There were ups, there were downs, but through it all, the team managed to make the playoffs. It’s something we expect around here, but they sure did make it exciting. I have two friends who foolishly sold their tickets to the season finale, thinking a playoff spot would be clinched, and the game would be meaningless. Suckers! Tomorrow I will have a playoff preview, but before that, a look back at the regular season.
6-4-1 record, not bad. Won the first three, lost the next three. Bad losses to Anaheim and Washington. Also a great win over the Caps, where Captain Richards had a hat trick. The team is scoring, but defense looks a bit off.
7-6-0 record, nothing special. Another streaky month, with 6 wins in the first 7 games, and then a collapse with 5 losses in 6 games. High points include a 2 goal game by Carcillo in a win over the Sabres, and a win over the Devils that stopped them from setting a record in consecutive road wins. Low points are losses to Sharks and Thrashers. The Sharks completely controlled the entire game, while the Thrashers pitched a 1-0 shutout.
6-8-1 record, things continue to leak. The losing at the end of November continues, as the first 5 of 6 games are losses to start December. After the shutout to Atlanta, the Flyers get shutout again by Vancouver. Stevens is fired, Laviolette hired, and Washington kills us 8-2 in his first game. Meanwhile, Emery’shealth goes down the drain, and he’s basically done for the year. The teams looks more aggressive though, and things pick up as they ride a 4 game win streak into the new year with wins over Tampa, Carolina, and both NYC teams. Boucher was injured as well, and Leighton gets credit for the win streak
The New Year starts of with a disheartening loss in the Winter Classic to Boston. Still, the Flyers have a solid month, and go 8-5-1. Emeryreturned briefly, looked ok, but was then shut down for the season. Leighton retained the starting spot. A 4-0 loss to Torontowas embarrassing, but the only low point of the month. Highlight of the month, and possibly the season, was the 2-0 win over the Rangers. It’s not the win that everyone remembers, but the beating that Carcillo gave Gaborik (in self defense!).
Only 5-3-0, because of the Olympic break. Tough losses to Oilers and Wild are completely forgiven and forgotten as the teams wins a home and home series against Montreal and New Jersey. The NJ series was extra exciting because the Flyers came back from down 2 goals in both games. Pronger has a prominent role, and Richards plays well in the medal rounds as Canada wins Gold.
6-7-3 record, as the team looks like shit after the break. Their momentum is dead, and they’re a sinking ship. Among all of the losing, the worst part might be back to back losses to Atlanta. The whole month is pretty bad, as the team goes from having a chance to win the division, to nearly falling out of a playoff spot. Most memorable moment though is the last second win over Chicago. Pronger’s goal as time was running out is on of the most clutch plays ever. Leighton is hurt, and Boucher gets the starting nod for the rest of the season. Carter also breaks a bone in his foot, but the diagnosis isn’t too bad.
3-3-0 record, but it’s enough to clinch a playoff spot. An embarressing loss to the Isles was bad, but losing the second to last game to the Rangers was worse. It put the Flyers in position to miss the playoffs, as the last game was a winner take all scenario. However, the Flyers win in a shootout, clinch the last spot, eliminate the Rangers, and will face the Devils. Prior to the home and home finale, the Flyers posted a great win over the Red Wings, the hottest team in hockey at that point. Carter came back for the last two games, and although he didn’t score, his presence was noticeable.
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