It's still very early in the NHL season, but things are bleak in the City of Brotherly Love.
The Philadelphia Flyers sit not just at the bottom of the Eastern Conference, but also the entire league with a 1-7-0 record. They, along with the New York Rangers, have scored a league low 11 goals. Their top names like Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Scott Hartnell all have less goals than Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith.
But the Flyers captain isn't thinking about booking any spring golf trips just yet. He still believes that it's early enough that they can put out this dumpster fire and find their way back into the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
He believes it so much that he's made it a guarantee.
“When you have the record we have right now, you’re a little frustrated and you try to figure out what’s going on but everybody came to the rink and we know there’s a lot of hockey left to play here,” said captain Claude Giroux. “We’re not far at all. How many points are we off, six? To think that with the start we had, we’re that close. We’ve never thought that we’re not going to make the playoffs.
“We’ll take it here game-by-game and we will make the playoffs.”
He has a point. The Flyers can't get any lower; so the only direction for them to go is up once their offensive stars begin producing. Even Steve Mason hasn't been providing the terrible goaltending everyone expected, despite the team's struggles.
But as the calendar is about to turn to November, the chance of Giroux's prediction coming true faces an uphill battle against history.
In his "30 Thoughts" column last week, CBC's Elliotte Friedman pointed out that in the seven seasons after the 2004-05 lockout, only three out of 32 teams who found themselves four points from a playoff spot on Nov. 1 managed to finish in their conference's top eight by the end of the regular season.
And what better way to get things started than a week off and your first game back coming against the struggling New York Rangers?
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