Well, it’s finally official. The Philadelphia Flyers are eliminated from 2021 Stanley Cup Playoff contention.
The Flyers lost to the Devils 5-3 on Thursday night, which all but eliminated them. That became official with the Bruins beating the Sabres 5-2.
The Flyers’ playoff chances shrunk quite drastically over the past two months. On February 28th, after back-to-back shutout wins in Buffalo, the Flyers were 11-4-3 and sitting pretty in the East Division. However, it took just a few weeks for them to come crashing back down to Earth.
A 6-10-1 record in March sunk the Flyers’ playoff chances. They were outscored 75-46 in those 17 games, including some huge blowout losses. The Flyers lost 9-0 to the Rangers on March 17th, 6-1 to the Islanders on March 20th, 8-3 to the Rangers again on March 25th, and finally hit rock bottom with a 6-1 loss to the Sabres on March 31st.
The hopes for the Flyers to make the playoffs have been diminished since the middle of March. They went 2-5-0 at the beginning of the month and it didn’t get much better from there. Poor defensive play and even worse goaltending put the Flyers in a hole that they could not dig themselves out of.
Now, the Flyers are finally out of their misery. There is no more facade of still mathematically being in playoff contention. The Flyers are officially eliminated and have to set their sights on next season.
This season has had an all-too-familiar feeling of inconsistency. The Flyers haven’t made the playoffs in back-to-back years since 2011 and 2012. Since then, they’ve made the playoffs in every even year while missing them in every odd year.
Chuck Fletcher and Co. have a huge offseason ahead of them. The Flyers’ main core is aging and their window is closing, and none of the young players have stepped up enough to fill the gaps. This offseason will go a long way in determining the future of the Flyers franchise.
Photo: Heather Barry Images