The Flyers’ playoff hopes have died. Like a plant in winter time, shriveling up over the fall, slowly having the life drained out of it before eventually dying off and falling to the ground. This will only the 10th time the Flyers have missed the playoffs in their 50 years of existence, and 3rd time in the last five years — their worst stretch since 1989-1994 where they missed the playoffs for five consecutive seasons. Tonight’s game was kept interesting until the end, and credit must be given to the team for making it so. But the Rangers came out on top by a final score of 4-3.
Coming into the game the Rangers had lost the last eight games at home. According to our experts, this is not good. The game started out just like any other Flyers game, with an Andrew MacDonald turnover in front of the net leading to a scoring chance for the opposing team. Luckily, the Flyers had Anthony Stolarz, the 23-year-old 6’6” beast from Edison, New Jersey. However, nobody likes you when you’re 23. [Ed. note: And you still act like you’re in FRESHMAN YEAR!!!!!]
Five minutes in and the game was looking like every other Flyers-Rangers tilt at MSG, as the Rangers were out-shooting the Flyers 5-1. Not much was happening, so in typical NHL referee fashion they decided to put on their special goggles and call a penalty. Today’s victim? None other than Brandon Manning! Seriously, this was called a penalty.
This was called a penalty, in the NHL. pic.twitter.com/chttt6jK95— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 2, 2017
Oh well, nobody told the Rangers the Flyers have a bad penalty kill so they didn’t score a goal. Which, after checking with our experts, is a good thing.
Three years ago the Rangers signed Tanner Glass to a three year contract. It didn’t make sense then and surly doesn’t make sense today. But one thing is for sure, Tanner Glass is bad at hockey. And when you’re a professional hockey player, it is important to be good at the sport, of hockey. So, with this newly learned information allow us to continue. Tanner saw a player with their face to the boards, so he thought “hmm. maybe I should check this guy” and he did just that, and that is a penalty.
However, someone did tell the Rangers that the Flyer power play is actually bad. Well, except for Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. Schenn had a shot ring off the crossbar, which was unfortunate because the actual goal of hockey is to put the puck in the net.
Nothing more of interest happened during the first period, as the Flyers outshot the Rangers 9-8 which would be good news if games were won with shots. (And if that was the case, the Flyers might actually be in a playoff spot this season.)
The second period started off on a good note! Valtteri Filppula scored a beautiful backhand goal, as in a Crosby-esque (bad hockey player) backhand goal. It was pretty and is possibly the only thing worth watching from this game.
But folks, this is Flyers hockey. And something good is simply not allowed to last for extend periods of time. If something were to be good for extended period of time, it would be a direct violation of intergalactic laws.
Mika Zibenajad took it upon himself to keep the universe in order, by scoring a goal, the hockey kind, to tie the game up. But it’s only a tie game, it can go either way and the world is not over yet. Yet.
But then, Brendan Smith, a player of 307 games in the NHL and a grand total of 15 goals, wanted to make things worse for our boys in orange and black. He walked into the offensive zone, right around Travis Konecny and went through Brandon Manning as if he were a turnstile in Wells Fargo Center. Anthony Stolarz saw a pot of gold or something, so he slid all the way to the right of the crease and Smith went the other way, to the side with the open net. And what happens when there is an empty net and a player with a puck? A goal! Well ... unless you’re Patrick Stepan.
Andrew MacDonald started out the 3rd period by shooting a puck over the glass, because Andrew MacDonald things. Luckily the Rangers still were not informed about the Flyers’ penalty kill being bad so they didn't score.
Shortly after the penalty concluded the Rangers had an odd man rush and... ANDREW MACDONALD SLID ACROSS KNOCKING THE PUCK FREE AND BREAKING UP THE SCORING CHANCE. POP THE BOTTLES. PLAN THE PARADE. THE FLYERS ARE GONNA WIN IT ALL. HE. COULD. GO. ALL. THE. WAY. MY OH MY! DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES? THAT BALL’S OUTTA HERE!
We forgot to mention the second intergalactic law pertaining to the Flyers. For every good thing that happens, two bad things have to happen. The players chosen to keep the world in order today? Oscar Lindberg and Chris Kreider would be those men, chosen on this day. They both scored within two minutes of each other to give the Rangers a 4-1 lead with 10 minutes left to play in the third period.
At this point the Flyers’ season looked all but dead. The team looked out of gas, and it was becoming clear that the bleak, cold and sad end was just in front of us. This entire roller coaster ride of emotion, all the healthy scratchings, all the questionable lineup choices. It all didn’t matter anymore.
But then, the Flyers decided to enact the third and final intergalactic law of Flyers hockey. The law where the must keep all hope until the very end to tug and rip every emotional strand the fans have. Because why do the fans not want the suffering and torment to last until the very end!?
Anthony Stolarz was pulled with a little over two minutes remaining in the game, and here comes Brayden Schenn. Now we all know Brayden Schenn does not score at 5v5. This is a sub law of the 3rd intergalactic rule of the Flyers. Schenn does what he does best, and scores at 6v5 bringing the game to a 4-2 score. Alright cool, it was nice to see them score but really this game was still a lost cause. Well. Until Valtteri Filppula happened.
Shayne Gostisbehere was sitting in his home, along the blueline where he flung the puck over to Jake Voracek. Typically Voracek would carry the puck around taking 3 other players with him and not taking a shot, eventually losing the puck. But this time was different. Voracek rips a shot and ... A DEFLECTION IN FRONT BY FILPPULA. IT’S 4-3. WOW! THE FLYERS AREN’T DEAD THEY CAN WIN ALL OF THE GAMES, AND THEN THE STANLEY CUP IF THEY ONLY SCORE ONE MORE GOAL.
Yo. Its a 1 goal game. pic.twitter.com/KszJe3BOIJ— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) April 3, 2017
All excitement aside, the Flyers were in a fantastic position. Down 1 goal and 1:15 remaining in the game. The team has a serious chance to save their season, all the momentum was on their side the Rangers were pinned with their backs against the wall. Even better, Brendan Smith took an interference penalty which gave the Flyers a 6-on-4 (with the goalie pulled). Our experts tell us that the in a 6-on-4, the team with six players actually has two extra players! This is good news, for the team with six players, and that team right now was the Flyers.
See now that we have all of these good things happening to the Flyers, law #2 comes back into play. In the last 40 seconds the Flyers shot the puck maybe once. They didn’t try anything new and innovative to try and save their season. No ‘flying V’, nothing at all! Instead the hero of about 50 seconds ago, Val Filppula sat there with the puck on his stick for what seemed like an entirety. In the time Val Filppula sat there, an entire city sky scraper could be built or maybe an entire nation could build up a decent infrastructure and governing system.
When you have 10 seconds to score or else your season is over and you put Andy Reid in charge. pic.twitter.com/J4ieIMmGaD— Adam Herman (@AdamZHerman) April 3, 2017
Well. They took a shot eventually. Sort of that is. It didn’t matter, because all good things in Flyer land have to end abruptly and heart wrenching.
The Flyers are back in action are back in action Tuesday against the Devils. They have two games remaining next weekend against against Columbus and Carolina respectively.