Philadelphia Flyers Playoff Hopes Live or Die with Season Finale against Rangers

Bleacher ReportAnalyst IApril 11, 2010

NEW YORK - APRIL 09:  Brandon Dubinsky #17 of the New York Rangers looks to pass against the Philadelphia Flyers during their game on April 9, 2010 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  (Photo by Chris McGrath/Getty Images)
Chris McGrath/Getty Images


Eighty one games into the regular season, it's safe to say that the Philadelphia Flyers are not where they want to be in the standings.

In a win and you're in scenario, the Flyers will host the New York Rangers in what is really the biggest game of the season on Sunday afternoon to put an end to what has been a miserable regular season.

Whether the Flyers make the playoffs all lies with today's tilt with the Rangers as Philadelphia needs one point to clinch a playoff berth while New York needs two points.

Bottom line, if the Flyers win, they're in. If they lose, the Rangers are in.

Pretty simple, eh?

Not exactly as Philly can still make the playoffs as long as they can take the Rangers to an extra period to earn an overtime loss, which will give them a point and a tie with New York in the standings.

If this scenario, the Flyers will win the tiebreaker (wins).

Here's the good news for Flyers fans, if the Orange 'n' Black can beat New York in their final game, they will clinch the seventh seed in the East. That means they'll get either the New Jersey Devils or Buffalo Sabres.

Now, if the Flyers get into the postseason by losing in OT to the Rangers, they will get the eighth seed and a first round meeting with the Washington Capitals.

If the Flyers lose, they get to join Tiger Woods in the golf course.

The Sabres will play the Devils on Sunday in what will decide who gets the second seed in the East.

If the Sabres can win in regulation, they will lock up the second seed, however if the Devils win or lose in overtime, they will take the second seed as New Jersey owns the tiebreaker (wins) over Buffalo.

What we want is the Flyers to get the seventh seed with a win over the Rangers for a couple reasons. First off, you don't want to get into the playoffs by losing in overtime. Secondly, the Flyers stand somewhat of a chance against Jersey or the Sabres.

The Flyers won their season series with the Devils fives games to one, and are 1-2-1 against the Sabres this year. When was the last time you wished the Flyers would draw Martin Brodeur and the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs?

Never, but that's the case this year.

With Brian Boucher as the team's No. 1 goalie, the Flyers don't have great chances to go very far in the playoffs.

To many, if they don't get swept is an accomplishment. Not a lot of people will handicap the Flyers with any kind of a chance to win a playoff series, but they do stand a shot with the Devils.

New Jersey has great goaltending with Brodeur, and one of the best players in the league in Ilya Kovalchuk, but they don't have scoring depth. The Flyers have the goal scoring, and the defense to stay with the Devils. In a seven game series, they could win it.

Buffalo strictly relies on the goaltending of Ryan Miller as they don't have much offense at all. They will go as far as the Olympian Miller will carry them.

While the Flyers don't have the goalies to be legit contenders in the playoffs, they can hold their own with the Sabres or NJ.

The worst case scenario for the Flyers is actually losing to the Rangers in overtime, even though it means they make the playoffs.

It would be better for the franchise and the fans for the team to miss the playoffs completely than go get stomped on by the Capitals.

I think the Caps are frauds, and will not win in the postseason. They don't have the goaltending, the defense or the centers to win in the NHL's second season, but they will have their way with the Flyers.

No matter what happens today, it will be one heck of a finish to what has been a wild NHL season.

For more Philadelphia sports coverage, please go to my blog: The Broad Street Scoop.


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