Flyers analysis

Tortorella on rebuilding Flyers in playoff race: ‘I want to see how guys react'

With 30 games left, the Flyers hold a playoff spot as they sit in third place of the Metropolitan Division

NBC Universal, Inc.

VOORHEES, N.J. — As his team nears the final quarter mark of the regular season, John Tortorella said the Flyers know who they are this point.

"These 30 games here is not reteaching who we are or going through that," the head coach said Saturday at morning skate. "We know how we have to play. Are we able to do it consistently each and every night and within that individual game that night?"

But it's safe to say Tortorella will still learn a lot more about his team as it tries to nail down a surprise playoff berth.

With 30 games to go, the Flyers hold a playoff spot at 27-19-6. They enter Saturday's home game against the Kraken (7 p.m. ET/ESPN+, Hulu) in third place of the Metropolitan Division and with a 67.4 percent chance to make the postseason, according to's probabilities report.

Tortorella's roster has 10 players who have never played in the NHL playoffs and 11 players that are 25 years old or younger.

"This is how you build, now we're in a situation that we've put ourselves, that we're still fighting here," Tortorella said. "Now I want to see how guys react and the style of the game that's going to be played now at the end of the year by all these teams. … Now we see how we react. We've given ourselves an opportunity, that's all we've done here, is given ourselves an opportunity. Now we'll see if we can grow even more."

The Flyers like this experience for their rebuild.

"We're still thinking about the future," Flyers general manager Danny Briere said two and a half weeks ago. "This is great, what's happening right now, this is great because our young guys are acquiring a lot of experience. Having the chance to play in some really meaningful games and it's going to keep going over at least the next couple of months — this is great experience, so I'm really excited about that."

Cam York is one of the Flyers' players getting his first taste of a postseason race.

"I've been here for three years now and haven't really played any meaningful games," the 23-year-old defenseman said. "To be in this situation, this spot, it's awesome. Super easy to wake up in the morning, so I know we're fired up. It's a big stretch for us coming up and we've got to be ready to go."

The Flyers have nine wins over top-10 clubs. Their remaining schedule will challenge them. They have three more games left against the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and nine to go against the top four teams in the Atlantic Division (Bruins, Panthers, Maple Leafs and Lightning).

"As a player, these are the games that are easy to get up for, right?" Cam Atkinson said. "I've been in the league 13 years and have only made the playoffs five times, so it's really hard just to make the playoffs. Once you make the playoffs, anything can happen.

"I've been in situations where we've been out of the playoffs by Christmas time, even almost Thanksgiving time. It's hard to come to the rink during those times. So to come and we're right in the thick of it and every game means so much and these points are so important, it allows guys to, not take advantage, but learn what it takes to win these games.

"The simple plays that maybe go unnoticed — getting the puck out of the D-zone or knowing when to fight another day, just dumping the puck in and getting in on the forecheck, not trying to make a play that maybe causes a turnover that ends in the back of your net. These games are important for all of us and fun games to play."

Subscribe anywhere you get your podcasts: 
Apple Podcasts | Youtube Music | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | RSSWatch on YouTube

Contact Us