The Philadelphia Flyers season is over, and though their season ended in an opening round defeat, it should be considered a success.
And just like that the excitement and hope are gone.
The whispers of an “impossible, improbable” comeback fell short after the Philadelphia Flyers lost Game 6 to the Washington Capitals by a 1-0 score. But, honestly, if any fan of the orange and black thought they’d make it this far they would have been checked into the nearest insane asylum in January.
The Flyers simply didn’t have the team that could compete with the Capitals over the course of a seven-game series. Especially when the veterans like Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Brayden Schenn contributed one goal total.
But don’t call it a failure. Don’t even call it a disappointment. It’s an unabashed success, even if it doesn’t taste like it.
Philadelphia shouldn’t have been in this position. They should have been lobbying for another lottery pick. There’s too much work to be done to the roster, too much potential still untapped and too much dead weight.
This roster showed heart and perseverance just to get to the playoffs and push Washington to six games.
And so with the season now over, all that’s left is to check the progress of the team. Good news: the process is ahead of schedule.
The Flyers did better this season than any had expected. No one thought they’d make a serious run at the playoffs, but they did. No one thought they had any fight left when they were down 0-3, but they won the next two games.
Fans hate it now, but it’s just a bittersweet look at things to come.
All of that doesn’t make losing in Philadelphia any less disheartening. Hope had arrived. A team that falls apart was queued up to do it again.
However, reality set in and hope was left out in the unseasonable cold.
So to those crestfallen fans, remember this: the important thing to take away from this is not that the team lost in the opening round.
The Flyers simply aren’t up to par with a team like the Capitals. A squad that ran roughshod over the entire league during the regular season.
But with time, with the emergence of young players like Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim the team’s future is brighter than today indicates.
Though two of those players may not make the team next season. So how can the process continue to trend upward for 2016-17?
Right now, Philadelphia lacks skill that is necessary to win against the superior teams. Clubs like Washington who have depth in almost every position and lock it down defensively.
They also lack the defensive core to prevent last-minute losses, but they did compensate for that with an overall team defense. Something that was a struggle over the past few seasons.
So while this loss stings, remember the cavalry is coming. Bear in mind, Shayne Gostisbehere was considered the organization’s third best defensive prospect. Provorov tops that list with Sanheim coming up next.
However, they don’t quite have the depth and size coming up the pipeline at forward. General manager Ron Hextall, however, can address that concern during this upcoming draft.
And that’s what this season helped showcase to fans. That Hextall’s patience doesn’t mean that the present is lost. It means the future remains hopeful. That help is on the way. Brighter days are ahead.
Though to get to those brighter days, the lights must go out at the Wells Fargo Center for the remainder of yet another Spring.
And for Philadelphia, there’s nothing sunny about that, but dawn is coming sooner than expected.