POST GAME THOUGHTS: LEAFS 4, FLYERS 3
Look, losing stinks. It always does. Under every conceivable circumstance, losing leaves you bitter.
There are different levels of bitterness though that you can experience as a result of losing.
Dropping a game 4-3 in overtime in Toronto doesn’t quite reach the scale where you bit into a ripe lemon, squinted your eyes hard, pursed your lips and wrinkled your nose.
It definitely was one with a kick – especially after having a goal waved off by an official in a different time zone while the one right at the net was calling it a good goal.
Especially when Kimmo Timonen, who has truly found the Fountain of Youth in the past five games (maybe there was something in the water in Sochi), nearly had a four-goal game.
Especially when you overcame a two-goal deficit in regulation and came from behind in the third period yet again, not once but twice, to force overtime.
Sure, it would have been better to win, stretch the win streak to four games and come home on a high. But the important thing was the Flyers got a point. An important point. It was a point that kept them holding on to second place in the Metropolitan Division by themselves. It was a point that ran their total to 73 for the season and their collection of 17 in the last 11 games.
But most importantly, it helped them advance ever-closer to a playoff berth.
By my math, the Flyers are almost a sure bet to make the postseason if they reach 94 points. That’s 21 more over the next 18 games. It’s imminently doable, albeit it’s going to come against a gauntlet of teams.
Which is why missing out on that second point against Toronto stings a little – it could have offered more flexibility as far as results go in the coming weeks – but it’s not a killer lost point either.
There were a lot of things to like about the game. Timonen was superb, as was his defensive partner Braydon Coburn. They supplied the three goals in the game but played solid defensively.
Once again, the Sean Couturier line was noticeable. Michael Raffl joined the line after Steve Downie got the flu, and Raffl didn’t miss a beat. With the team trailing in the third period, coach Craig Berube switched Raffl and Wayne Simmonds to try and play the match game with Toronto coach Randy Carlyle, but for the most part, Raffl wasn’t out of place on that shut down line.
Steve Mason struggled with rebound control, but was still solid in net, making several big stops to keep the Flyers in games.
The start was where the game was lost, as the Flyers stumbled out of the gate and found themselves behind 2-0 before they could even get back to their feet.
But that’s the thing with these Flyers, they are undaunted by adversity.
We should just call them Chumbawumba, because every time you knock them down, they get up again.
They’ll be back at it Tuesday against New Jersey, their last game against a team not currently in a playoff spot until April 3, meaning there will be 10 straight against some of the best in the league.
And the Flyers will need to reduce that magic number of 21 points by two as often as possible.
Or else things could become pretty tense in April.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers