The Flyers came to a crossroads two offseasons ago.
They could have gone in one or two directions. One side of the path had them rebuilding the team, pushing a youth movement that would make them a dangerous contender in a couple years. The other path was the same win-now mentality the Flyers have had for the last two decades, resulting in a couple Stanley Cup berths and a handful of Conference Finals appearances.
Unfortunately, general manager Paul Holmgren tried to travel down both paths at once and wound up falling flat on his face this season.
(Photo: Wayne Simmonds (front) and Sean Couturier (back) were both a part of the youth movement. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
For most of the 2013 season it seemed the bounces just weren't go the Flyers' way.
Bad bounces led to opponents' goals while they stayed out of the nets when the Flyers were on the offensive. Along with a complicated mixture of other factors, it kept the Flyers out of the post season for just the second time in the last 18 years.
That luck would finally change for the Flyers when it didn't really matter, but it felt good anyway.
In a 60-minute game for the Flyers, a minuscule seven-second window produced two goals which lead to the Flyers' eventual 5-2 win over the Bruins.
(Pictured: Matt Read during warm-ups before his game against the Bruins. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The Flyers found themselves in a tough position this past offseason, and that was whether to re-sign Jaromir Jagr or not.
The cons of bringing back the 41-year-old right winger out-weighed the pros for the Flyers front office at the time and the decided to part ways with the future Hall of Famer. They were concerned about his age and health during another long season, two factors the Flyers saw first-hand during the 2011-12 season.
Unfortunately for them, they made their decision before it was known there would be a 48-game season as opposed to the normal 82-game schedule due to a lockout and it may have cost the Flyers big time.
Jagr made his decision where to go in the off season, signing with the Dallas Stars for a one-year, $4.55 million back in July, well before it was even known what fate the 2012-2013 season would have.
(Pictured: Jaromir Jagr during warm-ups before a game against the Devils on April 10. Photo by Mike Ashmore)
Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.
Martin Brodeur's win totals will no longer ironically be linked to the number of the beast.
Having been stuck with 666 wins -- ironically at that seeing as Brodeur has a big ole devil on his chest -- Brodeur finally snapped his six-game losing streak to earn his 667th career win against the Flyers in Philadelphia. It was his first win since March 23.
The Devils' 3-0 win also snapped the 10-game losing streak they were on, enabling them to leap-frog the Flyers in the standings.
Brodeur stopped 23 shots for his second shut-out of the season, also against the Flyers (3-0 back on January 22). For his career, Brodeur shut out the Flyers 11 times, and is now 47-30-6-3 against Philadelphia.
The Flyers routed the Canadiens on Monday, 7-3. Now they host the Rangers on the next day following a long flight from Montreal. Will they ride off the huge win or will they be too exhausted after a big win?
Erik Gustafsson's game winning goal drove the Flyers to a second straight comeback win over the Montreal Canadiens 5-3 on Wednesday night at the Wells Fargo Center. It was their third win in a row—the first three-game winning streak of the season.
This contest meant plenty to both sides. For the Flyers, it meant drawing closer to the eighth playoff spot. For the Canadiens, it meant staying ahead of the struggling Boston Bruins in the Northeast Division.