by Patrick Hoffman on 04/09/11 at 09:00 PM ET
Despite being near the top of the Eastern Conference, the Philadelphia Flyers have really struggled as of late.
For most of the season, the Flyers enjoyed being the top team in the Eastern Conference. They had the best team from top to bottom, were getting solid goaltending, got terrific coaching from Peter Laviolette and were playing a winning brand of hockey.
Fast forward to now and the Conference is no longer theirs as the Washington Capitals have once again won the East. This is pretty amazing considering how the Capitals struggled for a few months and had trouble with every facet of their game. Now, the Caps are getting timely goal scoring, still playing solid defense and getting good goaltending, a combination that could be lethal in the Stanly Cup Playoffs.
Going into their final game of the regular season, the Flyers are winless in their last five games. The team has lost to the Atlanta Thrashers, New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, and last night, they lost in overtime to the high-flying Buffalo Sabres.
Teams should not want to go into the playoffs on a losing note. Yes, the playoffs are a completely different season but both good and bad play can carry over.
As an example, look at what the Flyers did last season. They won the last game of the regular season in a shootout to get into the playoffs and then rode that wave to the Stanley Cup Finals, where they lost in six games to the Chicago Blackhawks.
Yes, the Flyers potentially still have a lot of hockey left to play but if they continue to play the way they are now, it could be a short tournament for the Broadstreet Bullies.
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Patrick has a tremendous passion for hockey. Besides covering the Rangers and the NHL for Kukla's Korner, you can also find Patrick's work over at Sportsnet.ca, The Red Light District Hockey Blog, NHL Home Ice, and Liam Maguire's Ultimate Hockey web site.
Prior to writing for the above mentioned outlets, you could find Patrick's musings at hockey web sites/outlets such as TheHockeyNews.com, TheFourthPeriod.com, Spector's Hockey, Hokeja Vestnesis, Blueshirt Bulletin, SNYRangersBlog.com and many more.
For questions, comments and hip checks, feel free to e-mail Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org.