The Flyers flipped a switch at the start of the new year, and it has shown. They are currently the hottest team in the league and one of the best teams overall since the beginning of 2020.
Just two short months ago, the Flyers’ main goal was to get into a playoff spot – even a Wild Card spot. Once you’re in, anything can happen. Now, they have their sights set higher.
After taking care of the New York Rangers in a home-and-home set over the weekend, the Flyers’ playoff chances are nearly 100%. With the playoff spot all but locked up and the team playing extremely well, it’s time to look beyond that.
The Flyers are one of the best teams in the league since their horrendous post-holiday road trip. Here is where they rank since January 8:
- Wins: 16 (T-1st)
- Points: 33 (T-1st)
- Goals per game: 3.73 (1st)
- Goals against per game: 2.55 (5th)
- Corsi-For percentage: 51.78 (10th)
- Expected Goals-For percentage: 51.40 (10th)
That’s pretty impressive.
We don’t necessarily want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but let’s do just that for a minute.
The Flyers currently have the best chance to both get to the Stanley Cup Final out of the East, and win the Stanley Cup. According to MoneyPuck, the Flyers have a 21.1% chance to win the Eastern Conference and 12.7% chance to win the Stanley Cup.
The Boston Bruins (16.5%), Washington Capitals (14.7%), and Tampa Bay Lightning (14%) are behind them to win the East, while the Vegas Golden Knights (11.6%) join the Bruins (9%), Capitals (8%) and Lightning (7.4%) as threats to win the Cup.
Not only are the Flyers drastically increasing their chances of making the playoffs and beyond, they’re taking down everyone in their path.
The Flyers played home-and-home sets against the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets and Rangers in the past few weeks. Going into the games against the Panthers and Blue Jackets, the Flyers were fighting with them for playoff positioning. For the Rangers, they needed to win at least one of the games to move into a playoff spot.
On February 9, the day before the first Flyers-Panthers game, Florida had a 50.6% chance to make the playoffs. The Flyers had a 59.7% chance. Four days later, after two Flyers wins (and a loss to the Islanders in between), the Panthers’ chances dropped to 43% while the Flyers’ increased to 72%.
A few days later, after a loss in Tampa Bay, the Flyers had a true home-and-home with the Blue Jackets. Entering the crucial matchups, each team had a 60% chance of making the playoffs. After the Flyers won in regulation and overtime, their chances went up to 76.4% while Columbus’s dropped to 48.2%.
The Rangers felt a similar wrath. They surged up to a 40.9% chance to make the playoffs – their best odds since November – going into the weekend. Now, they’re down to 29.6%; still possible, but the Flyers took the wind out of their sails.
Now, the Panthers are down to a 17.3% chance to make the playoffs, the Blue Jackets are down to 39%, and the Rangers are at 29.8%. The Flyers feasted on their competition and are benefiting from it.
Opponent’s playoff chances
|Columbus Blue Jackets||60.10%||48.20%||39.00%|
|New York Rangers||40.90%||29.80%||29.80%|
Flyers’ playoff chances
|Columbus Blue Jackets||60.70%||76.40%|
|New York Rangers||91.00%||99.10%|
It’s March and the Flyers have the best chance to win the Stanley Cup.
Sure, it’s only by one algorithm, but that one algorithm has been pretty successful in the past.
Back in 2016, MoneyPuck had the Penguins as the team with the best chance to win the Stanley Cup toward the end of March.
Unfortunately, that came true and the Penguins won the Cup.
Heading into March last year, the Blues were up there as well.
It’s certainly not a guarantee, but there is evidence to back up the Flyers’ chances.
The Flyers have come a long way in the past few years, and even in this season alone since a rocky December into January. No matter what happens this is a team with a bright present and future. Enjoy the ride.