Flyers balanced attack leading them closer to playoffs

Claude Giroux leads the Flyers in points (69), goals (23) and assists (46). Credit: Getty Images
Claude Giroux leads the Flyers in points (69), goals (23) and assists (46). Credit: Getty Images

If you really want to breakdown the Flyers this season, you should look past the standings.

Sure, Philadelphia (40-29-9, 89 points) is in a tight battle for playoff position (and still needs to clinch a berth), but the team appears to have all the tools necessary to turn it on and make a run at a Stanley Cup, assuming they take care of business in two of their last four games, half of which are in Florida against the Panthers and Lightning.

“Playing Florida, I watched them today before our game and they’re a dangerous team right now,” Flyers head coach Craig Berube said. “They play with a lot of confidence and move the puck well, they have a lot of young players who skate well. We just have to go down there in the right mindset and we will be OK.”

After clinching a playoff spot, the rest of the Eastern Conference will have to contend with six 20-goal scorers (possibly seven if Vincent Lecavalier nets one more), led by Wayne Simmonds and Claude Giroux with 26 and 25 respectively.

The widely-distributed offensive attack also has 15 different skaters with double-digit assists (Giroux is fourth in the NHL with 54).

“It means we have good balance,” Berube said of his wide collection of weapons. “We have depth in scoring.”

Things seemed to open up for the Flyers Sunday night, following a stretch of four straight defeats (two in shootouts), Philadelphia was able to earn a decisive and impressive victory. Even if it was against the lowly Sabres.

“It really helps,” Berube said of the win. “Even though we played well against Boston and St. Louis, we lost in the shootout. It was important I think for the confidence level to get the guys’ spirits back up.”

“There are a few games to go things are really tight,” Mark Streit said. “It was a good win for us.”

The Flyers have the Blue Jackets in their rear view, just two points behind them contending for the final playoff spot in the Metropolitan Division behind the Penguins and Rangers. But there will be no scoreboard watching in the Flyers’ locker room. With only four games left, the team controls its own destiny.

“Every game is important,” Read said. “You have to worry who you’re playing but you have to worry about yourself too.”

The puck drops against Florida Tuesday night at 7:30.

 



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