Remember back in October when the Philadelphia Flyers were already counted out to be a playoff team? Remember what captain, Claude Giroux said? Well in case you don’t, let me refresh your memory. “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.” Sound familiar now?
Tonight the orange and black have a chance to back up that bold statement that their ever-so confident captain made. As of yesterday, it looked as if the Flyers were going to need a full six points in order to make it in, but now, they find themselves a mere two points away from guaranteeing themselves a spot in a race for Lord Stanley’s cup. That’s right, folks — just one more win.
If the playoffs started today, Philadelphia would take on the New York Rangers in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. With a game in hand, Philly technically still has a chance to overtake second place in the Metropolitan Division. Even if that were the case, they would still see their foes from Manhattan in the first round.
The chance to clinch could not have come at a better time for Philadelphia. Tonight they’ll visit another one of the NHL‘s cellar dwellers, the Florida Panthers. Florida, though sitting at the pit of the standings, is not to be taken likely at all. They’re another team with nothing to lose.
The Flyers will be without one of their top penalty drawers, Zac Rinaldo, so Philly will have to beat them mostly based on skill, which they clearly have the upper-hand in. If Philly can figure out the Panthers’ game plan early on, this one should be a breeze.