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A tough road back to the playoffs for the Flyers?

Will the acquisition of Daniel Briere, Kimmo Timonen, and Scott Hartnell be enough to get the Philadelphia Flyers back into the postseason next spring? The Super Schedule might hold some clues in that regard...

Thanks to feedback from one anonymous reader, I've added Time Zone for the location of each game to the NHL Super Schedule available over at Google. I've also added a H/R (Home/Road) column for easy use in breaking down schedules in that fashion. As to examples of how one might actually use this information, I've included a chart I whipped up in a couple minutes:

This shows the average 5-on-5 Goals For/Against ratio (based on 2006-7 results) for opponents in each game of the Philadelphia Flyers upcoming schedule, with a moving average trendline in black, and the actual numbers in blue/green (game numbers are given along the horizontal axis). Forgive the aesthetic flourishes, but I felt the need to fumble around a bit in Excel 2007 and see what some of the pretty buttons did.

Anyways, the quick & dirty assessment here is that the Flyers get a relatively easy schedule in the early part of the season (most opponents finished last season below 1.00, the break-even mark), but from Game 60 on, Philadelphia looks to face pretty hefty opposition, and may end up having difficulty earning critical points down the stretch. Surely their talent level has improved this summer, but will it be enough?

Not that this was any kind of exhaustive analysis, but I just wanted to demonstrate what you (yes, YOU!) can do with the super-improved, mega-deluxe, NHL Super Schedule. If you see something else you'd like added to the spreadsheet, just drop a request in the comments and I'll see what I can do.

P.S.: I'd recommend checking the comments in the original Super Schedule post, as Matt has done some fine work digging up info on some of the worst road trips in 2007-8, including three teams that go on NINE-game expeditions!

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