Flyers Playoff Pulse Still Beating

Travis Konecny scored a short-handed breakaway goal and Sam Ersson stopped 20 shots to keep the Flyers’ miniscule postseason hopes alive with one game left to play in a 1-0 win over the New Jersey Devils on Saturday night.

The Flyers entered Saturday with two games left while Pittsburgh, Washington, and Detroit all had three games remaining as they competed for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Flyers had to win both games to have a shot at a playoff berth.

The rest hinged on Detroit, Pittsburgh, and Washington all losing or tying their games to give the Flyers a slim mathematical edge at making the postseason for the first time since they reached the Eastern Conference semifinals in 2020.

Dolans Wiffleball 2024
Dolans Wiffleball 2024

Konecny’s NHL-best sixth short-handed goal past Kappo Kahkonen in the second period stood as the difference maker and ensured the Flyers at least ended the game with a chance to extend their season. Just getting to the last week of the season with meaningful hockey to play had to feel like a small win for the franchise.

 Amid a rebuild, the team was widely picked by experts, fans, and bettors to finish near the bottom of the NHL. Veteran coach John Tortorella in his second season on the bench instead squeezed every ounce of talent and summoned all the grit he could out of his players to thrust them into a playoff race.

For most of the season, the Flyers not only played over their heads, but they also succeeded while navigating the loss of No. 1 goalie Carter Hart to sexual assault charges and the murky circumstances that led to 2022 No. 1 draft pick Cutter Gauthier forcing a trade.

Good times have been scarce in Philly when the NHL playoffs start — the Flyers missed each of the last three seasons and haven’t played a home postseason game since 2018. Philadelphia hasn’t won the Stanley Cup since its lone championships in 1974 and 1975.

Matt Bednarczyk
Matt Bednarczyk

Matt Bednarczyk is your host of Talking Philly Sports With Matty B. He is a proud retired US Army Sergeant First Class, he is also a combat veteran with over 80 months served in Afganistan, and Iraq . Huge Hockey Fan. Matt is a lifelong 4 for 4 Philly sports fan. Born and raised on the Mayfair and Tacony neighborhood lines of Northeast Philly. He brings over 40 years of Philadelphia Sports passion and provides a realistic look at our Major Sports Teams and the most passionate sports fans on the planet. Look for his show live on Edge of Philly Sports.