There are 44 days until the Stanley Cup Playoffs officially kick off on Wednesday, April 13.
In the meantime, the Flyers, along with the rest of the NHL, will have to battle through the toughest month of the NHL season – March.
The Flyers are in the midst of their final four-day break in game action of the season. Beginning on Thursday when they face off against the Maple Leafs, the Flyers will enter a stretch that sees them play 15 games in 29 days remaining this month.
If you’re wondering, the breakdown is eight home games, seven road games.
|Laviolette has skated his team hard for the past two days at the Virtua Center Flyers Skate Zone. |
More immediate is the fact that they entering a grueling schedule that has them playing six games in their next 10 days, but that doesn’t necessarily mean the workouts and practice aren’t going to be easy.
“Yesterday we had a hard workout and a hard skate. Today we had the same thing and worked on our power play,” said Hartnell. “This is our chance, this month and the beginning of April, to make sure we’re in the best possible shape we can be hitting the playoffs in a winning way.”
One very key factor often overlooked in a stretch like this is not so much the high amount of games in a small amount of days, it’s the combination of that with the fact that the team has already played 60+ regular season games.
“I think you have to make sure to take care of your body and get some rest, because coming down a stretch like this you want to be able to have a lot of that energy for the playoffs and you need to pace yourself,” said Claude Giroux
, who will be entering his third playoff stretch run.
The team has certainly paced themselves fairly well. They still own the top spot in the Eastern Conference with a 40-16-6 record for 86 points with 20 games remaining in the schedule.
As of Monday night’s games, they remain the only team in the NHL with 40 wins and are the only team in the NHL with 20 wins both on the road and at home, with identical records of 20-8-3.
Their 86 points is good enough for a five-point lead over the next closest pursuer in the Tampa Bay Lightning, while they remain hot on the heels of the Vancouver Canucks for the President’s Trophy race as No. 1 overall in the League. The Canucks currently sit at 87 points, but have just 19 games remaining in their schedule.