Taking a couple steps away from irrelevancy with two truly impressive performances against good teams, one of which literally sits atop the entire league, the Flyers have had just enough success to drag us kicking and screaming back into the playoff hunt.
Remember when we were talking about McDavid and Eichel? Thank you, Eastern Conference.
Tonight, the Flyers will play the Hurricanes, and they will be intent on proving that this weekend was not just a fever dream or fluke meant to lower our spirits even further than we previously thought possible. Oh god. Please don't lose to the Hurricanes, Flyers. I'm begging you.
I mean, come on. Justin Faulk is the Hurricanes leading scorer. Justin Faulk. The defenseman. Come on. We can't lose to this team. They already have their eyes set on the lottery! The Flyers have hope, no matter how slim that hope is! I demand a win! I demand playoffs!
Not to mention that the last time the Flyers and Hurricanes met, Faulk nearly killed Claude Giroux. Well, no, that's not true. Giroux got cut by Faulk's skate and Giroux was fine, but boy, some tense moments for a while there. Also, the Flyers lost. So we're out for revenge! Or something! Narrative!
And in a season where the Flyers team performance seems to be saved by their goaltenders, it seems only fair that their playoff hopes now rest on two AHL goaltenders. Yeah, uh, that's happening now.
With Ray Emery injured sometime in the past couple of days (the exact timetable of his injury is unclear), the Flyers hands were tied. You have to assume that they wanted Steve Mason to be healthy enough to back up Zepp against the Canes, but with the announcement that Anthony Stolarz was recalled from the Phantoms, it seems like he's a significant amount of time away from returning. That's...not good. Not even #good. Just #bad.
Obviously, it's imperative for the Flyers to pick up two points in tonight's game. The Flyers need to be picking up two points in just about every game for the rest of the season if they intend on making playoffs and not crushing my dreams. There's such a small margin for error here on out, so every point is a necessity. And pity points won't cut it. They need wins and lots of them.
The Bruins aren't exactly making it easy on the Flyers, demolishing the Chicago Blackhawks instead of losing like we hoped. This means that the Flyers are once again four points behind the Bruins for the last Wild Card spot, the Panthers stubbornly just three points out of that spot. Both the Bruins and the Panthers play tonight, so let's recap what needs to happen for tonight to be a big huge win: the Bruins lose, the Panthers lose, and the Flyers win. Only then can everyone celebrate, as the Flyers would be just two points out of a playoff spot once again, this time ahead of the Florida Panthers as God intended.
You would think that the best place for the Flyers to be would be playing against a team scraping the bottom of the barrel, but that didn't prove to work out in the Flyers favor when they played the Sabres. They need to win tonight, though, and if they can beat the god dang Nashville Predators, they can beat the Carolina Hurricanes. It's just logic.
As we heard over the weekend, no one wants to see the Flyers in the playoffs. Let's do the thing just to watch the world burn. Go Flyers.