PHILADELPHIA - MAY 24: Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers recieves the Prince of Wales Trophy for NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly after defeating the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 4-2 to win in Game 5 and advance from the Eastern Conference Finals during the 2010 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wachovia Center on May 24, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
That's kind of a loaded headline, I know, so let me explain myself.
The Flyers have 69 points through 49 games this season. They've averaged about 1.41 points per game, so with 33 games left in the regular season, if they continue at that pace, they'll grab about 46 more points. That would put them on pace for about 115 points this season, which would be the third-best output in team history.
Here's where we get to the Cup part. This table lists all the Flyers seasons where they've finished with 110 points or more (data courtesy of Hockey Reference).
|1975-76||Philadelphia Flyers||80||51||13||16||118||1st||Lost Stanley Cup Finals|
|1979-80||Philadelphia Flyers||80||48||12||20||116||1st||Lost Stanley Cup Finals|
|1984-85||Philadelphia Flyers||80||53||20||7||113||1st||Lost Stanley Cup Finals|
|1974-75||Philadelphia Flyers||80||51||18||11||113||1st||Won Stanley Cup|
|1973-74||Philadelphia Flyers||78||50||16||12||112||1st||Won Stanley Cup|
|1976-77||Philadelphia Flyers||80||48||16||16||112||1st||Lost NHL Semi-Finals|
|1985-86||Philadelphia Flyers||80||53||23||4||110||1st||Lost NHL Division Semi-Finals|
What's the common thread here? The Flyers have finished with 113 points or more four times in their history, and each time, they've reached the Stanley Cup Finals. If history means anything (and for the record, it probably doesn't), the Flyers are on pace to reach the Stanley Cup Finals again this season.