The Philadelphia Flyers last game of the regular season on Saturday against the Ottawa Senators had major playoff implications.
Too bad none of them involved the Flyers.
The Senators clinched the first wild card and a first-round date with the Canadians with their 3-1 win.
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The Flyers, on the other hand, were playing for pride and as spoilers. Their dismal season with ended at 33-31-18 for 84 points, fortunately, is over.
Even still, let’s take a look back at some highs, lows and oddities of the last 82 games.
A 3-2 win over Pittsburgh on Jan. 20. The Flyers defeated their arch-rivals in overtime on Claude Giroux’s power play goal in a wildly entertaining game that featured four spirited fights in the second period. The team went 6-0-3 over their next nine games and climbed back into the playoff race.
A 3-2 loss to Boston on March 7, when they gave up a game-tying goal with 14 seconds left in the third period and lost in overtime. Rather than climb to within two points of the Bruins, who held the final playoff berth, the Flyers were five points back and they never recovered. Berube’s bunch went 5-6-6 down the stretch.
The most head-scratching streaks
Over the final two months of the year, the Flyers compiled a stretch of hockey that was near impossible to predict and near impossible to duplicate. They went an unexplainable 0-7-5 against teams that weren’t headed to the playoffs while conversely posting a mind-boggling 11-2-4 mark against teams that were headed to the playoffs.
“I’m mystified, for sure,” coach Craig Berube said after Thursday’s loss to the Hurricanes.
The most head-scratching statistics
Somehow goalie Steve Mason finished with as many road wins as he had road shutouts – and neither of the shutouts resulted in a win. Before he won in Pittsburgh on April 1, Mason was in danger of actually finishing the season with fewer wins on the road than shutouts – which came in 1-0 shootout losses.
The other peculiar stat belonged to captain Claude Giroux, who didn’t score an even strength goal at home until March 26 against the Blackhawks in home game No. 36.
The year of free hockey
The Flyers set a club record for games that went past regulation. They played in 26 games that weren’t decided in the first 60 minutes, eclipsing the old mark of 24 set in 1998-99. However, the extra session and shootout were not kind to the Flyers, who were a combined 8-18 in OT and the skills competition.
Sellout streak ends
With the team’s performance on the ice and in the standings taking a dip, so did the attendance. The team’s sellout streak came to an end on Feb. 5, breaking a span of 175 straight sellouts that started in on Nov. 18, 2010.
Least valuable player: R.J. Umberger
The diminutive forward was a complete bust after arriving in a trade from Columbus for fan-favorite Scott Hartnell. He finished with nine goals, six assists and was a minus-9 in 75 games before being shut down for the season due to an injury.
Player least likely to return next season: Ray Emery.
The back-up goalie, who is not signed for next year, was not terrible but too inconsistent. He typically followed up a strong outing with a couple of clunkers and Berube appeared to lose confidence in him midway through the year.