It's been a long year. A rough start to the season had most Flyers fans figuring that the team would, for the first time in two decades, would miss the playoffs in consecutive seasons. They were seven points and four teams out of a playoff spot at this time not even two months ago. And three straight losses in the past week made things look a bit dire heading into today.
But a 16-6-4 run down the stretch pulled the Flyers from the lottery discussion to the top half of the Eastern Conference in the final third of the season. A 6-1 blowout victory by the Ottawa Senators gave the Flyers a chance to clinch a playoff spot today. And the Flyers took that chance and ran with it, taking out a shorthanded Pittsburgh Penguins team by a 3-1 score today at the Wells Fargo Center to eliminate Boston and lock in their position as a playoff team.
The Flyers will head to Brooklyn tomorrow for a largely meaningless game against the Islanders, and then they will face the Washington Capitals in the first round of the playoffs in a series that will start some time later this week. It'll be an uphill battle for the Flyers, as that Capitals team is the President's Trophy winner and is loaded with talent up and down the lineup. But with what this team's done in the last two months, I don't think anyone's going to be counting them out.
Game recap and observations later. Feel free to celebrate in the comments for now. We did it, folks. Go Flyers.