Next Three Games are Critical For Flyers

Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks
Philadelphia Flyers v Chicago Blackhawks / Jamie Sabau/GettyImages

Even if there are 82 games in a season, every game is important, and every point in the standings matters. It ultimately determines who is playing in the postseason and who isn't. Likewise, teams can get into a funk and may find it hard to climb out of them. Conversely, teams can get into a groove and find ways to win each time they hit the ice.

Right now, the Flyers are at a very critical point in this season. The trade deadline is coming up. The Flyers are still holding onto a playoff spot. Divisional opponents are starting to wake up after a slumber that has lasted most of the first half of the season.

These next three games are going to be very critical for Philadelphia. Saturday, the Flyers will face off against the division-leading New York Rangers. The next day, the team hits the PA Turnpike to take on the Pittsburgh Penguins. Tuesday, the Flyers return home to host the Tampa Bay Lightning. Philly is 0-1 against both the Rangers and Bolts. Against the Pens, the Flyers are 2-1, with both wins coming in overtime.

If the Flyers want to see how good they are, this is a great test. The Rangers have won nine in a row and look like they want to destroy everyone on the ice. The Penguins are trying everything they can to make it back for one more playoff run. Tampa is trying to shake off their rust and climb back to the top of their division.

Last year, the Flyers played well (but lost) to good teams. If they want to prove they are good, they have to start taking down these teams. While the Penguins are not as much of a threat to the Flyers, you still don't want them putting it together and gaining ground. A win over the Rangers would show that Philly is for real. A victory over Tampa would help to reinforce that the Flyers' youngsters can go toe-to-toe with the big boys, especially one that has made many deep playoff runs over the last few years.

For the Flyers, these next three games will be important. Granted, if they go 0-3, their season isn't sunk. Likewise, if they go 3-0, it doesn't mean we should book a parade down Broad Street. However, doing well, even if they lose (say, 2-1 against the Rangers), it will tell us a lot about this team. It will show everyone how far we've come in the last year, as well as the areas where we still need to improve.

Every game is important. You need to bring your A-game to the ice every time, no matter who is on the ice. If the Flyers can play to their full potential, they can match up with anyone in the league. Let's see how they handle these next few games.