The 2009 Philadelphia Flyers are a good team. But that's it, a GOOD team. As of this date, April 5, 2009, the flyers sit in fourth place in the Eastern Conference playoff race with four games remaining. They are ahead of the Carolina Hurricanes by percentage points and and two points ahead of their intra-state rival Pittsburgh Penguins for 6th.
Here are the facts. The Philadelphia Flyers will make the 2009 playoffs, but don't expect a repeat of their Eastern Conference finals effort in the 2008 playoffs. The team this year doesn't have the same intensity as last years team.
So, what makes this team a "good" team as opposed to a "great" team. First, the team has balanced scoring. The flyers are the only team in the National Hockey League to have three players score 30 or more goals in a season, with Jeff Carter leading the way with 44 goals.
However, the problem this team faces is having someone to carry the team when they need it. Their captain, Mike Richards, leads the team with 78 points which is good for 15th in the league. Nothing to get too excited about.
Second, the team can't seem to string a few wins together. Over the past two weeks the team would trade back and forth between wins and losses. If you are going to make a long run in the playoffs, you want to be playing like the Carolina Hurricanes.
Over the past two weeks the hurricanes have won their last eight games and have played themselves into contention for a home playoff series.
Finally, look at what the teams battling with the flyers did at the trading deadline. The flyers decided that the team they had at the deadline was good enough. At the time of the deadline, the team they had at the deadline was good enough.
However, when teams like the Pittsburgh Penguins, New York Rangers, and New Jersey Devils make serious moves to better the squad, "standing pat" at the trade deadline only hurts your overall goal.
I expect this team to clinch a playoff spot in their next game. They only need one more point to clinch.
However, their first series in the playoffs won't be too favorable. They will face either the Carolina Hurricanes or the Pittsburgh Penguins. Two teams that are hot and dangerous for the playoffs.