A Fall from Grace

On the morning of December 17th, the Philadelphia Flyers were gearing up to play the Dallas Stars, riding a 10-game winning streak. They were nine points ahead in the Wild Card race. Dallas became the first team to beat them in four weeks.

After a streak like that, a team usually undergoes a small slump, such as three losses in four games. That’s normal and nothing to worry about. It did not end there for the Philadelphia Flyers, however. It is now January 14th, and they have won just 3 games in their last 13. Their goaltending, which was unbreakable in that four week stretch, has faltered. Neither Mason nor Neuvirth can keep pucks out of the back of the net. The team save percentage stands nearly dead last at .895. The defense hasn’t been much better. They’ve also have averaged less than two goals per game during this span. The one aspect that remains strong is their power-play, but if the five-on-five play isn’t good, then a strong-power play won’t save a team.

Like mentioned before, at the time of their 10-game winning streak, they were nine points ahead in the Wild Card race. Now, they are just one point ahead of Carolina, who have been 10-4-1 in their last 15 games and, as of now, are riding a 4-game winning streak. Toronto is also right there winning 8 of their last 10, although right now sitting in the 3rd spot in the Atlantic. Ottawa and Florida are two other teams in the mix.

The Flyers have taken a free fall since their winning streak. At some point it seems they’ll even out to .500, but with teams like the Hurricanes and Maple Leafs climbing, .500 will not cut it if they hope to make the postseason. They play the Capitals next, who are on an 8-game winning streak themselves.

 

 

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