With a mere four games remaining, every point counts for the Philadelphia Flyers, who come into Tuesday evening at 89 points, which puts them only one ahead of Detroit, two ahead of Columbus, and five ahead of New Jersey and Toronto. The Eastern Conference is that tight, and the Florida Panthers once again have a chance to play spoiler to a team right in the midst of the postseason hunt. The Flyers are coming off a big win versus the Buffalo Sabres, which snapped a very dangerous four-game losing streak. Philadelphia has only won four of its last ten games, which is still better than the Panthers, but not all that great when fighting for a spot in the playoffs. The Cats definitely have a chance to take it to the Flyers if they can minimize what usually kills them: early defensive mistakes that lead to goals against.
The Cats had a very surprising victory on Sunday against the Dallas Stars, who looked as though they would trounce them after Jamie Benn scored only 45 seconds into the game. The Panthers didn't notch their first goal until nearly midway through the second period when Scottie Upshall drew Florida within one. The rest was history as Roberto Luongo shut the door the rest of the way, allowing Brandon Pirri and Sean Bergenheim to put two in behind Kari Lehtonen and give the Panthers the victory. The third period effort by the Cats was a solid one, though still rife with defensive breakdowns. There's no question this team needs a near-complete overhaul in regards to defensive coaching and personnel because the amount of bad passes up the middle, turnovers due to bad positioning or holding on to the puck too long, and just general disorganization is too prevalent each game. Makes you wonder how an NHL team can let it get this bad.
Join us for the LBC Game Thread tonight, where we shall wax philosophic about the virtues of Scott Hartnell's cabbage patch likeness and what it means to his psyche. Also, check out Broad Street Hockey for the Philly side of things, but don't wear your Cats jersey lest you be barfed on. Lastly, the Panthers are likely to set a seriously bad record in terms of offensive futility this season. Yay.