Regressing Flyers Need to Flip the Switch


After a breath of hope in the manner of a three-game road win streak, the Flyers have dropped two straight, revisiting their inconsistent ways. But as we waive goodbye to 2014, the regressing Flyers are running out of time. If Craig Berube’s men have any aspirations for a legitimate playoff push, they must find that next gear, and in a hurry.

2013 vs. 2014

This season’s 2-3-2 start may not have been a desirable one, but it certainly was a step up from last season’s franchise worst, 0-7-0 jump out of the gate. That’s the concerning part.

Despite Philadelphia’s winless drought that cost Peter Laviolette his job after three games last season, the Flyers celebrated the turn of the new year with not only a 19-16-4 record, but did so while sitting only three points out of a playoff spot with 42 points through 39 games.

Eastern Conference Standings through Dec. 31, 2013. (


Despite the better start to the current season, albeit a pedestrian one, it’s a different scene as the orange and black flip the calendar to 2015. The Flyers will end 2014 with two games in hand heading into New Year’s Day, but with eight less points – should they fall in regulation to the Avs tonight.

Last year’s win/loss rate at the turn of the calendar year was accomplished despite the sluggish start from their team leader in scoring, Claude Giroux. The Flyers captain didn’t see his first goal until the 18th game of the season, finally notching his first against Edmonton on Nov. 9, 2013. Still, their scoring differential remains nearly identical.

Eastern Conference Standings heading into games on Dec. 31st, 2014. (


The previous campaign – through Dec. 31st – ended 2013 with a four-game win streak. Victories over Minnesota, Edmonton, Vancouver and Calgary were part of six victories in Philly’s last seven games to close out the month of December. This year’s team has yet to put a winning streak together that has surpassed three games. Even with a win tonight in Denver, the Flyers can do no better than finish this year’s month of December with wins in four of their last seven.

The Road to the Playoffs

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The Flyers’ nine point gap between them and the New York Rangers is an ever steeper hill to climb. New York not only holds two games in hand on Philadelphia, they’re also playing exceptional hockey, winning eight of their last 10. With that being said, the pressure isn’t exclusively coming from the top.

The Columbus Blue Jackets have withstood a barrage of injuries, and now sit just a point back of the Flyers. The Jackets have earned points in nine of their last 10 games, losing only once in regulation throughout the month of December.

The New Jersey Devils are building off of a 3-1 win in Pittsburgh on Monday night with GM Lou Lamoriello splitting the coaching duties with Adam Oates and Scott Stevens. And with Florida, Boston, and Ottawa ahead of the Flyers, the ticking clock is becoming louder and louder.

With 25 home games remaining on the schedule, the Flyers must find a way to steal games on the road. Their current 6-11-3 mark simply isn’t going to cut it. Their 29th penalty kill has to improve, and the team has to fight off the opposition’s pressure to draw more penalties. Doing so would likely rejuvenate their seventh ranked power play, which is now 0 for its last 16.

A win over Patrick Roy’s Avalanche tonight would be the first step in the long process of getting back into the playoff hunt. A loss, however, would not only push the orange and black further into the hole, but damage the confidence that was bursting at the seam through their previous three-game road win streak.