Today is Thanksgiving. Hope you all are enjoying your days.
Know who definitely is enjoying theirs? Your Philadelphia Flyers, who are coming off of two straight wins and have points in all but two games they’ve played this month. An up-and-down October has given way to a November that has similarly felt rather inconsistent, but at the end of the day, this team is clearly doing what it needs to be in the early part of the season.
And that can be seen from the easiest place out there to evaluate how a team is doing: the NHL standings, where the Flyers wake up this morning in the top half of the Eastern Conference.
The Flyers, over basically this entire decade, have got out to slow starts to seasons. We talked about this a bit before this year’s season opener, pointing out that the team hasn’t been in a playoff position on this day (Thanksgiving) in any of its past seven seasons. And in many of those years, they haven’t even been particularly close.
That streak’s over.
Does this, in and of itself, mean a ton? Probably not. There is still a lot of work to be done. Two of the teams behind them (Toronto and Tampa) seem to slowly be pulling things together after tough starts to the season, and who knows who else will emerge as the year goes on. Some things are going to have to improve if this Flyers team wants to remain in the good half of the standings.
But for now, we can just enjoy knowing that we asked this team to avoid another slow start and that they seem to have actually done it. Right now, one-third of the way through the season, they’re having their best start in eight years. Low bar? Certainly. But this team isn’t eating its Thanksgiving dinner thinking about how it’s going to have to spend the rest of the season fighting like hell just to maybe be in the playoff race, and that’s progress.