168 days down. 27 to go.
The Flyers enjoyed one of their few remaining days off of the season on Monday. It was a rather quiet day in the NHL, with only two games in the Eastern Conference having a very small impact on the Flyers’ playoff chances.
Nonetheless, Monday was one more day for the Flyers to savor their weekend sweep of the Penguins, which brought their playoff chances to a season-high. It’s a far cry from even late January, when their chances stood at just 27.2 percent after losing in Anaheim.
That flavor will quickly dissipate today, though, as the Flyers get set to host the defending Stanley Cup champion Blackhawks at 7:30 p.m.
Aside from that Game 6 loss in the 2010 Stanley Cup final, Chicago has not won in Philadelphia since Nov. 9, 1996 - a streak of 11 wins (9 regular season, 2 playoff).
The Blackhawks are far from the Flyers’ toughest test over these next four weeks. They still have to play each of the two Presidents Trophy contenders (St. Louis and Boston) twice. Monday’s opponent, Los Angeles, recently ran off 8 straight wins. Plus, Columbus and the Rangers are fighting for their playoff lives.
So, yes, the Flyers have a little wiggle room after a 4-point weekend. But they are far from out of the woods. Here is a look at where the Flyers stand:
> Flyers (35-25-7) have an 83 percent playoff probability heading into game against Chicago. They can increase that figure to 89.6 percent with a win. (SportsClubStats.com)
> Flyers are 1 point ahead of the Rangers with 2 games in-hand. They are also 3 points up, with 2 games in-hand, on Washington for the final playoff position.
> Flyers’ most likely playoff position (36 percent) is 2nd place in the Metropolitan division. Next most likely is 3rd place in the Metro (30 percent) and they have an 11 percent shot at the second wild card spot, which would match them up against the top seed in the Eastern Conference. (SportsClubStats.com)
> There are 15 games left in the regular season and a total of 30 points up for grabs. What are the Flyers’ chances depending on record? (SportsClubStats.com)
20 points (9-4-2, 10-5-0, 8-3-4) or better: Guaranteed in
19 points (9-5-1, 8-4-3): 100 percent
18 points (8-5-2, 9-6-0, 7-4-4): 100 percent
17 points (8-6-1, 7-5-3, 6-4-5): 99.8 percent
16 points (7-6-2, 8-7-0, 6-5-4): 98.5 percent
15 points (7-7-1, 6-6-3): 93.9 percent
14 points (6-7-2, 7-8-0, 5-6-4): 80.8 percent
13 points (6-8-1, 5-7-3): 61 percent
12 points (5-8-2, 6-9-0, 4-7-4): 35.9 percent
11 points (5-9-1, 4-8-3): 18 percent
10 points (4-9-2, 5-10-0): 7.3 percent
9 points (4-10-1): 2.2 percent
8 points (3-10-2): 0.5 percent
7 points (3-11-1): Out
> Most likely record, based on games played and remaining strength of schedule, is 7-6-2, giving the Flyers more points and a 98.5 percent shot. Who doesn’t like those odds? (SportsClubStats.com)
> The Flyers’ most likely first round opponent: Columbus (38.1 percent), followed by Rangers (21.4 percent), Boston (10.4 percent), and Pittsburgh (6.7 percent).
Enjoy the games.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers