Thursday, March 13, 2008

It could happen...

Philadelphia has 11 games left. They have a five-point lead on the Caps for eighth place in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers have had 11 game stretches that have not gone well...

November 28 - December 22: 3-7-1

The Flyers beat Carolina (3-1) in the first game of this 11-game stretch and pounded Pittsburgh (8-2). Their losses were to some pretty good teams -- the only losses to non-top-eight teams were to Phoenix and to Buffalo (twice, once in a shootout).

February 6 - February 28: 1-8-2

This stretch started with a 4-3 loss to the Capitals and launched the Flyers on a ten-game winless streak. They ended the slide in the 11th game of this run, a 4-3 shootout win over Buffalo. Again, they lost to some pretty good teams here. The losses to non-top-eight teams were to Washington, the Islanders, Tampa Bay, and Florida (in overtime).

February 21 - March 12 (current): 5-3-3

While their most recent 11 games suggests a reversal of fortune from those two bad stretches, they are only 2-2-1 in their last five, all against non-top-eight teams. They've lost to Bufflo and Toronto (twice, once in overtime).

Their last 11 is quite a challenge (as if the Caps' isn't), their records against those teams this season in parentheses:
@Boston (1-1-1)
@Pittsburgh (4-1-0)
Atlanta (3-0-0)
NY Rangers (1-3-2)
NY Islanders (5-1-0)
@NY Rangers (1-3-2)
@New Jersey (1-5-0)
@NY Islanders (5-1-0)
@Pittsburgh (4-1-0)
New Jersey (1-5-0)
Pittsburgh (4-1-0)
The Flyers are 4-2-2 since losing Mike Richards to injury, but in those eight games, they've played only two top-eight teams -- the reeling Senators and the Rangers.

And, speaking of injury, Richards remains out with a hamstring injury, Joffrey Lupul just returned on March 12th after sustaining a high-ankle sprain, and Daniel Briere has been dealing with shoulder problems. Simon Gagne is out for the year with a concussion.

Of course, none of this matters if the Capitals don't win, and in the end that is the only thing the Caps hold in their hands -- the ability to put pressure on a team like the Flyers by just winning.


daveukcapsfan said...

I can see the following:

Flyers: 4-7-0 Total points = 87
Sabres: 5-6-0 Total points = 85
Caps: 7-3-1 Total points = 89

I think 3rd seed/Division title has gone, can no one beat the Canes for us?

By the way, our 3 losses will be the Canes,(home and away) and the game in Nashville. The OT loss will be Atlanta away.

Saw it here first!

the Deuce said...

Stop it Peerless. You're making me start to believe. Should I really plunk down my $1400 playoff deposit? I actually think we have a better chance of catching Boston than Philly, but whatever, I'll take either one. I ran my wishful thinking numbers this morning and came up with the Flyers, Caps, and Rangers as the 6,7, and 8 seeds. Ah, to dream....

Anonymous said...

@ the deuce...

then if we get #8, would you rather play the top seeded habs, pens, or devils?

i'd love to see huet vs habs, but they might know him too well...

i'd love to see us vs the pens, but we have 2 wins in the last 14 games against them...

i'd love to see us vs the devs, because some playoffs are better than none and we can beat the devs