Claude Giroux scores his second goal on Tuesday night's 5-2 win over the Panthers. (Photo Courtesy of ESPN.com)
"We'll take it game-by-game and we will make the playoffs."
Remember those words? Claude Giroux, captain of the Flyers, made that bold statement eight games into the season with the Flyers record sitting at 1-7-0. It was October 21.
On April 9, in Game 79 of the season, the Flyers locked up the playoff spot Giroux guaranteed with a 5-2 win over the Florida Panthers. Naturally, as he has done several times already in his career, the captain played a big role in the win.
Giroux scored two goals, his 26th and 27th of the season, to lead the Flyers to the win and two points that would seal their playoff spot. His bold prediction was realized.
“Eighty-two games is a lot of games, and it was only eight games and we had to believe in ourselves,” Giroux said. “When we started believing how good we were, we started winning games.
Giroux and the Flyers were fresh into a new coaching change in October. Craig Berube took over before the team's fourth game of the season. Since then, the Flyers have been a better team.
The last two games are an indication of where the Flyers are and how far they have come.
"You always want to finish strong and the right way, but we accomplished a lot from the start of the year, the first 10 games," Vincent Lecavalier said. "We have to be proud of what we’ve done. We have to finish strong and make sure we’re ready and confident for that first round."
And what did the coach have to say of his team.
"I told the guys you should be proud of yourselves," Berube said. "They went through a lot. They battled hard all year. They’re a good group of guys. Good character and they deserve a lot of credit for making the playoffs."
The Flyers have three games left in the regular season. After that, they have at least four more games. That is only the beginning for what the Flyers hope is a long playoff run.
“Last year, not making the playoffs, it’s Philadelphia and it’s unacceptable and we were aware of that,” Giroux said. “For us to make the playoffs this year after the start we had, we got to be proud of ourselves and make sure we keep playing like that.
"It’s good to be in the playoffs. I just believed in our team. We had a good team."
"It’s a great accomplishment, but within this organization, it’s something that is expected," Steve Mason said. "It’s one goal achieved and now we have an even bigger one."