After what was looking to be a year without hockey, we found ourselves at the quarter-mark of the 2013 NHL season.
It's already been a fun-filled first three weeks of hockey. Perennial giants are struggling, some super stars are still in search of their scoring touch and even the Chicago Blackhawks have managed to play their first 11 games without a regulation loss.
12 games into the 48-game shortened season, the Flyers find themselves with a 5-6-1 record and 11 points, good for third place in the Atlantic Division.
At that point, they sit behind the first place Devils (7-1-3; 17 points) and second place Penguins (8-4-0; 16 points). It could be much worse, especially since the Flyers were at one point 2-6-0 to start the season.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Zac Rinaldo after the Flyers won, 4-3, in overtime on Saturday. Photo by Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)
The Flyers are 2-0-1 on their four-game home stand so far. They conclude it against the team they started it against in Carolina. Can they cool down a hot Cam Ward and Eric Staal all while staying out of the penalty box?
Maybe there is something Peter Laviolette knew that no one else possibly could.
Two years without any goals? No problem. A reputation of being a goon that can’t do anything else? Players can change.
Brought to Philly in a controversial trade that no one agreed with? You have to work with the players you have.
Laviolette has been scrutinized every time he has worked Tom Sestito in the lineup. He is a player that Flyers fans usually love to hate. His reputation is terrible, and he has never given people a reason to think otherwise about him.
But with the injury to Wayne Simmonds, Sestito was placed into the lineup again. And as cliché as it is, it was a reason for him to prove himself.
(Pictured: Tom Sestito scores the first of two goals in the second period. AP Photo/Tom Mihalek)
With a 1-1 score at the start of the third period, the Caps scored twice on the visiting Flyers and managed to hang on to it for the first time in three games, with the final score 3-2 in the home team's favor.
The win took the Caps from 15th in the East to 13th. Although it's not a huge leap, not being last anymore is just fine.
This game, a home game against a rivalry team after two come-from-ahead losses was a must-win game early in the season. The Flyers had been struggling similarly in the first weeks of the new season.
Spots that were problematic for the Caps started to look a lot better.
An exhausted Capitals team hosts the Flyers after their 3-2 loss in Toronto last night. The Flyers are fresh after having two full days off. They will look to bounce back after struggling in Tampa and New York. What better place than in D.C. where the Caps are among the worst teams in hockey right now.