Flyers’ final push a testament to their resilience

Scott Laughton

      When the NHL season began back in October, the Flyers were generally deemed irrelevant.

      Now, on the eve of the team’s final game, they are still very much relevant.

      While the odds of making the Stanley Cup playoffs might not be all that favorable, there is a sliver of hope going into Tuesday night’s home game against Washington.

      With the Flyers, Capitals, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh and even the Islanders – who can’t be caught by Philadelphia for third place in the Metropolitan Division – all in the mix, it’s going to be a hectic few days.

      Philadelphia has to beat the Capitals and hope for some help.

      Keep in mind, all four of the Flyers’ adversaries have two games left on their slates so the locals don’t control their destiny.

      It’s going to be challenging to resist the temptation to occasionally glance at the Wells Fargo Center scoreboard on Tuesday night. But during breaks in the action, some players will probably give in to the urge.

      “We’re going to try to get in there,” Scott Laughton vowed. “A huge game coming up and a little bit of scoreboard watching, too.”

      The Flyers had Sunday off and it was a day to reflect on their resurrection over the past two games. They were humiliated in a 9-3 loss at Montreal on Tuesday, then turned around and beat the Rangers and Devils to stay in the hunt.

      After Saturday’s 1-0 win over the Devils, Laughton noted the Flyers were in contention for much of the season. Why should now feel any different?

      “When you’re in the playoffs that long (124 days), I think that’s your goal,” he said. “The stretch that we had (a 0-6-2 slump) probably came at the worst time. And we couldn’t pick up an extra couple points there, which would have been huge at this time.

      “We’re not looking back, we’re looking forward.. We continue to compete. Guys are playing for each other as we have all year.”

      The Flyers have had their season decided on the final day several times, both ways. They missed the postseason at the end of the 1971-72 season when they lost the final game in the closing seconds. In 2010, the Flyers defeated the New York Rangers in a shootout, then went all the way to the Stanley Cup Final.

      There’s not much the Flyers can do now but win their game and hope.

      “You control what you can do,” Laughton said.
      At least they’re relevant in a season which seemed to hold little promise.
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About Wayne Fish 2446 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.