The Flyers faced many trials and tribulations this season; being flooded with injuries and poor defensive play all year. But now is the time for the team's stars to put the past behind them and rise to the occasion.
Three specific players must elevate their play during the final stretch of Philly's schedule to help the team advance into the postseason: captain Claude Giroux, Danny Briere and Ilya Bryzgalov
There is no question, Giroux was pressing his play early in the season. Whether it was due to his first year as captain or sorely missing ex-teammate Jaromir Jagr, G was off. Lately, the Flyers' superstar has compiled 10 points in his last eight games and is now tied for the team lead in points.
Philadelphia will now only go as far as its captain will lead them. Giroux must continue his hot play, leaving everything on the ice. This will not only help the Flyers' postseason goal, but expose his true identity as the team's leader.
Briere is an interesting case for the team. The veteran forward, known for his postseason dominance and gritty power play, recently played in his first game since March 18—due to a concussion.
Since his return, Briere has played in two games, tallying an assist and averaging a little over 15:50 minutes on the ice. The Flyers will be leaning on his late-season experience to help propel them into the playoffs. If Briere can play to his capabilities, the versatile forward may be the much-needed spark Philly is looking for.
Last and most important, is the play of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov. Through all the headlines, interviews, rumors and benchings, Bryz must find a way to become a rock in net. It is crucial that he plays his best hockey during the final days of the regular season, even if reserve goalie Steve Mason were to spell him in during the stretch.
The eccentric player must now focus on the prize at hand, to sure up his future in Philadelphia and contribute to its postseason run. Fortunately, four of the last six games will be at home—where Bryz has played much better in the net.
If these players can step up their play, it could benefit the Flyers' attempt at the postseason.