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With the Flyers recent surge in the standings, the Eastern Conference wildcard race is essentially down to Philadelphia, the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Detroit Red Wings with less than 15 games to go in the 2016 campaign. Over the final month of the season, the trio of teams will continue jockey for position in the standings and spent much of their time away from the rink watching the scoreboard. It’s a fun time to be a hockey fan as every game feels meaningful with the teams coming around the final bend.
With this said, the Flyers have recently found out just how difficult it is to make up ground in the standings. Despite back to back wins against the Red Wings and Blackhawks, respectively, Philadelphia only managed to spend a mere 24 hours in a playoff spot before being pushed back out of the picture with Detroit’s win over Columbus the following night. The teams’ flip-flopping in the standings is likely to be a common occurrence for the duration of the season and could be likened to a game of musical chairs; with two seats left and three teams hovering around them, any one of the three could end up taking a playoff spot when the music stops. Especially with the Flyers playing well right now, a regulation win over the Penguins tomorrow could really make things interesting, as if they aren’t already.
For the Flyers chances specifically, it really becomes imperative for the team to continue to focus on the team in front of them and not look too far down the road. One of the teams Philadelphia is chasing in Pittsburgh just so happens to be the next team on the docket but the Flyers shouldn’t be treating this game any differently they have recent games. Ultimately, the Flyers will control their own destiny if they keep finding ways to win hockey games, regardless of the opponent.
By The Numbers…
According to Sports Club Stats, Philadelphia has a 63.8% chance to make the playoffs if they go 6-6-1 for the rest of the way. That number jumps significantly to 81.4% if the team finishes the season 7-6-0. Anything better than a shade over 500. hockey will boost the Flyers chances of a playoff berth to 90.4% or better depending on how many of the remaining games they win.