Ron Hextall on Flyers: “We Certainly Have the Ability to Make the Playoffs”

Flyers general manager Ron Hextall believes the Flyers are in a good position heading into the break after their recent three-game win streak. 

He won't admit that they are true contenders just yet. 

"We are not in that top group of teams yet," Hextall told the Flyers' website. "For 10 games we were pretty good, then for 14 we didn't look so good but it you take somewhere in the middle, that's where we are at. 

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"We certainly have the ability to make the playoffs, but I am not going to look at a 14-game stretch and make long-term decisions on that," he added. "Ninety-nine percent of the time the answer to your problem is in your room. We're a good enough team that the answer is in ours."

The Flyers currently sit in the eighth spot in the Eastern conference and look to capitalize on the momentum they gathered going into this All-Star weekend. Following a 2-8-2 skid, the Flyers have only allowed four goals in their last three games en route to six points.

Hextall can thank All-Star Wayne Simmonds for his heroics during the win streak. Simmonds has a goal in each of the Flyers' past three wins, including the opening goal on Thursday night against the Maple Leafs.

With performances like that from Simmonds and a crop of prospects making their way through the system, Hextall can avoid large free agent deals and keep with his current plan. Slow and steady remains his method to the NHL race.

"I like where we are at as an organization," he said. "I think there is growth in the big team, the minor league team, and prospects around the world. I would like to see more success up here but we didn't have a lot of flexibility (last summer) and we're not going to because we have to keep our own.  

"We're not signing an older player to a six, or seven-year deal that will get us in trouble I could care less if I get criticized. We will do what is right for our team three, four, five years from now."

The bumps in the road will not cease to exist, Hextall knows that. But enduring the bruises of a grueling NHL season is something that will continue to grow the core nucleus of the Flyers.

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