Flyers Faithful asked Travis Hughes from SB Nation and Broad Street Hockey, Matt P. From The 700 Level, Mark Trible from The Checking Line and our very own Pavialax five questions about the playoffs. We are very grateful that they took the time to share their opinions and predictions with us. Each day of this week, we will run the answers to one of those questions. Today’s question is:
Travis Hughes: Really good question. I mean, I guess the definition of “disastrous” would apply to anything less than “getting back to the Finals,” so in that regard, considering the team has only made the Finals eight times in their 43 year history, I guess disastrous should be kind of expected. I’m a pretty firm believer that history, in terms of franchise history impacting the current team, doesn’t have much of an impact on the present.
Luck also plays a huge role in winning in the playoffs, getting to the Finals and winning a Cup, and it’s not easy for luck to fall your way two years in a row. That said, if any team can do it, it’s this one. When looking at the other contenders, which teams besides Detroit and Chicago really have the same playoff experience as the Flyers do right now? Pittsburgh is depleted to the point where they might not win a round, and all of the other teams are rather unfamiliar with deep runs. The cards are stacked properly for the Flyers again this year… it’s just a matter of making them fall the right way.
Matt P: Anything’s possible once the playoffs start, so it’s definitely not out of the question. Last season we saw a seven seed go deep while the high seeds all died. I think the stat you mentioned has to do with the overall difficulty of having a deep run any given year, meaning it’s hard to do it once, let alone twice in a row.
However, I like the mix of youth and experience the Flyers currently have. They’re young enough to still have a lot of players on the right side of their prime, and experienced based on last season’s run.
Mark Trible: Hmm….Disastrous? Not this year. Despite some troubles in the second half of the season, the Flyers are still one of the best equipped teams to win in the playoffs in the Eastern Conference. With that being stated, it depends on the definition of ‘disastrous’. For a top seed, losing in the first round would probably fall under that category. For the Flyers? It has been ‘Stanley Cup or bust’ since Patrick Kane’s cup-clinching goal last season. So, if the team fails to get to the Finals, that may fall under ‘disastrous’.
Anything can happen in the NHL playoffs, which is what makes the spectacle all the more interesting. However, I don’t think the Flyers will be eliminated until the ECF at the very earliest. If ‘disastrous’ means losing in the first two rounds, I don’t see it happening.
Pavialax: I don’t think so. Laviolette definitely has his fingers on the pulse of this team. As long as he can instill his will to win in his players and has them all on the same page by the time the playoffs start, the Flyers are a fearsome opponent for any team in a 7 game series.