TIME TO LOOK AT THE PLAYOFFS
Now, the big questions are, where will they be to start it, and who will they play?
We'll know for certain as we digest our Easter Sunday dinner, but we have five days to speculate, so let's do it.
I posted a blog on here a couple weeks ago predicting it would be Carolina. I still believe that.
Actually, while Montreal can still technically move up to No. 5 or the Flyers could technically collapse and fall as far as No. 6, I'm going to go on the assumption that they will finish either No. 4 or No. 5 and play either Carolina or Pittsburgh.
And here's a shocker, although I think it will be the Hurricanes, I think the better matchup for the Flyers right now would be the Penguins.
Carolina is smoking hot. They obliterated the Islanders 9-0 tonight. They've won nine straight. Their final two games are against Buffalo - who for all intent and purposes is out of the race, and a road game at free-falling New Jersey.
The Flyers' magic number for the No. 4 seed is five points. Any combination of points earned by the Flyers or lost by Carolina totaling five will guarantee home ice advantage.
(And if it's a series against Carolina that starts in Philadelphia, expect it to be next Thursday for Game 1 and next Saturday for Game 2. If it's Pittsburgh, all bets are off because NBC would probably want a game on Sunday).
Pittsburgh is more of a known entity for the Flyers and a team they can better prepare for.
Carolina is a team the Flyers went 3-0-1 against, but haven't played them since early December. This is a different team now then it was then.
So, be careful what you wish for.
By the way, Ryan Parent did tweak a groin. Paul Holmgren said he didn't think it was serious and the team would re-evaluate tomorrow. However he did confirm that Danny Syvret would get the call up if Parent can't go Thursday.