Well folks, when we tell you that it’s going to come down to the wire, we meant it. With the Flyers overtime loss tonight to the Maple Leafs, they now will fall out of a playoff spot but with 2 games left on the docket, still control their own destiny. So here’s how it all goes down heading into the final weekend of the season; in order to catch one of Detroit or Boston, Philadelphia will need a 4 point weekend to get into the playoffs as both teams in front of them have 1 game left. Now if Boston or Detroit loses their last of the season in regulation, Philly would need only 2 points in the final 2 games to get in. If you’re a hockey fan, this weekend will be can’t-miss TV.The Flyers received goals from Brayden Schenn (26th), Andy MacDonald (1st) and Wayne Simmonds (30th) in the losing cause. For the 3rd straight game, Philadelphia made things difficult in the first period as they were not very sharp with the puck as a unit. I’ve mentioned in previous blogs about fatigue playing a factor in the Flyers but that is likely the case for every team at this point in the season. The Flyers did considerably pick up their game during the 2nd and 3rd periods but self-inflicted wounds continually crept into their games. That proven to be enough for Toronto to get back into the hockey game and eventually win it.
Losing goaltender Steve Mason competed hard in the loss but was very much a victim of the job done in front of him as he turned away 22 of 26 shots in the loss. Many of his detractors will point to the 2 breakaway goals that were scored but it’s laughable to lie that at the feet of the goaltender. 2 breakaways in a game of this significance are too many and when evaluating plays of this nature, it’s never best to solely look at the end result.
Here is your game notable:
Center Sean Couturier had himself a really strong game tonight as he registered an assist in the loss. Despite having played 20 less games than last season, Couturier has tied his career high in point totals with 39 tonight. Much of talk about breakout seasons has belonged to Brayden Schenn but Couturier, albeit quieter, has had a strong season as well and if he can stay healthy next season, his growth as a player offensively may come exponentially come next season.