These are troubling times for the newly-minted sole
proprietors of last place in the Atlantic Division – yes, even the Islanders
are in better shape than the Flyers right now. In fact, no NHL team is coming
off of as damaging a week, their three games without points the worst such ongoing
streak in the league.
Despite the current slide, Philadelphia remains a mere four
points out of a playoff spot, so it’s not quite the end of the world.
On the other hand, the Flyers would have to win a game occasionally
in order for any of that to actually matter.
Theoretically the Sabres are an opportune opponent given the
situation. Buffalo failed to reach the tournament a year ago, and were out to
6-10-1 start before the organization removed long-time head coach Lindy Ruff on
February 20. The club has improved only marginally since Ron Rolston was
promoted from AHL affiliate Rochester, posting a 3-3-2 record up to this point.
Then again, the Flyers have done little to distinguish
themselves from the likes of the Sabres, let alone any other team writhing at
the bottom of the pile in the Eastern Conference. Philly has just two more
points than Buffalo in the standings, three more than last-place Florida.
The Sabres also own a win over Orange & Black from back
in the second game of the year, although one aided by questionable officiating.
The Flyers had a goal waved off on a bad goaltender interference call, and
another wasn’t counted thanks to a premature whistle in the 5-2 loss.
While they may not be a long way from getting their season
back on track, the Bullies have much further to travel before they come
anywhere near rebuilding the city’s shaken confidence. However, at least they could
stem the tide somewhat by picking up a W tonight.
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