No one in charge of anything orange and black should be thinking about the playoffs.
Results this week: Flyers 3, Capitals 1; Canadiens 2, Flyers 1 (OT)
Current record: 23-22-9, 55 points
Record at this point last year: 26-22-6, 58 points
Record at this point in 2006: 13-33-8, 34 points
Upcoming schedule: Feb 13 at Blue Jackets, Feb 15 at Sabres, Feb 17 vs Blue Jackets, Feb 19 vs Sabres
That’s not a typo: the Flyers really do play the Blue Jackets and Sabres twice each this week, first on the road and then at home. At this point though, it doesn’t really matter; according to Sports Club Stats, the Flyers have a 6.8% chance of making the playoffs after the OT loss in Montreal. That’s roughly a 1 in 16 chance. With Mason down for weeks now and the number of games dwindling, it looks even worse than that.
As a fan, it’s okay to entertain the very faint hope for playoffs; even though it would damage the draft pick position, you never know what happens if you get in. The danger of that thinking is when executives with say in the matter start believing and acting on that faint hope. We’ve seen no sign so far the Flyers will be buyers during the trade deadline and that’s as it should be. The real goal was always to load up and prepare for the 2016-17 season, when the young defensemen are ready and the young guys playing on the Flyers have gained experience. Hextall, Holmgren, and Snider shouldn’t deviate from that plan.
Trade Schultz, Grossmann, and Colaiacovo if you can. Trade Timonen if he wants to make one more run at a Cup. Trade Emery if someone wants him and sign someone off of the scrap heap if Zepp and Mason are still hurt. If you can get someone to take Lecavalier, throw a party. Just get what you can for the guys who are about to leave or aren’t in your plans.
Here’s what I DON’T want to see:
December 5, 2005: Flyers trade 24-year-old Patrick Sharp and Eric Meloche to Chicago for Matt Ellison and a third round pick. Sharp becomes an alternate captain for the Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks.
June 22, 2012: Flyers trade 23-year-old Sergei Bobrovsky to Columbus, who wins the Vezina there. Meanwhile, the Flyers sign Ilya Bryzgalov to a nine-year, $51M contract which was so good, they bought him out of it and had to make yet more arrangements to solidify their goaltending.