By Matt Mastrogiovanni, Sports Talk Philly staff writer
With just eight games left in the regular season, the Flyers are in a good, yet bad, spot within the Metropolitan Division playoff race.
They are still in playoff position as the top wildcard spot, but if they don't fix their recent problems then they may see themselves right out the door of the postseason.
In merely a few short weeks, the Flyers have managed to almost play themselves right out of playoff contention. Late February saw them climb to the top of the Metropolitan Division with a 12-game point streak. Since then, it seemed as if the Ides of March have struck.
Facets of the Flyers' play started to go sour as the calendar turned to March and it really showed. Inability to hold a lead, defensive zone breakdowns, and plain lack of effort are just a few of the many things that have gone wrong with Philadelphia's game as of late.
In a word, you could say it's been plain old inconsistency.
Philadelphia's month of March started with a lackluster loss to Carolina, their first in regulation in a month, but it snowballed into another four straight losses. Next, with a couple more ups and downs, the Flyers faced their toughest test of the season in a matchup with Columbus. Again, defensive breakdowns proved to be fatal as Philadelphia dropped a 5-3 decision.
The Blue Jackets inched ever so closer to overtaking Philly. Now, they have.
After Tuesday's loss to Detroit, the Flyers are once again looking up at the top of their division. To make matters worse, New Jersey and Florida could possibly catch up in the standings as well, which could very well knock the Flyers right out of the playoff altogether.
The Flyers need not concern themselves with other teams at this point. They have enough to worry about with their own game at this point.
Bottom line, the Flyers are still in control of their destiny. Each and every remaining game, regardless of opponent, is crucial if they want to stay in playoff position.
Will they steer themselves to the playoffs or will an epic collapse await at season's end? With just two and half weeks left in the season, we'll find out soon enough.