The Flyers moved up another rung on the ladder Tuesday night.
By passing the Buffalo Sabres and beating them on home ice, the Flyers sidestepped another obstacle between themselves and the Pittsburgh Penguins, who hold the final wild card position in the East.
It took six weeks to climb over six teams to where they are now, which is half the battle of digging out of an early season crater.
However, the Flyers are still stuck.
The Flyers came out of their bye week in late January and proceeded to rip off four straight wins, reducing their playoff deficit in half from 14 points to just seven in a span of six days. It looked way too easy
However, over the past three-and-a-half weeks, the Flyers have just been spinning their wheels.
Still, seven points back of where they need to be entering Thursday’s game in Columbus, the frustrating part is the Flyers have played very respectably with a 7-4-1 mark over their last 12 games.
“It’s our fault that we put ourselves in that situation,” said Jake Voracek. “We cut it in half, but you got to understand that we lost to Pittsburgh at home and we lost to Montreal, which were two games we needed to win. We are still lucky that we’re at the same seven points.”
Voracek usually has a prediction of what the target point total it will take to get in. But he’s backing off that number this season only to say the Flyers need to win at least 13 of their final 19 regular season games.
And that still may not be enough.
Last season, it took 97 points. For the Flyers to get to that same point total, they need to take 30 out of a possible 38 points. And some games are more important than others. Like their final meeting of the season against the Blue Jackets — a potential four-point swing in the standings.
Columbus has taken six points in the season series while the Flyers have mustered just one. Against the Metro Division, the Flyers own a divisional-worst 6-9-1 mark.
“We need to be better in our division,” Sean Couturier said. “We’ve lost three times already to Columbus. Those are points that we can’t get back. It’s almost our playoffs right now.”
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