We're Playoff Bound, But Now's Not The Time to Focus On The Post-Season >

We're Playoff Bound, But Now's Not The Time to Focus On The Post-Season

Created 6 years 208 days ago
by Michael DeNicola

Tags: Playoffs
Views: 1187


Because of Saturday night's 4 - 1 dominance over the visiting Montreal Canadiens, the Philadelphia Flyers secured a Playoff spot for the 2012 Stanley Cup run. 

Danny Briere shook the Habs' twine twice, snapping a scoreless drought since his empty netter on March 13th, and his first time beating a goalie since his hat trick against the Senators on January 7th. 

Naturally, I received a lot of text messages about Briere's two lit lamps. As I'm sure you don't need me to remind you, Ol' Danny and I have a Love/Hate relationship and I have never been one to shy away from laying on the verbal beating pretty thickly. But in this case, I am happy to chow down on my crow and receive the lashings I've been getting from friends and readers alike. 

Moving along to tonight, our Broad Street Bullies faceoff against a Tampa Bay Lightning team that have nothing to gain from a win except some dignity before the candlelight dies out on the regular season. 

The Bolts are sitting 11th in the Eastern Conference and remain 9-points out of Playoff contention. Granted, that 8th Seed is still up for grabs, but realistically speaking this is a year the Lightning would just rather sweep under the rug and forget about. 

Knowing all of this and having a sure-spot in the QuarterFinals, it's got to be tough for the Flyers not to look past tonight's contest. But now -- more than ever -- Philadelphia absolutely cannot afford to stretch their focus beyond the remainder of the regular schedule.

Seven tilts left. Now's the time to continue taking it game-by-game, build up some steam, and bull rush into the Playoffs. We're going to need it.

Pittsburgh's been on a freakish streak, losing only twice since February 21st. They're a single point behind the Conference-leading New York Rangers, and seem to be the likely candidate to occupy the top of the heap by April 8th. This means it'd probably be a Rangers/Flyers QuarterFinals. 

But I'm getting ahead of myself. 

Between today and April 7th, we face the Rangers once and the Penguins two more times. Ilya Bryzgalov is playing exactly how we anticipated before the season began, and hopefully the surge in goals from Saturday carries into tonight's game and throughout the remaining stances. 

Seeing as how Pittsburgh or Manhattan are our likely competition early in the post-season, the orange and black have a chance to get the final upper-hand and disrupt their confidence levels before any bloody seven game series. 

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