Inconsistency is the featured word heading into tonight’s clash between the Flames and the Philadelphia Flyers. This is the first and only meeting between the clubs this season as in the past two years; each team has one win against each other (10/11- Flames 3-2 SO, 09/10- Flyers- 3-0). Dating back almost a decade shows that Dome ice has been good for the Flyers winning 3 straight since March 2001. Both teams have battled inconsistency this season, causing respective coaches and front office staff to pull the hair out of their head at moments and wonder if their team is a legitimate playoff team.
After only five minutes into the second period, it looked like it was going to be a long night.
Losers of three consecutive games against three division opponents and being held scoreless for over 98 minutes, the Philadelphia Flyers managed to lose two separate leads almost as quickly as they had gained them.
Facing a formidable Toronto Maple Leafs club that could pull within three points of the Flyers in the Eastern Conference standings with a win, Thursday night was a chance for a struggling team to turn the ship around.
While the first five minutes of the second was disappointing, it was the final five minutes that proved to be the game.
Following a goal by Claude Giroux to take the lead, it was Brayden Schenn who scored around the five-minute mark to give the Flyers enough to hold on for a 4-3 win.
There is one simple fact to always remember when discussing the Philadelphia Flyers.
The team goes as Claude Giroux goes.
Merely two points off the league lead, Giroux is attempting to become the first player in Flyers history to win the league’s scoring title. Not to mention, that finishing the season with a triple digit point total is a realistic possibility.
However, there is one snag in the fairy tale that has been Giroux’s season to this point.
Even the most casual of fans can tell you that Wayne Simmonds is the classic example of the kind of athlete that Philadelphia fans love to call their own.
Hardworking, physical and largely underappreciated away from Philly, Simmonds is the kind player that doesn’t always come to the forefront of your mind when discussing skills, but is always number one when you talk about heart.
However, that doesn’t mean that Simmonds doesn’t have skills.
Although it may not be his forte, it’s ill advised to underestimate the 23-year old’s ability to contribute to the offensive phase of the game.
This was made evident on Thursday night when the gritty forward scored two goals against the Nashville Predators.
The Winnipeg Jets and Philadelphia Flyers met for the third time this season on Tuesday night and Bryan Little would be the deciding shooter in the shoot-out to give the Jets the extra point in a tight Eastern Conference match up.