The Flyers Week in Review for February 15. Your source for all things Orange and Black.
Philadelphia Flyers 2015-16 season:
Games – 55/Wins – 24/Losses – 21/OT Losses – 10/Points – 58
As the seemingly endless NHL regular season grinds on, February is often the time when teams start to show what they are really made of. Winning at this point in the season can go a long way in determining whether a team is playoff-worthy or not.
During Super Bowl weekend the Flyers played well, but only picked up a disappointing one point out of a possible four against Metro Division rivals New York and Washington. In terms of the quality of play, the Flyers actually looked as if they were close, but not quite ready for prime time yet. Unfortunately this past week showed us a far different story in terms of the level of play that we saw. Suddenly, it appears that this squad may be way less likely to make the playoffs than many of us had hoped just one week ago.
- On Tuesday, the Anaheim Ducks waddled all over the Flyers in a 4-1 blowout. Wayne Simonds scored the Flyers’ only goal, but otherwise the Ducks dominated at both ends of the ice from start to finish.
- The lone highlight of the week was Thursday when Flyers ended their three-game skid with a 5-1 rout of the Buffalo Sabers. The second period may have been the best period they played all season, with goals by Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Michael Raffl, and yes, R.J. Umberger.
- In a scrappy, close-checking game on Saturday the New Jersey Devils prevailed and gave the Flyers yet another heartbreaking overtime loss by a score of 2-1. Shayne Gostisbehere scored the lone goal for the Orange and Black, and by doing so, set a new NHL rookie record with points in 11 consecutive games.
- On Sunday night Brayden Schenn finally scored against the New York Ranger’s spectacular goalie, Henrik Lundqvist in the last minute of the third period- unfortunately it was way too little/ too late, and the Flyers were defeated soundly at Madison Square Garden 3-1.
In summary, the Flyers had a chance to earn a possible eight points this past week, and only picked up a measly three. They also lost twice to opponents ahead of them in the Metro Division. Yes, we still have a long way to go, but what we just saw this past week was not the stuff potential playoff teams are made of.
Against the Rangers Sunday night Shayne Gostisbehere extended his record-setting rookie scoring streak to 12 games. To put this in historical perspective, Jimmy Carter was president when the old rookie record was set by Barry Beck of the Colorado Rockies during the 1977-78 season. The Flyers have struggled for years at developing young defensemen, but “Ghost” is now showing a scary level of clutch play, talent, and poise.
The Flyers are currently six points out of a Wild Card playoff berth. But some significant injuries make the future look ominous. With key players Sean Couturier (lower body) and Michael Del Zotto (left wrist) out, the team appears to not have the depth to make up for these big losses to the lineup. As a result, they have quickly deteriorated from a slightly above-average team into a clearly below-average one.
This week the Flyboys go on the road with games in New Jersey, Montreal, and Toronto. These three teams have a combined won/loss record of 76-71, so there is a chance that the Flyers could make up some ground in the playoff hunt despite facing some severe injury problems. But counting on players like R.J. Umberger and Andrew MacDonald to step up and help carry the load does not bode well for the days ahead.