The league-mandated three-day holiday break has come to an end, with the Flyers reaching the halfway point of their eight-game road swing on Saturday in Nashville -- taking on the Predators at Bridgestone Arena. Both teams will meet for the first of two games this season, with the second coming on Feb. 21 at Wells Fargo Center.
This isn't just any regular matchup between the Flyers and Preds. The Flyers will take on Peter Laviolette -- just the second coach in the team's 16-season history -- for the first time since his unceremonious dismissal on Oct. 7 of last year. You may remember Craig Berube as Laviolette's right-hand man during his tenure behind the Flyers' bench, and they will now face each other for the first time.
Three wins in three games to open an eight-game road trip have the Flyers climbing slowly but surely back into the playoff picture. The Flyers sit six points back of a playoff spot at the moment. Just in time for a break.
I'm using this week's column to kill two birds with one stone. With Christmas falling on Thursday, we're not having a mailbag tomorrow, but an interesting question was presented following Tuesday night's 5-2 win over the Minnesota Wild.
The Flyers were rolling before an extended break in early November and the layoff set off a massive stretch of losing - 1-8-1 in 10 games - before the Flyers recent turnaround - 6-1-3 in their last 10 games. Now back into a rhythm, is there concern that the Flyers will return from this break in similar fashion?
Past the first quarter of the road trip, the Flyers aren't just off to a good start. They are working on an excellent road trip as a whole.
The trip will meet its halfway point on Saturday and carry on for another week. By the time the Flyers return home, the standings could look very different.
For the Flyers to start to make their visions of being a playoff team more of a realistic possibility, they needed to deliver on the road trip in a huge way. They needed something close to 12 points, which would require points in at least six of the eight games. In just three games, the Flyers have six points in the standings - including Tuesday's 5-2 win over the Wild - against three of the tougher teams they will face.
The Flyers couldn't have asked for a better start to an eight-game road trip. On Tuesday night, they can continue that solid start and head home for a happy holiday with a third-straight win on the trip.
The Flyers continue the eight-game trek by meeting the Minnesota Wild. The opening face-off is set for 7 p.m.