The final four games of 2013 are pretty much meaningless for the Flyers, other than for someone trying to make an impression or earn a contract, or for the coach to experiment using people in different roles. Friday night, the New York Rangers officially eliminated the Flyers from playoff contention with an 8-4 rout of the Sabres. Two points won by either the Rangers Friday night or Winnipeg on Saturday or a regulation loss by the Flyers in any remaining games would have ended their playoff hunt. Not that they ever really had a chance once the gap between themselves and the No. 8 seed hit seven points in late March, then nine last weekend after a 1-0 loss in Buffalo. Yeah, there was a rally in between when the Flyers won four straight, but then led directly to four straight losses. Scott Hartnell seemed in disbelief. He went through three consecutive seasons without a sniff of postseason when he first entered the NHL with Nashville (2000). Those were the Predators. These are the Flyers. Playoff appearances are not only considered compulsory here, but so are deep runs and being among the Stanley Cup favorites. Not of that will occur this season for the Flyers. “It’s the first time in a long time for Philadelphia, for myself, to be eliminated not by your own doing,” Hartnell said. “It sucks.” Simon Gagne came here to add scoring depth to an injury-riddled lineup right after Tye McGinn suffered a broken orbital bone in late February. “It’s disappointing for all of us,” Gagne said. “I was excited to come back. On the personal side, it was good coming here even if we finish on the short side. To be part of the Flyers again, it was still a weird season … But it was a move I would do again regardless of playoffs.” Jakub Voracek has a career-high 19 goals. Usually, guys with Flyers career-highs celebrate with postseason runs. Not this time. “It would be nice better if I had 15 points less, and we were sitting in a playoff spot, but there is nothing you can do about it,” Voracek said. “I’m pretty sure every player in this locker room left 100 percent on the ice every game. Didn’t go the way we wanted it. We had some really bad games and some really good ones, and four games left. We have to finish on the right note and learn from it.” Mike Knuble came aboard early when Hartnell went down with a foot fracture. Knuble said it never occurred to him that the Flyers would not be in the playoffs.
Flyers officially eliminated from playoff contention
CSN Philly | Apr 20