Philadelphia Flyers: Are They The Real Deal?

COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 16: Sean Couturier
COLUMBUS, OH - FEBRUARY 16: Sean Couturier /

The Philadelphia Flyers are showing they have what it takes to be a playoff team

The Philadelphia Flyers had a big weekend, with wins over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Friday night and the New York Rangers on Sunday afternoon. This is relevant because the Flyers had not won in Columbus since Sean Couturier, who scored the winner in OT, was in middle school.

Moreover, the team has not fared much better in Madison Square Garden, having been beaten handily 5-1 in January. With consecutive wins to get gorillas off their backs, the Flyers are looking bright.

Columbus Curse Crushed

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The 2017-18 incarnation of the Flyers seems to be playing on a different level. Yes, they gave up a goal late in the third to give Columbus a point. However, the Flyers did something no Philly team has done since 2005. They beat the Blue Jackets, in Columbus, in overtime. The Flyers didn’t fold, they didn’t sag, they didn’t get down,  and picked up the extra point.

Sunday’s game in New York saw the Flyers go down to the Rangers early. In previous seasons, and perhaps earlier this year, this game would not have had a happy ending for the boys from Broad Street. Unlikely sniper Andrew MacDonald answered back, and a fight-filled goal fest of a first period was on.

The first would end 3-3, and the second period saw youngster Alex Lyon in net to replace oft-injured Michael Neuvirth. He gave up just one goal to the Rangers on 17 shots to earn his first win with the big club.

Perhaps Lyon’s early struggles were just nerves and he is now ready to make his mark in the bigs, If the injury to Neuwirth is serious, perhaps GM Ron Hextall’s hand will be forced at the trade deadline. The Flyers are already down a goalie with starter Brian Elliott out for six weeks.

The King is Gone

To say that Henrik Lundqvist looked shaky would not be totally accurate. He made several breathtaking saves early to his team in the game early. Claude Giroux seemed on a mission to score his 200th NHL goal, but The King denied him that mark in the first two periods.

However, the Flyers captain was not to be denied, putting his 200th goal in the back of the net in the third period. That goal gave the Flyers a two-goal lead that would not only stand up but would be increased to three.

The Flyers are currently in third place in the Metropolitan Division. They are just three points behind the Division-leading Washington Capitals. Considering that the Flyers were dead in the water just two months ago, this is a marvel of Superman proportion.

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The Superhero effort of this team leads one to ponder…is this our year? Will there be another parade in Philadelphia this year? Dare to dream, Flyers fans, because this team does seem to be headed for the playoffs.