Coming into the 2013-14 NHL season, the Philadelphia Flyers were hoping to bounce back after last year’s disappointing campaign. Despite eliminating the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, the Flyers went through the following season looking like a hot mess. They missed the postseason, and many were wondering if the tank job had been enough to end coach Peter Laviolette‘s tenure with the club.
In the end, it wasn’t. The three games they lost to open up this season, though, did the trick. Laviolette was axed, and nothing has really improved for the Flyers since. Interim coach Craig Berube won his first game as the new bench boss, then proceeded to lose his next four. Philadelphia currently sits at last place in the Eastern Conference with just two points to their name. Worse, star players such as Jakub Voracek, Matt Read and Claude Giroux are among many Flyers who have less goals than the team has wins.
However, if you asked Giroux, there’s no need to worry. Speaking with media, the Flyers captain claims not only will the team right the ship, they’ll do so en route to a postseason berth.
“When you have the record we have right now, you’re a little frustrated and you try to figure out what’s going on but everybody came to the rink and we know there’s a lot of hockey left to play here,” he said. “We’re not far at all. How many points are we off, six? To think that with the start we had, we’re that close. We’ve never thought that we’re not going to make the playoffs.
“We’ll take it here game-by-game and we will make the playoffs.”
To have one win in eight games and still claim you’ll be playing come postseason is the definition of lofty. Give credit for Giroux not throwing in the towel early, as the team captain needs to keep his club together. He also has a valid point, as they really are only six points back of the Ottawa Senators.
However, saying the team can make the playoffs after this miserable start and actually doing it are two very different things. Right now, the Flyers are just not scoring enough. As it stands, the team has scored just one goal in all but three of their games. They’ve never scored more than two in any game. Though goalie Steve Mason has been holding his own, he’s getting zero support from his offense. He also isn’t getting much from his backup, Ray Emery, either, as his only two starts were Philadelphia’s most lopsided defeats.
So, Giroux may be right in the fact that the Flyers aren’t facing a mountain in terms of making up the point differential. That said, it will certainly start to look like that if they don’t start putting more pucks in the net. The last thing Giroux will want is for his quote to be thrown back in his face if the team misses out on the playoffs.