OTTAWA -- So, just how bad is it for the Flyers?
Exactly one week ago, after their all-important victory over Pittsburgh at the Consol Energy Center, the Flyers were in the driver’s seat and appeared destined to clinch the top seed in the Eastern Conference.
They moved to three points up on second place Washington. They were a full four points ahead of Pittsburgh in the Atlantic divsion. And with just five games to play, they had one game in-hand on each team.
Their magic number to close out Washington was just 7 points. For Pittsburgh, it was down to 3 points.
Since then, the Flyers passed on two opportunities to eliminate both New Jersey and Atlanta from playoff contention - allowing other teams to do the dirty work for them - and also two chances to clinch their first Atlantic division title since 2004.
The Flyers have lost 13 of their last 19 games. The magic number in the Atlantic division is still at 3 points.
And the Flyers’ probability to win the Eastern Conference has plummeted from 88 percent last Wednesday to just 12 percent today.
They now have a 47 percent chance to pick up the second seed. More alarmingly, they now have a 28 percent chance to lose the Atlantic and finish in fourth place, since the NHL seeds division leaders, which would setup a date with Tampa Bay in the first round.
Washington’s magic number to close out the Flyers is now down to 3 points, which means the Flyers would likely need to win both of their remaining games against Buffalo and the Islanders to have a shot at the No. 1 seed.
All of which is the long way of saying that the Flyers are in the middle of an epic collapse. The fear of every Flyers fan for the past month has been validated. They need to stop praying for the playoffs to get here. It could be a quicker exit than they’ve been banking on.
For the latest updates, follow Frank Seravalli on Twitter: @DNFlyers
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