Back-to-back Games Wearing Down Flyers in Playoff Run

As the season winds down and the last few games come into play in the race to playoffs, the Flyers are in a critical spot.

The homestretch is going to be tough for the Flyers with two back-to-back games and the last three games in four days. It seems to be a little intense and unfair to the players fighting for a playoff spot.

Although Pittsburgh would have probably beaten the Flyers without that excuse, perhaps a deliberate reduction of back-to-back games at this critical point in the season would be something to consider.

You can see the deterioration of the players mental and physical capabilities as these final weeks pass. The wear-and-tear of a season happens regardless, but you can't help but notice the schedule for so many teams feature back-to-back games.

This is something to consider for all teams in the NHL, especially as player safety has continued to become a growing issue.

Here is a consideration that would benefit players, and fans too, for that matter. Phase the games out over a three-year period; no more than four back-to-backs the first year; no more than two the second year, and only one on the third year between geographically close rivals. In the Flyers case, this would be games against the Islanders, Rangers, Devils, Penguins and Capitals.

It is clear that some of the players in Philadelphia are struggling emotionally and physically. Jake Voracek was brought back earlier than he should have been after his injury. He is obviously struggling. A simple rest between games might be all players like this need to rejuvenate.

With Steve Mason as the Flyers only choice in the net, it would be a simple solution to rest players. As recently announced, he needs an IV of fluids after every game due to dehydration. That raises some concern on his health for the rest of the season.

But it is the push for playoffs, all hands on deck so to speak. Philadelphia is not the only team to have situations such as this. Many teams have players playing hurt, and clearly exhaustion is a factor.

In hindsight, they are professional athletes who are in this career to take the mental and physical ailments and push themselves to the limits. But the back-to-back games seem to push them too hard. A simple solution could keep them healthier a little longer.

Denise Mroz is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow her on Twitter @denisemroz10.