(Kate Frese/SB Nation)
By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
Saturday's shootout loss against the Flames saw the Flyers lose their fourth consecutive game. It was also the second game in a row in which Philadelphia blew a two-goal lead on their way to a loss.
Despite the team's struggles as of late, which has contributed to them moving into last place in the Metropolitan Division, it's still way too soon to count the Flyers out of contention for a playoff spot.
Yes, the Flyers have lost their last four games. However, there is no cause for panic yet. In five of their last seven games, Philadelphia has earned at least one point in the standings. Two of the recent losses have come in overtime or a shootout, so as frustrating as it may be, the team has still snagged a point.
Currently, the Flyers are last place in the Metropolitan Division, but also sit just a mere seven points out of being atop the division which means if they can put together a string of victories, then they can climb back into the mix. In reality, they aren't technically out of the mix by any stretch.
Philadelphia's respective division is arguably the best in the entire NHL. It includes both the reigning Stanley Cup Champions, the Pittsburgh Penguins, and the defending President's Trophy winners in the Washington Capitals. Teams like Columbus, New Jersey and the New York Rangers are all continuing to rise.
The Flyers aren't in a terrible position right now. Obviously, an 8-8-4 record and 20 points in 20 games is not where the team and the fans want to be. However, there are still 62 games left and if the recent realignment has taught us anything, it's that the race for playoff spots in the Metro division always remains tight throughout the year.
The Flyers have also played most of their schedule, 16 games out of 20 in fact, against Western Conference teams, and in their four games against the East, they have a 3-1-0 record. Ultimately, the Flyers will have their chance to make up points in head-to-head games against their own conference, starting on Wednesday night when they face the Islanders in their first conference game in nearly a month.
If the team is to break their skid and get back on track, then one of the biggest keys will be secondary scoring. The Flyers top line of Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek and Sean Couturier have accounted for the majority of the Flyers' scoring. On the other hand, guys like Wayne Simmonds, Jordan Weal, and well everyone else need to start putting the puck in the net.
Right now, the Flyers are not a fun team to watch. Sloppy, stale play on top of inability to score from the depths of the lineup have cost them recently.
But there is still a lot of hockey left to be played. It's no time to panic, but if the Flyers don't start producing then it will be soon enough.