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Flyers' Nightmare Reaches Its Conclusion

The Philadelphia Flyers' season is likely over.

After dropping a 3-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, they find themselves seven points back of the final playoff spot with eight games to go, needing a bevy of extremely unlikely circumstances to occur for them to even slide into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.

"We have a game coming up," head coach Peter Laviolette said after the loss. "We need to win hockey games and focus on the next one."

That may be the only thing the Flyers can do—just try to win with what they have.

(Pictured: Claude Giroux during warm-ups. Photo by Candice Monhollan)

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The Checking Line -- Flyers Edition is proudly announcing that we will be giving away an autographed puck signed by Philadelphia Flyers legends Bernie Parent and Dave "The Hammer" Schultz.

Details after the jump.

No Room For Bozak in Leafs' future

*This article originally appeared on www.mapleleafscentral.com

“If the player wants to be here and we want him, my experience has been that generally we find a way to make it happen."

That quote is from general manager Dave Nonis on April 3 in regards to a possible Tyler Bozak extension.

It’s worrisome if you believe Bozak is the Toronto Maple Leafs’ weakest link among their top-nine centres. The statistics support that claim, as Bozak seems to excel at faceoffs and not much else. His defensive play is suspect and he’s generally a passenger on the top line considering the amount of ice-time he receives. He leads all Maple Leafs in time on ice...

To Go Streit Ahead or Trade Streit Away?

At this moment, Islanders captain Mark Streit is sitting and wondering if he will receive a phone call from GM Garth Snow to tell him that he has been traded (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

It was tweeted out yesterday by Darren Dreger of TSN and reinforced by Newsday reporter Arthur Staple that negotiations on a contract extension for Streit have stalled with the Islanders.

The club apparently does not want to trade the 35-year old defenseman and would much rather keep his veteran presence part of the late season playoff push. But unless things change, he will be a UFA by this summer.

New York Islanders Get Away With One Against the New Jersey Devils

The New York Islanders stole a 3-1 road victory over the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center Monday night. It wasn’t the prettiest win, but the Islanders showed that despite occasional defensive lapses and a lackluster overall effort in the second period, they were able to get a result against their division rivals.

It would almost be fair to categorize the replay of this game as NSFW.

Playing in front of a sold-out crowd at The Rock, the Islanders continued their stretch of solid play on the road this season, even if they aren’t concerned with style points. New York improved to 11-5-1 overall away from the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, proving once again that they’re capable of winning games in hostile environments.

The Isles Need To Continue Re-Signing Veterans Beyond This Season

As reported previously this week, the New York Islanders locked up defenseman Lubomir Visnovsky with a two-year contract extension worth $9.5 million.

GM Garth Snow has once again managed to acquire a valuable veteran through the trade market and convince him to stay longer than planned after he previously tried to avoid joining the team (Photo Credit: Robert Kowal/Flickr).

The first player that went through a similar scenario was goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, who is also playing in the final year of his contract. However, it has already been reported by Arthur Staple of Newsday that he appears to have an interest with staying with the team.

Leafs Should Target Bouwmeester

*This article originally appeared at thehockeywriters.com/mapleleafscentral

If Dave Nonis plans on being active before the trade deadline on April 3, Jay Bouwmeester should be a primary target.

The 29-year-old comes with a hefty cap-hit at $6.68 million, which runs through next season, but he’s exactly what the Toronto Maple Leafs require: a first-pair defenseman capable of playing tough minutes.

Bouwmeester ranks third among NHL defensemen in Corsi QoC (quality of competition) at even strength, behind only Dion Phaneuf and Mike Weber.  He averages over 25 minutes of ice-time per game with over three of those minutes coming on the penalty kill. Acquiring a pla...

Comeback Identity Plagues the Flyers

Rewind to the Spring of 2010. The Philadelphia Flyers, down 3-0 in the Stanley Cup semifinal round, came back to take the series against the Boston Bruins while down 3-0 in game seven. The comeback mentality of the Flyers started then, and it hasn't let go.

That moment in Flyers history may be a fond one, but it may have ruined the current cast of players. Expecting comebacks every night takes a lot of stamina and endurance to pull off. It shouldn't be expected on a nightly basis.

(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov allows Brad Richards' 2nd period goal. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)

It's Time To Buy On The Island

This is the year that the New York Islanders should look to be buyers at the trade deadline.

It is only just eight days away, and the Islanders presently sit with 31 points, just two shy from tying the New York Rangers for the eighth and final playoff spot with only 16 games remaining in the regular season.

Typically at this juncture, the Isles are on the verge of collapsing into the final three spots of the Eastern Conference and increasing their chances of winning the draft lottery. Although that is still a frightening scenario that can still play out for Garth Snow's squad, it is time for the Isles GM to make a statement that the rebuild is over.

Isles 5-3 Loss A Result Of Four Goal Period For The Senators

The New York Islanders controlled about forty minutes of hockey tonight against the visiting Ottawa Senators but surrendered four unanswered goals in the final period of the game to lose 5-3 in regulation.

Matt Kassian would get the scoring started with a redirection just 6:23 into the first period after Sergei Gonchar let go of a wrister from the point to give the Sens the early lead, but Keith Aucoin would answer with his fifth goal of the year just before the end of the period.

Kyle Okposo made a nice spin around pass from behind the Sens net to find Aucoin to bury the puck through Ben Bishop's five hole. Josh Bailey had the secondary assist.

Despite the tie score, the Islanders created several turnovers in the Senators end of the ice - most notably during shifts from the Okposo-Nielsen-Bailey line.