Philadelphia Flyers' Special Teams Better Than Most Teams In NHL Playoff Race

By Steven Smith
Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports

With 22 games left to play in what should be a thrilling final two months of the season, the Philadelphia Flyers are one of many teams battling for a playoff spot. They currently sit in the No. 6 seed in the Eastern Conference playoff standings, and there are seven other teams battling for a spot. Though anything can happen, it’s extremely unlikely that the Florida Panthers, Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders will make the playoffs. It’s not a disrespect thing, it’s just that, well, they stink. Plain and simple. But that’s beside the point. It’s going to be a dogfight between plenty of teams. The Flyers, however, do posses a crucial part of the game in a much stronger state than most of the teams in that race.

With eight teams fighting for a playoff chance, Philly can say that they arguably have the best special teams unit of those eight teams. As far as overall special teams is concerned, Philadelphia sits at fourth for power play percentage (19.2). They are second behind only the New Jersey Devils in penalty kill percentage at 84. Ironically enough, Philly plays a much better special teams game on the road than they do at home. They are second behind the Ottawa Senators in power play percentage on the road at 24.3, almost good enough for a goal every four chances. Philadelphia and Ottawa are tied for a lead in power play goals on the road with 27. The two teams don’t just lead that group of eight, they lead the entire NHL.

Special teams play is arguably one the biggest, if not the biggest, factor to the Flyers’ success thus far. Considering the role it plays in their victories, having a nice advantage in that aspect of the game is something Philly will probably use to their benefit.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for  Follow him on Twitter and “like” him on Facebook.

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