I don’t even know if you could call complacency a “misfortune.” It’s more self-inflicted than externally imposed.
There are two things that can kill a sports team down the stretch: injuries and complacency.
According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “complacency” is defined as “self-satisfaction, especially when accompanied by unawareness or actual dangers or deficiencies.”
In layman’s terms, complacency is when a team thinks they’re the best and they don’t believe they can get any better. Failure is usually followed by complacency. Many sports teams fall off during the final stretch of the regular season. In high school, this phenomenon was called the “senior slide.”
The Flyers are sitting just three points below the top seed in the NHL (before tonight's game against Toronto) and the homestretch is upon them. As Steve Whyno of Philly Sports Daily points out, “Teams out of the playoff race don’t feel the pressure—and that’s what makes them dangerous.”
The Flyers will be facing a lot of bad teams in the next couple of months. These teams have nothing to play for, so you can bet the farm that they’ll be looking to derail the dreams of the orange and black.
Something tells me that the Flyers understand the importance of finishing strong. If they think otherwise, they’ll surely meet the iron fist of Peter Laviolette.
Just ask Ville Leino.
This article is also featured on Broad Street Puck.