So, you’re on board with the Flyers getting back in this playoff race, eh?
I understand why. The team is 11-2-1 in their last 14 games. They shrugged off a pivotal home loss to Pittsburgh and a terrible first period the next night in Minnesota to come back and beat the Wild.
They are once again just six points behind Pittsburgh for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with just 25 games to go. Pretty remarkable since a month ago they were the worst team in hockey.
But the odds of making the playoffs remain long.
Don’t believe me? See for yourself:
Odds of the Flyers making the playoffs as of 2/13/19
- HockeyReference.com – 3.4%
- SportsClubStats.com – 1.5%
- The Athletic – 9.0%
- PlayoffStatus.com – 8.0%
- MoneyPuck.com – 5.1%
So, unless your name is Lloyd Christmas, your focus should be on the 2019-2020 season already.
The reason being, it’s really hard to expect the Flyers to maintain the level of the Tampa Bay Lightning (they’d have to finish the season roughly 14-7-4 in those last 25 games, making it 25-9-5 over the final 39 games of the season) AND have three of four teams falter to the tune of .500 records or worse the rest of the way (Columbus, Pittsburgh, Carolina and/or Buffalo).
It’s really asking a lot. That’s why their odds are so long no matter where you look.
So, with the trade deadline now less than two weeks away, General Manager Chuck Fletcher needs to concentrate on next season.
This Flyers team is close. You are seeing what kind of a difference a consistent goaltender can make. You are seeing what kind of a difference good team defense can make. Fletcher doesn’t need to tear it down, he just needs to fine-tune it.
Which is why he wasn’t lying when he said the Flyers will be both buyers and sellers at the trade deadline.
Fletcher could move players on expiring contracts. He could move players that may have term left but could bring valuable return. And he could put the Flyers in a great position heading into the draft and free agency with extra picks, a stocked cupboard of prospects and plenty of cap room.
So, who could go? I’ve been sniffing around as best I can and I’m hearing some things that are interesting some things that are not a surprise and am being left to speculate in other areas. So let’s tackle this after the jump: