Who are these Flyers? Get ready to find out

After just three losses all of February, the Flyers have dropped three straight to kick off March.

A sudden losing streak should be all the motivation needed for the Flyers as they look to hold down a postseason berth with 16 games to play.

But a little prove-it time can't hurt, either.

Because here come the Penguins and Bruins, right when the Flyers are facing a gut check.

How the Flyers react to this upcoming back-to-back set will say a lot about this team and its potential fate.

"For us, these next two games are crucial," Radko Gudas said Sunday. "It's going to show us a lot where we're at as a team and where we're going to be."

Indeed, and on multiple fronts.

The obvious is the Flyers are on a losing streak and want to get things right again. They're only a point behind Pittsburgh for second place in the Metropolitan Division and only two out of first place entering Tuesday's action.

Just as important, though, is what a victory or two could mean for the Flyers' psyche. The Flyers need to show themselves, more than anyone, that they can beat the Penguins and Bruins. 

They haven't beaten either this season, and the most recent losses to both are noteworthy. The last time the Flyers saw Pittsburgh was a 5-1 blowout at the Wells Fargo Center, while the lone Boston meeting was a 3-0 home blanking, which came at the height of the 10-game winless skid.

After hosting the Penguins Wednesday and visiting Boston Thursday, the Flyers still have one more game with each the rest of the way. Those matchups will hold great meaning, and so would confidence going into them.

No back-to-backs are easy, but this one serves as a massive barometer for Dave Hakstol's mix of youth and veterans, sizing it all up against two of the Eastern Conference's elite.

Pittsburgh, the two-time defending champions, winners in eight of its last 11 games and with the NHL's top power play.

And Boston, hockey's best team since mid-November with the league's fewest goals allowed at 2.48 per game.

Do the Flyers possess the defense and discipline to play with these teams? Are they not only a playoff contender, but also a group that can win a series for the first time since 2011-12? Where do the Flyers exactly stand?

Following Wednesday and Thursday, we'll have a much clearer idea — in the standings and the big picture, too.