It seems fitting that the Philadelphia Flyers would step into playoff position by turning heads with some very impressive play.
This situation was a challenge, no doubt about that.
On Tuesday, the Flyers thwarted the Detroit Red Wings, and they did so in regulation. You’d think that the Flyers would then run out of steam in facing the Blackhawks in Chicago a day later, but they instead answered the challenge.
Philly fought back from two one-goal deficits in this game, eventually riding a Radko Gudas goal to a 3-2 win against the Blackhawks.
With that, the Flyers bump the Detroit to the outside of the playoff picture, taking the East’s final wild card spot for the night. It’s a solid spot, too, with various advantages going Philadelphia’s way:
Wild card update
1. Pittsburgh – 82 points, 69 games played
2. Philadelphia – 80 points, 69 games played
Detroit – 79 points, 70 games played
(There are other East teams hovering behind Detroit, but let’s just look at that trio for the time being.)
This wasn’t about the Flyers merely surviving, either. They heavily out-shot the Red Wings last night, and didn’t really seem in over their heads against the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Speaking of those defending champs, the Blackhawks’ struggles continued tonight, even after mixing up lines. They’ve lost four straight games and five of six.
These are the sort of contests that might make the difference as the Blackhawks jockey for position in the Central. That notion solidifies just how, well, solid a win this was for the rising Philadelphia Flyers.
In other words, don’t be surprised if people claim that the Flyers are “for real.”