The Philadelphia Flyers passed the test.
They defeated the second-worst team in the NHL to improve to five straight wins.
After a grueling 0-5-5 stretch, the Flyers have now won five games in a row and are two points away from a playoff spot, with 33 on the season and an overall record of 13-11-7.
In the last 15 games, the Flyers now have a 5-5-5 record and Dave Hakstol has done a good job of trying out some new lines and showing the Flyers can be successful the way they are currently built.
The Flyers have always struggled against teams that are below them in the standings. The old mantra seems to be true for every Philly team: they always play down to their competition. The Buffalo Sabres are second-to-last in the NHL standings this season and, while it wasn’t the prettiest game, the Flyers were able to defeat them 2-1 on Thursday night.
Travis Sanheim scored the first goal of his NHL career and Jakub Voracek had a sick feed on a Valtteri Filppula goal to seal a 2-1 win. Voracek, at the end of the game, stood alone atop the league in assists.
This time two weeks ago, fans were calling for the head of coach Dave Hakstol, but now it seems like he has finally made the proper adjustments to have the Flyers keep winning. On this five-game winning streak, they’ve defeated the Calgary Flame, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, and the Toronto Maple Leafs, all of who have extreme offensive fire power.
Brian Elliott has also been phenomenal while Michal Neuvirth nurses an injury, allowing less than two goals in each of the Flyers’ five wins.
The team is starting to gel and Hakstol has shown that he has a better grip on the locker room than most fans previously thought. With how tight the Metropolitan Division is, maybe it is time to trust that Hextall and Hakstol know what they are doing with an extremely young team and hold on tight for the ride. After all, it is only December.