After finishing one point shy of the top seed in the Eastern Conference in 2010-2011, the Philadelphia Flyers looked primed to make another run at the top spot this season.
However, teams such as the New York Rangers, Boston Bruins, Pittsburgh Penguins and New Jersey Devils have all had very strong seasons and are beginning to push the Flyers further toward the middle of the pack.
Here are four things the Flyers need to do in their final 24 games to make it back up into the top position.
Ilya Bryzgalov feels no love from the Flyers.
Sergei Bobrovsky has more starts (5) than Bryzgalov (4) this month and Philly needs to change this. They need to give Bryzgalov their full confidence.
Bobrovsky has been brutally bad as of late. His save percentage this month is 82.2 percent. That is unacceptable for a team that is looking to do well in the playoffs.
Bryzgalov, on the other hand, was having a great month with a 94.1 percent save percentage until his little slip-up on Saturday. The Flyers need to lean on him and give him a reason to believe in himself.
No one minds going to Philadelphia to play because the Flyers are only 14-10-5 at home.
That is an unacceptable home record for a playoff team, let alone a team that has a chance to win the Eastern Conference.
I think Philly needs to win nine or more of their final 12 home games to even have a chance at winning the conference.
The Flyers are the most penalized team in the NHL. They have 40 more minor penalties than any other team in the league.
This hurts when your penalty kill is only average.
Philadelphia needs to clean up its act since they have allowed the second-most power play goals in the league.
If the Flyers want to take over the Eastern Conference lead, they need to perform better from behind in the third period.
When the Flyers head into the third period trailing they lose 89.9 percent of the time. This is 11th-worst in the league.
Strong finishing would help the Flyers back into the race for the top spot in the conference.