The Philadelphia Flyers will not compete in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
That much was made official Friday evening, when the New York Rangers crushed the fading chances of the Flyers qualifying for the post-season with an 8-4 victory over the Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers win also eliminated the Sabres from playoff contention.
The Flyers lost five of their first seven games and never could get back to their winning ways of recent years.
“It’s the first time in a long time for Philadelphia, for myself, to be eliminated not by your own doing,” Flyers forward Scott Hartnell told CSN Philadelphia. “It sucks.”
The Flyers’ disappointing performance during this lockout-shortened season has led to questions about how the franchise moves forward.
This has led to talk about the future of head coach Peter Laviolette, although general manager Paul Holmgren recently gave the bench boss a vote of confidence, despite not making the playoffs.
And what about the future of high-priced goalie Ilya Bryzgalov, who is just two years into a nine-year, $51 million contract. Does he get bought out in the off-season?
The 32-year-old puck stopper has endured a second shaky season in Philadelphia, with an 18-17-3 record. His 2.84 goals-against average is ranked 38th among NHL goalies and his .898 save percentage is 45th in the league.