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The Flyers Are Probably Done, But How Many Times Have You Heard That Before? (And Other Notes)

Apr 10, 2013, 2:23 AM EDT

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There isn’t have much to add to the sad tale of The Flyers Lose to the Islanders 4-1 on
Tuesday Night
, the title of which alone is probably more than most folks
would care to read. We’ll simply caution in one small department: this wasn’t
necessarily the end.

How many times have the Flyers lost a “must win” this year and been left for dead?
Two? Three? A handful, give or take? Yet here we are, still talking about the
playoffs.

It’s not what anybody wants to hear right now, but then neither
is the statement Long Island has a better hockey club than Philadelphia. As of
today they do.

The Isles are getting hot at the right time, improving their
record to 7-1-1 over the last nine tilts, and since beginning the season 4-7-1,
they’ve been posting a 16-9-3 pace. That is a legit playoff team.

The Flyers of course do not look like a legit playoff team by any
means, but until additional contestants step up and seize the last couple of playoff
spots (or spot, singular) like the Islanders appear to have done, the
postseason is still up for grabs.

Unless the Flyers keep losing obviously. That will crush
their postseason hopes, too.

We thought they were finished on several
occasions already, but some of the competition hasn’t quite been able to separate from the pack. Even though whatever remained of the Flyers’ playoff chances was essentially cut
in half after this latest loss to New York, they remain the same number of points back of eighth place –
five – as they were entering Tuesday. So, ya know, they might jump right back
into the race with a few wins, because hey why not anything’s possible.

Then again, maybe the Flyers were out of the running this entire time.

Notes

Steve
Mason started the game in net for the Orange & Black in a move some people
remarked could be a sign of a permanent change moving forward if it proved
successful. The fact that Ilya Bryzgalov played 22 games in a row had nothing
to do with it (not my words).

Anyway, Mason was okay in his first start for the Flyers,
stopping 28 of 31 shots in the loss, but fell victim to many of the same
problems as Bryz has. Poor backchecking allowed rushes to turn into odd-man scenarios, one
of which was even compounded by a little friendly fire from Erik Gustafsson.

Regardless of what the front office decides to do as it
pertains Bryzgalov, what is any goaltender supposed to do about this?

In
a thrill that could probably best be compared to winning a buck off of a $20
scratch-off, the Flyers may have come up with the play of the night. Claude Giroux
found Jakub Voracek streaking into New York’s zone with a one-hopper from
deeeeeep in their own end, and Jake slipped the puck under Evgeni Nabokov as fellow
Islander Andrew McDonald crashed into him. Amazing pass, great finish, and
ultimately meaningless.

In
other news, the Pittsburgh Penguins clinched the Atlantic Division. Cherry on
top.

>> BOX SCORE [Flyers.com]

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