The Flyers lost – again – to the Minnesota Wild in overtime last night by a score of 4-3.
The loss was perhaps the exclamation point on what had been a horrendous string of performances throughout the past week, as well as a culmination of a weekly free-fall down the Eastern Conference Standings. Before the home-and-home with the Atlanta Thrashers last weekend, the Flyers were in prime position to seize the Eastern Conference’s fifth seed. However, after back-to-back losses on that home-and-home, followed by another string of consecutive losses this past week against two very beatable teams, the Flyers suddenly find themselves on life-support, barely hanging on to the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference.
Last night’s loss was a horrible one in many ways. First of all, the Flyers came out finally looking like a team ready to seize two points and win a hockey game. The problem was that all the momentum they brought into the first ten minutes or so of the first period was ripped away by their lackluster first half of the second period, and sleepwalking performance in the third. A 3-1 lead heading into the third period for a team with playoff aspirations should be, as Scott Hartnell said in the postgame press conference, “Money in the bank.” For the Flyers last night, that was not the case in the slightest. Instead, the Flyers are left once again with far more questions than answers to their names as they head to Pittsburgh for a pivotal Saturday afternoon contest at the Igloo.
Last week at this time, the finish line was in sight. They just had to win, and they would distance themselves from the pack, while finding themselves a comfortable place in the postseason. This week, however, the Flyers find themselves surrounded by about four other teams jockeying for the same hopes and dreams the Flyers have. They’ve done this to themselves, there’s no way around that one. However, there certainly is a solution. As Adrian says to Rocky in one of the greatest movies ever made, “Win. Win.”
At this point, that’s about the only choice the Flyers have left.