Is the season over yet? That’s the question that the Philadelphia Flyers and New Jersey Devils are asking themselves. Barring something crazy happening, the Flyers and Devils are out of the playoffs. Instead, they should be focusing on trying to win the race for Jack Hughes. How does a team win that? Lose as much as possible the rest of the season. It takes a tank job at the bottom of the league to start thinking about getting better.
The Oilers and Maple Leafs had to go to the bottom of the barrel before they made strides. How many teams in the NHL have been stuck in the middle for years? Quite a few. And it’s going to be difficult for those teams to get anywhere if they keep finishing with average records. In other words, while the Flyers and Devils haven’t looked great, they would be on the right track with Hughes on their roster.
That’s not to say the players on the roster are going to bomb. They are playing for a paycheck. One guy who doesn’t want to accept that the Flyers are in a rebuilding process is Claude Giroux. Giroux isn’t in favour of waiving his no-trade clause. It’s not to say they should trade him anyway. Some veteran presence in the locker room should help usher in the newer guys.
The Flyers just ended an eight-game losing streak against the Stars on Thursday. It was an ugly run for the Flyers that never felt like it was going to come to an end. They’ve gone 2-8 in their previous ten games to provide a record of 16-22-6. The Devils are right there with them at 16-20-5. The Devils are a point up on the Flyers. 1 point separates four teams from last place in the Eastern Conference. Head below for our free Flyers vs. Devils pick.
Philadelphia Flyers vs. N.J. Devils Pick
Nothing was really working for the Flyers during their eight-game losing streak. We can’t point to their offence or defence doing anything special, because they were getting beaten on both ends of the ice. With an average of less than 2 goals per game in seven of their eight losses, don’t expect to win too many games in the NHL playing like that, especially this season with goal scoring up.
They didn’t get much offence against the Stars either. I think it was more of a case of the Stars failing to show up than the Flyers playing a solid game. The Flyers got out of it with a 2-1 win despite getting outshot 38 to 22. Carter Hart, as he’s done here and there for the Flyers, was the clear first start of the game. The Flyers have still been hoping for a consistent effort in net, though. Brian Elliott was beginning to show that before he got injured.
The Devils enter on a four-game losing streak going into Saturday. They dropped decisions to the Golden Knights, Sabres, and Maple Leafs. They haven’t been able to find immense success in 2018-19 after playing decent hockey over the first few weeks of the season.
Where they have played well is at the Prudential Center. They’ve gone 11-5-4 at home compared to an abysmal record of 5-15-1 on the road. Note that the Devils are averaging a solid 3.20 goals per game and allowing 2.75 per game in New Jersey. Conversely, the Flyers have gotten pummeled on the road with just 2.83 goals scored per game and 3.87 allowed. The Flyers have also gone 1-4 in their last five trips to the Prudential Center. Expect the Devils to put the Flyers right back on the losing path, while they snap a four-game skid on Saturday afternoon.