After sneaking in to the postseason last year only to endure a first-round exit handed to the Flyers by the capitals, expectations for this season were understandably high. After jumping out to an average start with a 4-6 record at the end of October, the Flyers began to take the league by storm when they started winning game after game to the tune of 10 straight, their longest winning streak in 31 years. Since their win streak ended, the team has appeared to lose all momentum and lost 11 of the last 14 games, causing quite a panic.
Scoring goals has not been the problem at all, where the team sits in the top half of the league in goals per game, and 5th in power-play goal percentage. The problem has been the team’s discipline and defense where the team has the 7th most penalty minutes, the most misconducts. As for defense and goal tending, the team has allowed the most goals, have the absolute worst save percentage, and have one of the worst goal differentials in the league. As troubling as this team’s stats are so far this season, the future is perhaps the brightest it has looked since 2010.
Ron Hextall has done a heck of a job since taking over for the dumpster fire Holmgren left. The offense has been, for lack of a better word, awesome. Claude Giroux remains consistent, Voracek leads the team with 41 points and 28 assists. Simmonds leads the entire team with 18 goals. Brayden Scheen is on pace to have his best statistical season. This is also the first season for Travis Konecny, who turns 20 in March. On the defensive side of the team, Streit is in the twilight of his long and illustrious career, Ghost is so young but is poised to be a top offensive defender, Michael Del Zotto is a bargain when healthy, Macdonald has no business being on this team, it still baffles me that he is allowed to play professional hockey. The future of our defense is Provorov, with Sanheim and Morin both appearing to be a year away from the big league, our position of need will soon turn into a position of strength. Mason has ben nothing more than an average goalie, he is not the long term answer and he should not be relied on to steal games, our goalie of the future is Anthony Stolarz whether he is ready or not. This team may not be ready to be taken serious yet, but like the Sixers, our patience will be rewarded.