By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
Sunday afternoon didn't go exactly as Cal Heeter planned, but it was a memorable experience nonetheless for the rookie goalie, who made his NHL debut.
Heeter allowed five goals, including one in the shootout as the Flyers failed to complete one more comeback. They lost 6-5 in a shootout in their final game of the season before they begin a playoff series with the Rangers.
Heeter showed obvious jitters in the first period, allowing three goals while fighting with the puck for the first 20 minutes. He settled down for the remaining 45 minutes, allowing his team to climb back into the game and force overtime.
(Photo: Cal Heeter composes himself after allowing a first period goal. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
With Claude Giroux’s MVP like performance, Steve Mason’s impressive play in net, the domination of Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier’s consistent maturity, it has been hard to think of anything negative about this Flyers team.
And why would you want to?
But unfortunately Jakub Voracek had a rather rough performance immediately after the Olympics which seemed to be a carryover of his inconsistent play through January. With just six goals in January and the very beginning of February and three goals after the Olympic break up until last Saturday, it is clear that Voracek has had his struggles.
It has not been a fun year for new Flyer Vincent Lecavalier. Once a long-standing captain of the Tampa Bay Lightning, his contract became a boat anchor under a new CBA and a constricted salary cap. Thus, his time as a full-time Floridian came to an end.
Suitors abounded for this man's services after news of his release. Lecavalier, a first overall pick back in 1998, and once described as the "Michael Jordan of hockey," had a spot on many rosters across the NHL at a bit of a subdued monetary rate.
Flyers GM Paul Holmgren disregarded this, became the highest bidder, and signed a five-year pact worth $22.5 million. 14 goals, 12 assists and 49 games later, fan impatience hit a crescendo when he went long stretches with nary a point to show for it. In a time where nobody was scoring, Lecavalier scored five of his goals during that span.
The Flyers have the opportunity to head into the Olympic break with a four game winning streak and a spot in the playoffs to lose.
The Flyers won their third straight game on Thursday, beating the Colorado Avalanche 3-1. The rode another stellar performance by Steve Mason, who has allowed three goals in his three starts during the current winning streak.
Mason stopped 38 shots against Colorado to seal the win. His only hiccup came late in the third period when Nathan MacKinnon sneaked a shot between Mason and the left goal post that cut the Flyers lead at the time to 2-1.
The New York Islanders played host to the Philadelphia Flyers this afternoon with the hopes of earning back a win against their Metropolitan Division rivals after losing to them 6-4 on the road Saturday night. Anders Nilsson and Ray Emery were your net-minders for the Martin Luther King Jr. matinee. The contest would conclude in a
The first period saw plenty of hits and fights between both sides. Matt Carkner fought Jay Rosehill just inside the Isles blue line, resulting in a win for the home team. Just a few minutes later, Kyle Okposo would drop the mitts with Braydon Coburn inside the Flyers zone. Not many punches were thrown, but KO would get the take down, allowing the Minnesota native to be showered with USA chants as he headed to the Isles penalty box.