Playoff flyers

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The Hockey News

The Hockey News

If there is one label every club aspires to, it's 'playoff team.'

In a recent debate over who might emerge from the East, it was suggested by one THN staffer that the Philadelphia Flyers have the genetic make up of a squad destined for post-season success.

The Flyers, surprisingly, advanced to the final four last year and certainly have their share of players who represent the combination of skill and grit it takes to win in the spring.

Mike Richards is a two-way force; Jeff Carter isn't overly physical, but he's got the big body to absorb abuse and Scott Hartnell loves getting his nose dirty as much as scoring goals.

Throw in the sheer skill of Simon Gagne and the fact Martin Biron proved himself a playoff-worthy goalie last year and it's easy to see why Philly will have something to say about how the East shakes down.

RK.

TEAM

LW

OVERALL

L10

THE SCOOP

1

1

34-6-5

7-2-1

A strong finish over the final two months would make sure any Game 7 showdown with Detroit gets played in San Jose

2

9

29-15-3

7-3-0

Won five contests during a six-game road trip and haven't given up more than two goals in a game since Jan. 13

3

2

31-9-6

7-2-1

Will have some high-profile cheerleaders in Pavel Datsyuk and Nicklas Lidstrom after the pair was suspended one game by the league for playing hooky at the All-Star Game

4

5

28-14-4

7-3-0

Rene Bourque and Curtis Glencross are two pickups who've worked out very well

5

3

34-8-5

6-3-1

Watching Big Z break the hardest shot record was one of the highlights of all-star weekend

6

4

30-15-3

6-4-0

Ovie, and everything about him, made the entire weekend a highlight

7

10

25-12-9

6-2-2

Might send 18-year-old defenseman Luca Sbisa back to the Western League for more seasoning

8

7

28-16-4

6-3-1

Thank you, Marc Staal, for trying to inject some life into the dreaded event known as the YoungStars game

9

8

25-12-8

5-4-1

How good does Kris Versteeg for Brandon Bochenski look right now?

10

6

27-13-6

6-4-0

Enthusiasm shown by Montreal fans during the entire all-star weekend demonstrates why it's still special to play for the Montreal Canadiens

11

12

24-19-5

6-4-0

So who had Shane Doan picked to win the SuperSkills shootout event?

12

13

24-18-5

7-3-0

Buffalo is 3-3 so far in the midst of a crucial stretch that sees them play nine of 10 away from home

13

18

24-19-3

7-3-0

Hey, look who might be a factor in the West after all

14

14

21-17-8

5-2-3

Still haven't consistently hit the gear they need to be in to end a long post-season drought

15

20

23-20-5

5-5-0

Cam Ward has been strong the past couple times out, but consistency hasn't been his thing this year

16

11

22-20-5

5-4-1

R.J. Umberger on pace for a nice 26-goal season

17

15

23-21-5

4-6-0

It felt like Anaheim could go either way at points this season and right now, they're headed the wrong way

18

17

20-18-7

5-3-2

James Neal enduring a first-year slump with just one point in his past seven games

19

16

23-21-4

4-6-0

Speculation continues to suggest coach Michel Therrien hasn't got long to turn this thing around

20

19

23-20-3

5-4-1

Marek Zidlicky started slow, but has five goals and 10 points in his past eight games

21

22

16-21-10

6-4-0

Bolts have quietly separated themselves from the league's pushover pack

22

25

16-21-7

4-4-2

No Ottawa goalie has more than nine wins this season. Good luck, Brian Elliot

23

26

19-23-4

5-4-1

Carlo Colaiacovo has four points in his past four games, but more encouraging than that, he hasn't been hurt since joining the Blues

24

21

23-23-1

4-6-0

Safe to say the Darcy Tucker experiment hasn't gone according to plan. Then again, what has this year for Colorado?

25

23

22-19-7

2-4-4

OK Mats, anytime now…

26

27

19-20-7

4-5-1

Good to see young defenseman Jack Johnson back and getting his first goal after missing 41 games with a shoulder injury

27

28

17-26-5

5-5-0

Can't wait to see how this Rich Peverley thing works out

28

24

20-23-3

3-7-0

Radek Bonk is the NHL's second-best faceoff man, winning draws 61.4 percent of the time

29

29

17-22-8

2-6-2

Let the firesale begin

30

30

13-29-5

2-7-1

Bye bye to Rickety DiPietro for another season

The Hockey News ranks the teams 1-30 each Monday based on a combination of last week’s play and a squad’s overall outlook.

For more great profiles, news and views from the world of hockey, Subscribe to The Hockey News magazine.

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