For a while it was starting to look like the Philadelphia Flyers were going to end up like one of the many teams competing for the first-overall pick in the 2019 draft. However, a recently rejuvenated will to win has enabled the Flyers to swiftly climb up the standings.
After a 5-4 come from behind overtime victory against the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon, the Flyers have now won seven straight games. For a team that was dead last in the entire NHL just a month ago, this is a surprising turn of events.
While the Flyers were at rock bottom, they held a lowly record of 16-23-6 and had only 38 points. However, after earning the next 14 out of a possible 14 points, the Flyers have not only crawled out of the basement, but they have also put a postseason appearance back on the table.
Despite the middle pack in the Eastern Conference being a lot more competitive than the Western Conference this year. The Flyers’ 52 points and 23-23-6 record only sits them seven points back of the final wildcard spot which is currently occupied by the Columbus Blue Jackets with 59 points.
An impressive fact about the Flyers’ win streak is that they have taken down top ranking teams along the way. The Flyers defeated the Central Division leading Winnipeg Jets by a final score of 3-1 on January, 28. They also beat the big bad Boston Bruins not once but twice during this stretch by scores of 4-3 and 3-2 in overtime.
The two players who have played key roles in the Flyers’ recent success have been captain Claude Giroux and rookie goaltender Carter Hart.
After finishing second in the league in scoring with a whopping 102 points last season according to Hockey Reference. Giroux has continued his dominant performance as the Flyers’ offensive backbone. This year, the 31-year-old currently has 56 points in 52 games and leads the Flyers in points yet again.
As for Hart, his story has been nothing short of miraculous. The Flyers have started seven different goaltenders this season which is the most by any other NHL team according to NHL Discussion. Almost all of their goalies have been severely inconsistent.
However, Hart has been a saving grace in the crease for the Flyers. At just 20 years of age, the former 2016 second-round pick has a .921 save percentage, a 2.58 goals against average and a 9-5-1 record after being called up to the big leagues.
In addition, Hart recently won the award for NHL rookie of the month for January after putting up an impressive .931 save percentage, a 2.33 goals against average and a 6-2-1 record. It is safe to say that as of right now, Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher is considering Hart to be the team’s franchise goaltender.
Coincidentally, Fletcher also mentioned that the only two players who are not up for sale at this year’s trade deadline is both Giroux and Hart according to NHL Discussion. Everyone else on the roster is fair game for other teams to submit trade offers.
The Flyers’ next game will be at home on Monday night against the Vancouver Canucks. If the team can extend their winning streak to eight games, they will be above .500 for the first time since November, 10 according to Hockey Reference.