Ironically enough, last night’s contest with the puny Florida Panthers ended up being the biggest game of the year for the Philadelphia Flyers. In a 5-2 rout of the kittens, Philly punched its ticket to the Stanley Cup playoffs, something the Flyers failed to do last season. The mission was simple — win. That’s all. No one cares how they did it, just as long as they did.
The Flyers were quietly going after some team history last night, however. Forward Vincent Lecavalier needed one more goal to become the seventh Flyer this season with at least 20 goals. Well, shortly after the puck dropped in the second period, he did just that. It’s the first Flyers team to have at least seven guys with 20 or more goals since the 89-90 squad. The Flyers are also the only team in the NHL to have done that this year.
Though the Flyers and their fans can finally breathe, there is still work that needs to be done. They can still catch the New York Rangers for second place and try to steal home ice from them. The Flyers are still two points behind the Rangers, but they do have a game in hand.
When the Flyers started the season 1-7, it looked as if they might be doomed, but head coach Craig Berube rallied up his troops and brought them together. That showed more often than not this season. Between the streaks, the incredible third-period comebacks and some major scoring depth, the Flyers have made it very clear to the rest of the league that they’re going for the Cup.