The ultimate chaotic scenario for the Flyers to make the playoffs

Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals
Philadelphia Flyers v Washington Capitals / Patrick Smith/GettyImages

The Flyers do not control their own destiny when it comes to making the playoffs. Because of their lengthy losing streak, they took that decision away from themselves. A few wins during that time would've had them easily cruising into the postseason.

Now, they need help. The positive is that the Flyers cannot be eliminated before they play on Tuesday night. Their game against Washington will mean something. But it is not as simple as win and you're in for Philadelphia. They have to worry about two other teams: Detroit and Pittsburgh.

Before laying out the ultimate chaotic scenario for the Flyers to make the playoffs, we'll lay the easy stuff out on the table.

Red Wings

Detroit has the easiest remaining schedule of the team's vying for the wild card spot. They will play Montreal in a back to back on Monday and Tuesday. Simply put, if the Red Wings get any combination of three points in their next two games, the Flyers will be eliminated. Philadelphia can only reach 89 points with a win on Tuesday. Three points gives Detroit 90, therefore jumping ahead of the Flyers.

Montreal and Detroit have split the season series, both games going to overtime. That is not a scenario the Flyers want to see happen in these final two games. The Canadiens took a 3-2 win in November, while the Red Wings won 5-4 in December. So it's been awhile since the two have seen each other.

The Flyers know firsthand that beating team's below you isn't as simple as it sounds. They lost to Montreal twice during a eight-game losing streak. They were embarassed 9-3 in the most recent game. Philadelphia will root for a Detroit loss, which would eliminate them.


The Penguins are in a similar situation to the Red Wings. A loss against the Predators ends their season. They could only top out at 88 points, while Washington or Philadelphia could end up with 89. For Wednesday's game to matter to them, they would ideally like to get two points from their game on Monday evening. They would prefer to do it in regulation, putting them in the perfect spot to eliminate the Flyers with a single point against the Islanders.

The Penguins are still alive if they manage just one point against the Predators. They did that the only other time they faced Nashville this season, losing 3-2 in overtime back in November. However, it would mean they could not take their game against the Islanders to a shootout. They haven't done that in three games against the Islanders this season. They have won two of the three games so far. If the Flyers win on Tuesday and the Penguins need a shootout to win, Philadelphia would have the tiebreaker in total wins.

So to lay it out, the Penguins eliminate the Flyers with wins in both games. They can do the same thing with three points unless one of them comes in the shootout. If they fail to get anything against Nashville, they are done.


This is where the most chaotic scenario could take place. For this, we will assume the Red Wings and Penguins have lost, eliminating them from playoff contention. The Capitals, taking on the Bruins, would need a regulation win to put the pressure on Philadelphia. They beat Boston 3-0 in February but lost 3-2 in a shootout a few weeks ago. That means that the Flyers would have to beat them in regulation to eliminate Washington. Giving them a point means they finish with 90 and eliminate Philadelphia.

So let's say the Capitals find a way to beat the Bruins in regulation. Now Tuesday's game has even more meaning to it. A scenario lays itself out in which the Flyers, tied late against the Capitals, would have to pull their goalie in regulation to make the playoffs. They cannot hope for a second point in overtime or a shootout. Philadelphia only has itself to blame if that particular scenario becomes true.

The easiest path for them would be to hope that all three teams lose on Monday, making their game against Tuesday a win and you're in game. That way, it doesn't matter how you collect two points.

The Flyers will know by Monday's end what their potential path to the playoffs is.