the Flyers were in the middle of a desperate playoff race in the Metropolitan division. Even now, after 5 straight wins, the Flyers are only one point above the New York Rangers. Every win is mandatory to stay in the playoff spot and the Flyers have not disappointed. In their last 10 games the Flyers have lost only twice (once in overtime to the Maple Leafs and once to the Devils). After the game against New Jersey the Flyers had an extremely difficult schedule to get through.
THE BATTLE OF PENNSYLVANIA:
A home and home against Metro leaders and state rivals the Pittsburgh Penguins. A series that people hoped we could manage one win.
In the first game the Flyers dominated the Penguins with a 4-0 shut out. The Penguins thought they would try to out hit the Flyers, try to beat us at our own game. They learned how bad of an idea that was as they failed miserably and were easily shut down. Pitt coach Dan Bylsma showed that either he was completely stupid or completely drunk when he stated that his team didn’t “Want to be a skill team.” When asked if they were a grinding team or a skills focused team. The Penguins,eager to live up to their coaches identity fell flat.
The next game in Pittsburgh this time gave the Flyers a little bit of difficulty, but they managed to top the Pens once again with a 4-3 win sweeping the home and home and continuing domination and ownership of the Consol Energy Center.
THE REINING CHAMPIONS:
The stakes become higher and the tests get harder. The Flyers set to face the defending Stanley Cup Champions, the Chicago Blackhawks.
The Flyers past with the Blackhawks made this game all the more important to fans. The team that took the Cup away from us a few years ago would have to go down. Of course the networks do their best to remind us of that horrible soul crushing loss to make us remember how badly we want to beat these ex champs. It was a struggle, but in an Overtime miracle Captain Giroux scored to give the Flyers the 3-2 win. Captain Clutch, the new nickname to go along with the Flyers new catch phrase.
“Miracle Delivered” Jim Jacksons now very quoted call on Giroux’s OT winner spread like wild fire. The Flyers proved that their sweep of the Pens wasn’t just some fluke or luck from the Pens injured lineup. We can win games, the NHL better watch out.
STARS GET SASSY:
“No more Flyers allowed to win today. Quota met.
#ThanksDayton” Words spoken a bit too soon from the Stars twitter.
The Dallas Stars twitter decided to get a little egotistical and told us that they’d be ending the Flyers winning streak.
The obviously got a little ahead of themselves, wrote a check that the team couldn’t cash. The Flyers moved past the Dallas Stars with a 4-2 win. By now fans felt invincible, 4 wins against some of the hardest teams in the NHL all taken down. If the scores were the only thing you saw, then you might still be skeptical, but anyone who had watched those games would notice a definite fire in the team. The Flyers physical identity is finally beginning to meld with their skill. They win battles they outwork opponents and most importantly they score goals.
This is a team that is a far cry from the Flyers who started the season 1-7, a team that could be a threat in the playoffs.
ST. LOUIS BLUES:
The Flyers started off the matinee game like they believed this game was a lost cause. They seemed a bit dull compared to their last 4 wins and lost a lead in the first on a Power Play. The Blues struck once with a short handed goal, but that was all they would do.
The Flyers lit up and in a game riddled with penalty after penalty for both teams, managed to upset the top team. A power play goal from Scott Hartnell tied the game and started the Flyers energy. It wouldn’t be until later in the 2nd period that Brayden Schenn would hammer home a rebound from Wayne Simmonds to put the Flyers ahead by one.
The Flyers special teams played a major part in the win with 10 penalties in the game, including a 4 minute double penalty on Giroux for holding and hooking, which was almost immediately negated by a charging penalty on T.J. Oshie. The game was a mess with penalties and make up penalties and odd officiating all around.
In the third Voracek gave the Flyers some insurance making it 3-1, then Wayne Simmonds scored an empty netter to give the Flyers the 4-1 win. The Flyers handed Blues goalie Ryan Miller his second loss since joining St. Louis. They also suffered the loss of forward Steve Downie early in the first period. Downie went down 45 seconds into the game after colliding with Patrik Berglund. He will be re-evaluated, but left the game with an upper body injury.
After the game the Flyers announced the signing of forward Michael Raffl to a 2 year $2.2million contract extension.