The Flyers are once again out of the playoffs early and fans are down in the dumps. After Wednesday nights decisive win over the Rangers to force a game seven fans hoped the momentum would carry over into game seven, but a missed open net here and a breakdown in defense there, a question over why, a supposedly healthy Mason, was not put in the crucial game 3 and the Flyers will be cleaning out there lockers and heading for the golf course..
Still, there are a few things to be excited about going into next season.
1. After a horrible start, the firing of coach Peter Laviolett and the introduction of a new system under Craig Barube the Flyers still made it to the playoffs. The Flyers started the season badly and a lot of people had the team written off before the year had barely begun but the Flyers fought through a lot of diversity and made it into the playoffs.
2. It looks like the Flyers have a goalie who can help them win games, as long as the defense does not let him down like they did in the series against the Rangers. The only beef against Mason is the question over why a suited up and reasonably healthy looking Mason did not take the net in Game 3. After all he did get into the game with 7 minutes left and could have made the difference. Oh well, throughout the series with the Rangers and all throughout the year he did stand on his head a few times in making saves which seemed impossible.
3. The Flyers seem to be one or two players away from being a team which could go deep into the playoffs. This year the team added Vincent Lecavalier who seemed to be a good addition to the team until he got inured. In the off season the Flyers need to add a couple of defensemen, one or both who can score. Also it will be interesting to see how the team responds to a complete off-season and training camp with Berube as head coach.
While there are no moral victories in sports the future for the Flyers looks a lot better this year then it did a year ago, when the Flyers struggled and missed the playoffs.