If the Philadelphia Flyers are going to make a playoff push this season, they need to figure out how to win at home and fast.
If you are a Philadelphia Flyers fan, you can be forgiven if you have thought that as of late your favorite hockey club has a split personality.
Earlier this season, it looked like the Flyers were headed for another disappointing year where they once again missed the postseason. During the club’s now infamous 10-game losing streak there were calls for the firing of head coach Dave Hakstol, trades including the likes of Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds and just about everything in between.
Then, quite suddenly, everything changed.
The Flyers went on an improbable run heading into the holiday break, going 7-2-1 which included a six-game winning streak. Goalie Brian Elliott did his best impression of a brick wall, hardly letting anything get past him and the Flyers suddenly found themselves only four points removed from a playoff spot.
Sure, their still dead last in the Metropolitan division, but at least there is now some hope.
But for that hope to turn into something more, the Flyers still need to make changes and improve in some key areas.
And one of the biggest is winning at home.
It used to be that no team in their right mind wanted to play the Flyers at home. Even as far back as when the club played at the Specturm, Philadelphia was known around the NHL as a place that took home ice advantage to another level.
The fans were loud and the team fed off of that. And that didn’t change when the club moved to the Wells Fargo Center. Almost every night has a playoff atmosphere no matter how the Flyers are doing or who they’re playing. Sellouts are common and the Flyers have some of the most knowledgeable fans in the league.
But for some reason, this year the Flyers have forgotten how to win consistently on home ice.
They are currently 8-7-4 at the WFC this season, which is just not good enough.
If the Flyers are going to make a serious postseason push, they need to start dominating home ice and make other clubs pay for even walking in the door. They have 22 games left to play at the Wells Fargo Center and they will conservatively need to win at least half of them while continuing to play well on the road to make up some ground in the standings.
Which, considering this is Philly, you would think shouldn’t be a problem.
Hell, if they have to bring back Kate Smith and her rendition of “God Bless America” if it will help.
Whatever it takes, the Flyers need to start winning at home again. Because if they don’t, it could be another very long offseason for Philadelphia.