When the sun rose on the morning of March 15, the Philadelphia Flyers found themselves on the fringe of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. They were in the second Eastern Conference wild-card spot based on a tiebreaker. They were coming off back-to-back one-goal losses and had in front of them a weekend home-and-home set with their bitter rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins.
It was a turning point of the season for the Flyers, as that weekend opened a stretch of 10 consecutive games against teams that, on March 15, all were in a playoff spot.
"We definitely, starting this weekend, have to play real good hockey and win hockey games," coach Craig Berube said heading into that March 15 game. "It's crunch time against real good teams. … Playing these games against good teams, with everything on the line, will prepare us for the playoffs."
Prepare them well it did. The Flyers swept the Penguins, starting a 6-2-2 run that solidified their hold on a playoff spot and allowed them to return to the postseason after a one-year absence.
Here are five more reasons the Flyers will have a chance to win the franchise's third Stanley Cup: