Philadelphia Flyers Find Their Wings

Billy WestContributor IJanuary 12, 2010

PHILADELPHIA - NOVEMBER 24:  Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers skates against the Dallas Stars on November 24, 2008 at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

As I write this, the Flyers are up 5-1 on Dallas, and I'm listening to the "2nd intermission report" on Internet radio.  I'm writing this because I'm pretty excited about what's going on.  This game is summing up the Flyers' performance lately, and will make them 8-1-1 in the last 10 games if they don't completely stuff this game up.

Flyers are scoring 5+ goals-per-game again (tonight's their 14th of the season with 5+ goals, and their 20th of the season with 4+ goals).  They've had four opposing goalies pulled in the last seven games.  Their power play is potent again, and tonight they've also managed to renew the shorthanded goals that defined their ethic last season.

On top of this, they're about to head home for the majority of this month, and get Ray Emery back.

But what's most important to me is how everybody's getting in on the action, all four lines are scoring.  Flyers are by no means a one or two line team; they have a checking line that also scores and forechecks for the majority of their playing time.  It's the team we saw at the beginning of the season.

Beating the Penguins was great.  They were without Sergei Gonchar, which was quite a blow, and Philly kicked Marc-Andre Fleury out of his net, (but Pens fans tell me all the time how horrible the Flyers are, so they should have beaten us right?)

Flyers play the Caps in Washington in about a week—that's the big test.  Then they play the Pens again, and then have the whole home/away duo against the Devils (Simon Gagne just scored, up 6-1 on the Stars, hurray!) in early February.  These are litmus tests for success, and if the Flyers are the real deal, they should win three out of four of these contests.

Hopefully, this run can last into the playoffs and the Flyers can climb into a home advantage spot in the East, but this is hockey, so Touch wood.