Sunday, March 23, 2008

Flyers elevated, Islanders eliminated

Sunday’s match up between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders certainly drew the line dark between winners and losers.

With their win the Flyers moved up into seventh spot in the Eastern Conference, giving hope once again to their legion of fans that but only a week ago were fearful of a post season of television viewing without their Flyers. While the win doesn’t guarantee them a spot in the playoffs, it certainly makes their chances that much better, especially as it came while they eliminated one of their fiercest rivals.

The Islanders had hoped to build on last years late season surge, which saw them move into a playoff spot in 2007, only to lose to the Sabres in the first round. This year, a stumble due to injuries and some new personnel puts them out of the playoffs, with a need to reassess the latest line up of the Islanders.

It’s a disappointing end to the season for Ted Nolan, who had been bringing his team along nicely, despite the defections of last season’s trade deadline showpiece Ryan Smyth who left for Colorado. Still, Smyth’s departure did highlight the lack of depth in the Islander line up, a shortcoming that became rather exacerbated when the injuries began to pile up on the Islanders.
For Philadelphia, the reversal of their slide is a welcome change, keeping their hopes alive heading into the final two weeks of the season.
With the win the Flyers moved ahead of the Boston Bruins by two points and are just two away from the New York Rangers in sixth, making for a most exciting conclusion to come for the 2007-2008 regular season.

Long Island Newsday--Islanders lose to Flyers, 4-1
Philadelphia Inquirer--Biron and Flyers sink Isles, 4-1
Photo from CBC website.

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