In this week's Future Flyers Report, we have a big weekend for Nicolas Aube-Kubel, some extra hockey for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and a resounding win for the Reading Royals. Check out how tomorrow's Flyers have done after the jump.
Make no mistake about it, after achieving what they set out to do, the Flyers 2-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday definitely has them in the playoff race. After the win, they are five points out of a playoff spot with 26 games to play.
If only the action - or lack thereof - on the ice proved it.
The Flyers did manage the necessary victory on Sunday and closed the gap in the playoff race, only making the three points lost in overtime over the previous four games harder to digest. At the same time, this was the result of playing the worst team in the NHL.
When the Flyers faced the Sabres on Jan. 17, that too required a third-period push to ultimately get the desired result. It shouldn't have been as difficult as it was. The Flyers can hang their hats on the fact that they held on for the two points that absolutely had to be had - playoff implications or not. But the challenge posed by the lowly Sabres is enough to quell the playoff chatter.
In three of the Flyers last four games, the focal point has been the lost point. Three valuable points in the standings were there for the taking and the Flyers failed to gain any of them.
That's what makes Sunday's game against the lowly Buffalo Sabres not only a huge game for the Flyers dimming playoff hopes, but adds a certain sense of loss. If the Flyers would have earned even two of the three extra points, they would be five points out of a playoff spot as Sunday night's game gets underway. Instead, they are seven back.
A chance to trim into that margin comes at 7:30 when the puck hits the ice at First Niagara Center.
Another week of Flyers hockey down and once again it's time for us to give out our Player and Play of the Week honors.
In a 1-0-2 week for the Flyers, which featured wins over the Washington Capitals and overtime losses to both the Montreal Canadiens and Columbus Blue Jackets, the Flyers had one player stand out above the rest.
Wayne Simmonds is our Player of the Week. In the Flyers three games this week, Simmonds scored three goals and added two assists for five points.
Our Play of the Week goes to Sean Couturier. In Friday's overtime loss to the Blue Jackets, Couturier broke a 1-1 tie late in the second by batting a rebound chance out of mid-air and into the net.
The Flyers will return to the ice on Sunday night when they face the Buffalo Sabres. They return home to face Columbus on Tuesday, Buffalo on Thursday, Nashville on Saturday and Washington next Sunday afternoon.