A new proposal for finishing the season has the Flyers as the first-place team in the Metropolitan Division.
As much as the league wants to finish out the regular season, it may not be possible the longer this drags on. Gary Bettman admitted that for the first time on Tuesday. The league is considering ever option it can. But a new proposal has the Flyers finishing in a different spot then if the playoffs began with the current standings.
Frank Seravalli was the first to mention this proposal. It includes rolling back the schedule to 68 games played so every team is on equal ground. It’s not the first time this has been done in hockey either. The OHL did this exact thing to determine the standings for the priority draft lottery.
Each team in that league had played at least 61 games when the season was canceled. So to determine the order, the league essentially wiped out all games played beyond the 61 game mark.
For the NHL, the proposal would stop the season after 68 games played. Every team in the league has played that amount. At most, it would take away three games from a handful of teams. But it puts the Flyers in a much different situation if this proposal were to come to fruition.
If this is the direction the league was to take, the Flyers would end up finishing in first place in the Metro. Wiping one game off of their schedule would end their season on a nine-game winning streak. That would also take one game off of the Capitals schedule, a crucial point they gained during a shootout loss. This is how the Flyers would gain first place.
They would end up taking on the Carolina Hurricanes. That would leave a matchup between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
Would that end up being an easier matchup? The season series leads us to believe the Flyers have a good chance against Carolina. The team won three out of the four matchups this season. While it wouldn’t matter in the playoffs, the Flyers did get a point out of each game.
Claude Giroux finished with eight points in four games against the Hurricanes. The team overall has scored 17 goals against the Hurricanes this season. Sebastian Aho has averaged just over a point-per-game against the Flyers in his career. He’s grabbed 18 points in 17 meetings.
The Flyers have faced three different goaltenders in the series, led by Petr Mrazek‘s two games. He may likely be the goaltender the team faces. They won both games when he played, outscoring Carolina 9-4. Carter Hart would be the obvious choice in net for the Flyers. He and Brian Elliott split duties during the season series. Hart was in net for the series-opening and series-closing victories.
If the Flyers could shut down a player like Aho, they would have a pretty good chance at winning that series.
The more favored approach has been to use points percentage to determine who would make the playoffs. It would be the same 16 teams qualifying in either proposal. The matchups would just be different. Points percentage would have the Flyers against the Penguins, just as the standings currently dictate.
Either way, the Flyers are in the playoffs no matter what the league decides to do. And that is still something to be celebrated.