As we approach the trade deadline, the playoff picture is becoming clear for many teams. Usually, we can predict the teams that will be making deep playoff runs by judging their trade deadline moves – either by what players they trade for, or trade away.
As of right now, it looks like the Flyers will have a front row seat to the playoffs. They are currently sitting in the third seed in the Metropolitan division, but there’s still a lot of hockey to be played.
When entering this season, the doubts were abounding about whether or not Philadelphia was going to make the playoffs. Settling for this season to be one where the team had younger players get another year of pro league experience under their belts, and then push for a spot next year. However, this team truly looks like a team that can compete with just about anyone, and will be in the playoffs come April.
If the Flyers are able to pull this off with Elliott out for the next few weeks, it will be key in the development of all of the young players on the roster who have yet to play in what many refer to as, “the REAL hockey season”. Playoff hockey is an entirely different beast than the regular season. Players are much more focused and the intensity of every team is on a whole other level. They will play through injuries and anything else just to get to the Final and, with that, a possibility to achieve every young hockey player’s dream: winning the Stanley Cup.
As nice as it would be, this is probably not going to be the year the Flyers win the Cup, but it is still essential that they make it to the playoffs, just to get the experience of what the playoffs will be like. A few younger players, such as Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick, and Ivan Provorov, have only watched the playoffs from the outside. Obviously, they’ve only been in the league for one or two years, and haven’t been waiting for too long, but getting that playoff experience is necessary, as all three of them will likely be essential in any future playoff runs. Konency is looking like he will be remaining on the top line for the foreseeable future, while Patrick looks like a true number two center that the Flyers haven’t had in a long time. Meanwhile, on the defensive side, Provorov looks to be a franchise defenseman for many years to come. If they are able to get to the playoffs this year, it will be a huge advantage for the future.
If you look at past Stanley Cup winning teams, you can pretty much see that none of them won in their first try.; it took them a couple years of losing in order to finally win it all. As stated prior, many didn’t believe this team would be making the playoffs until next year but, now that it is clear they can, it is essential that the Philadelphia Flyers end up making it in order for the core players to get that experience. This would put them a year ahead of where many thought they would be this season, and would serve as a way to get the Flyers ready for a true Stanley Cup run in 2019 or 2020.