The Flyers Week in Review for April 11. Your source for all things Orange and Black.
Philadelphia Flyers 2015-16 season:
Games – 82/Wins – 41/Losses – 27/OT Losses – 14/Points – 96
In the same week that the Villanova Wildcats basketball team stormed through the Final Four and brought a championship to Philadelphia, the Flyers concluded their season with four games (with two on the road) in five days. This was certainly a tough way to end what had already been grueling regular season, but hat was the situation the Flyers found themselves in as last week began. How the Orange and Black would play in those final four games would go a long way toward deciding if they made the playoffs or not.
- WEDNESDAY at Detroit Red Wings – LOSS Maybe it was due to fatigue from an exhausting schedule. Or maybe it was just a few unlucky bounces of the puck. Or perhaps the Flyers really felt the pressure. Or it simply could be that the Red Wings just wanted it more. Whatever the reason, Detroit prevailed pretty much from start to finish, shutting out the Flyers 3-0.
- THURSDAY vs. Toronto Maple Leafs – LOSS (OT) With the Flyers desperate for a win, and playing against the team with the worst record in hockey (only 67 points) you would expect to chalk this up as an easy win, right? Not so fast. The Flyers did the unthinkable. Their play was often unaggressive and sometimes downright sloppy against the Maple Leafs, and were it not for some last minute heroics from Wayne Simmonds, they would have lost in regulation. Instead the salvaged one point, losing on a Jake Gardiner power play goal in overtime 4-3.
- SATURDAY vs. Pittsburgh Penguins – WIN When this game began the Flyers knew that they needed just two points in order to clinch a playoff spot. And thanks to two huge goals by a red-hot Wayne Simmonds and yet one more stellar goaltending performance by Steve Mason, they did exactly that, beating Pittsburgh 3-1. This was Mason’s 12th start in a row, and thankfully he will get several days to rest before the first round of the playoffs begins against Washington.
- SUNDAY at New York Islanders – WIN Goals by Shayne Gostisbehere, Evgeny Medvedev, Michael Raffl, Scott Laughton, and R.J. Umberger powered the Flyers to a 5-2 win over the Islanders in the final game of the regular season.
And the Winner Is…
As they do at this time every year, this week the Flyers gave out their team awards. It’s pretty hard to argue with any of these choices:
Bobby Clarke Trophy (Most Valuable Player) – Claude Giroux
Barry Ashbee Trophy (Outstanding Defenseman) – Shayne Gostisbehere
Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy (Most Improved Player) – Brayden Schenn
Yanick Dupre Class Guy Memorial Award – Wayne Simmonds
Gene Hart Memorial Award (Showed the most heart) – Shayne Gostisbehere
Toyota Cup (Most “3 Stars of the Game” points) – Claude Giroux
More Flyers: Philly Clinch Spot In Stanley Cup Playoffs
What’s Next – The Playoffs!
When the Flyers began this past season by winning only five games in their first eighteen under rookie head coach Dave Hakstol, many people figured the team might just throw in the towel. But thanks in large part to Hakstol, as well as the brickhouse-solid goaltending of Steve Mason, the grit of Wayne Simmonds, the leadership of Claude Giroux, as well as the superb play of rookie Shayne Gostisbehere, the Flyers found themselves in the playoffs once again. This was nothing new for the Flyers – it will be the eighteenth time in the past 21 years that they have reached the postseason. Let’s hope they can give Washington a run for their money when Round One begins this week.