Flyers Overtime Play Has Given The Team Confidence

  • The Flyers success in overtime has helped them catapult up the standings this season
  • Sam Ersson's confidence has them with a perfect record in the shootout, as well.
The Flyers have been able to find much more success in overtime after struggling in previous years.
The Flyers have been able to find much more success in overtime after struggling in previous years. / Sarah Stier/GettyImages

Over the last few seasons, if a game went into overtime, you knew the Philadelphia Flyers were going to lose it. This is not me being a negative fan. This is the truth. Take a look at the stats:

  • In 2022-23, the Flyers went 5-13 in overtime. 
  • In 2021-22, the Flyers went 5-11 in overtime. 
  • In 2020-21, the Flyers went 8-8 in overtime.

This also includes going a perfect 3-0 in shootouts this year. They were 2-1 last season and 1-4 in 2021-24. In 2020-21, the Flyers went 3-4 in shootouts.

In fact, the last year that the Flyers had a positive record in overtime was in 2019-20, when they went 10-7. In fact, this team is starting to show some shades of that 2019-20 team (More on that later.) 

This year, the Flyers are 6-3 in games that go into overtime. Picking up those six extra points has made a world of difference. Currently, they are second in the Metropolitan Division with 39 points and third overall in the Eastern Conference standings (Really....third!?!?!?!). Those six points, if they were subtracted from the season's total, would place the Flyers just behind the Devils in sixth place in the division and on the outside looking in when it comes to the playoffs.

This is important. Over the last few seasons, Philly has struggled when it comes to tight games. They either couldn't hold a lead late or dug themselves into such a hole that they couldn't climb out of it.

Because they are playing better in overtime frames, they always seem to have a chance to win games. Because they are not digging themselves a two or more hole to start each game, they are playing with more confidence.

Earlier, I said this team is showing shades of the 2019-20 team. That was a team that started with mild expectations. They were in year two of new head coach, Alain Vigneault. They got hot just before the season shut down due to a pandemic. However, they did it by playing good fundamental hockey. They weren't blowing people off the ice by scoring tons of goals. The team was playing smart hockey.

This year, the Flyers are in year two under head coach John Tortorella. Most hockey "experts" predicted them to finish at the bottom of the standings and to be one of the worst teams in the NHL. They still are not scoring a lot of goals, but their defense has been in the top 10 for much of the season.  

As long as this team is playing smart hockey, they will continue to be in games. As long as they can stay competitive, they will always have a chance to win. And as long as they keep this up, this team will continue to build confidence. Confidence breeds victories. If this team is not careful, they could find themselves in the playoffs and could make a surprising run.