The Flyers made their trip to the Eastern Conference’s bubble city of Toronto on Sunday to prepare for the NHL’s return to action on Aug. 1.
Philadelphia will be facing the Pittsburgh Penguins in an exhibition game at Scotiabank Arena — home of the Maple Leafs — on Tuesday before they begin their round-robin tournament to decipher the top-four standings of the Eastern Conference.
A late hot streak ensured the Flyers finished fourth in the conference at the time of the NHL’s suspension on March 12 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Such a flurry of success was not expected from the organization just yet, which is a testament to what first-year head coach Alain Vigneault was able to pull off. They won nine of their final 10 days before the hiatus.
With that finish, they were exempt from the NHL qualifiers — a one-off postseason round for the 5-12 seeds of each conference to properly decipher the quarterfinal combatants, which is usually what the Stanley Cup Playoffs begin with each year.
While those teams partake in a best-of-five series, the Penguins will play the East’s other top-four seeds, the Boston Bruins on Aug. 2, the Washington Capitals on Aug. 6, and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Aug. 8.
Their finish in the round-robin tournament will decipher who they’ll play in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.
The Flyers received some good news on Saturday pertaining to their young, star goaltender Carter Hart.
After leaving a scrimmage last week with an undisclosed injury — and with little updates provided — Hart participated in a full practice over the weekend before disclosing that he’ll be ready for the Flyers’ exhibition game against the Penguins on Tuesday.
While the Eastern Conference’s postseason will be played out in Toronto, the West will be decided at Rogers Place in Edmonton, home of the Oilers.