The Flyers Week in Review for March 29. Your source for all things Orange and Black.
Philadelphia Flyers 2015-16 season:
Games – 74/Wins – 36/Losses – 25/OT Losses – 13/Points – 85
Playing their best hockey of the season, (7-2-1 in their last ten games) the Flyers came into this week just out of the playoffs, but hopeful that they could overtake Detroit for the final postseason spot.
- “Stonecold” Steve Mason gave a rock-solid performance on Monday, as the Flyers beat the Islanders 4-1. This fast-paced game also included something the Flyers have been seeing a lot of lately – good secondary scoring, in this case, goals from Nick Cousins, Brandon Manning, and Sam Gagne. For some icing on the cake, Claude Giroux finished things off with an empty net goal.
- Tuesday the Flyboys played the dreaded second back-to-back game on the road. The team looked tired and sluggish throughout, but thanks to an another outstanding performance by Mason, they managed to have a two-goal lead with just 1:04 left. And then all hell broke loose. The Blue Jackets scored twice in regulation, and went on to win in the dreaded shootout 3-2. If the Flyers miss the playoffs by just one point, we are all going to look back to this game and shudder.
- On Thursday, if you blinked you missed it! In what could only be called a dramatic reversal of what happened Tuesday night, the Flyers scored a pair of third period goals in the span of just nineteen seconds. As a result, the Orange and Black went on to stun the Colorado Avalanche 4-2. Radko Gudas and Claude Giroux performed the nineteen-second magic. Pierre-Edouard Bellemare had scored earlier and Ryan White added an empty net tally to finish things off.
- On Saturday the Flyers dominated the Arizona Coyotes in nearly every aspect of the game except the final score, losing 2-1. This was primarily due to the outstanding play of Coyotes goalie Mike Smith. Even more upsetting was an injury to Giroux near the end of the game. However, reports are that Giroux will be OK, which is good news indeed. The Flyers need a healthy captain if they want to continue the current playoff run.
When Brandon Manning lit the lamp on Monday night it was not only his first NHL goal, it also set a new Flyers record – with assists by Andrew McDonald and Mark Streit, it was the first time in Flyers history that three defensemen combined to score a goal.
The Totally Inane
Let me just say that the NHL shootout has to be the most ludicrous thing in all of sports. As an analogy, could you imagine:
an NBA tie going to a short overtime, and then, if still tied, switching to a three-point shooting contest to determine the outcome? The truth is, even the NHL itself clearly knows the shootout concept is flawed because they completely abandon it during their most important games – the playoffs.
Even so, and at the risk of sounding like Captain Obvious here, the Flyers are beyond horrible at shootouts (two wins/eight losses this season) and have been terrible at them for as long as anyone can remember. And the most depressing thing is that this one flaw could possibly end up ruining what might have been a really (unexpectedly) nice season. Only a few more points acquired from just four or five more shootout wins and the playoffs would almost be a done deal right now.
The good news – of the eight games left, five of them are on home ice. The bad news – half of the eight are back-to-backs. The Flyers are ending their grueling regular season soon. Let’s hope they can end it well.