Thursday is game No. 28 for the Flyers this season. Nearly halfway through their 56-game schedule and they are hovering in the hunt for a playoff spot in the East Division. But the Capitals and Islanders are starting to pull away, taking with them home-ice advantage in the first round.

So it looks like the Penguins, Bruins, Flyers and Rangers will fistfight over the last two months for the final two postseason bids. Here’s a look at what was, and what might be.

Biggest headlines

  • Flyers’ facilities shut down, four games postponed amid COVID-19 outbreak

  • Claude Giroux, Justin Braun forced to stay in DC because of illness

  • Fans allowed back into the Wells Fargo Center for first time in a year

Nicest surprises

  • Joel Farabee’s breakthrough season started with four points in the opener

  • Farabee, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton notch first career hat tricks

  • Selke winner Sean Couturier might be even better this year

  • Flyers erase three-goal deficit to roar past Penguins

  • New dad James van Riemsdyk leading the Flyers in goals

» READ MORE: Fatherhood brings perspectie for JVR

Biggest disappointments

  • Carter Hart not the same goalie as last year

  • Free agent defenseman Erik Gustafsson keeps getting scratched

  • Morgan Frost lost for season with shoulder injury

  • Lake Tahoe trip hardly worth it, Flyers have lost all five to Boston

  • Sidney Crosby put on COVID-19 protocol list, Flyers lose to Penguins anyway

Worth mentioning

  • Giroux passes Bob Clarke for most games played by a Flyers captain

  • Hart smashes stick into oblivion following rough loss in Boston

  • Konecny a healthy scratch against Islanders

  • Hey, who’s the new Penguins GM?

  • Penguins claim Flyers defenseman Mark Friedman off waivers

  • Flyers play without Giroux or Jake Voracek for first time in 12 years

  • Couturier misses 10 games with fluky rib injury

  • Giroux moves into second place in scoring in club history

  • Alain Vigneault becomes 9th coach with 700 wins

» READ MORE: Chris Therien's remarkable story

Looking ahead

Asked a few colleagues whether the Flyers will make the playoffs.

  • Sam Carchidi: Yes. Fletcher will (finally) make a trade for an established D man.

  • Mike Sielski: Yes. They’ll find a way to weasel their way in.

  • Ed Barkowitz: No. Teams in front of them are too strong.

  • Marcus Hayes: No. Goaltending.

Reader poll

  • Yes, they will make the playoffs — 1,535 votes (56.3%)

  • No, they will not make the playoffs — 1,192 votes (43.7%)

Trade deadline

Monday, April 12 (3 p.m. (EDT). The Flyers could use at least one top-4 defenseman, which don’t come cheap. They play 15 games between March 17 and April 12, so they might know very soon if they are buyers or sellers.

Standings

(Through Tuesday)
GP
GR
Pts.
L10
1. Washington
29
27
42
9-1-0
2. N.Y. Islanders
30
26
42
9-1-0
3. Pittsburgh
29
27
37
7-3-0
4. Boston
27
29
34
4-4-2
Flyers
26
30
31
5-5-0
N.Y. Rangers
27
29
26
5-4-1

Schedule

(Through Tuesday)
GR
Home
Away
B2B
1. Washington
27
14
13
6
2. N.Y. Islanders
26
14
12
4
3. Pittsburgh
27
13
14
6
4. Boston
29
17
12
6
Flyers
30
14
16
8
N.Y. Rangers
29
14
15
6

Flyers’ odds

The Flyers were around 20-1 to win the Stanley Cup before the season, and they’re still hovering in that neighborhood today. Here is a sampling of area sportsbooks.

FanDuel 20-1, BetMGM 22-1, William Hill 22-1, DraftKings 25-1, PointsBet 28-1.

To get a sense of how sportsbooks take advantage of local fan loyalty, check out the Flyers’ odds at the Westgate in Las Vegas. They opened at 16-1 and are now 30-1. Since people are more likely to play the Flyers in this area, local sportsbooks keep the odds a little shorter. This happens in all areas of the country.

William Hill’s point total for the Flyers prior to their season opener was 65.5. Entering Wednesday’s game, they were on pace for 66.8.

» READ MORE: From Broad Street Bully to Renaissance Man

Notable quotes

“I’m not sure we’re playing at the level we want to be, and I think it’s a good thing. I don’t think anybody in our room is fooled by our record. I think our coaches understand the work we need to do to get better.” - General manager Chuck Fletcher when the Flyers were 7-2-1

***

“She’s has been a rock star. This is obviously our first time going through a season like this together with the baby [Scarlett], who’s 9 months old. She’s been great. Letting me sleep in on game days and days after games, which is pretty much every single day of the week now. She’s definitely holding down the fort, allowing me to put all my energy on recovering and playing the best I can.” - JVR says his wife, Lauren, is a big reason for his monster season

***

“Obviously we try to do something different in an unusual time to give our fans something special. We’re going to continue to do these games, but we always knew, and will know going forward that when you play outside — and ice is important — the weather conditions can affect whether or not we can play the game.” - Commissioner Gary Bettman following the suspension of the Feb. 20 game between Colorado and Vegas in Lake Tahoe

***

“I don’t feel like myself and I’ve got to find a way to get back into playing the game that I love.” - Hart, whose goals against average entering Wednesday was 3.62. It was 2.42 last season

***

“I’ve only been here a year-plus with Claude, and there’s no doubt there’s a passion there, there’s a will, there’s a great role model and example for young players. But he wants to win. He feels obviously that his record, his legacy right now, is not good enough.” - Vigneault on Giroux

***

“That was the hardest 15 minutes of hockey I’ve ever done.” - Flyers radio announcer Tim Saunders, who was fighting the glare off the ice in the Lake Tahoe game

***

“We’re looking at the trade deadline as, ‘What can we do?’ I can tell you I’m still committed to investing and making this team as good as we can. I don’t want to hold back. Now is the time to really lean in and whatever we have to work with, we’re going to work with it.” - Flyers chairman Dave Scott, March 11