Philadelphia Flyers

  • The Flyers have broken the record for the most starting goalies in a season when Cam Talbot took the ice on Friday night. This is off the back of a crushing loss against the Blue Jackets in OT. Before the Jackets game, they had huge wins against the Penguins and Sabres. In the last 10 games, the Flyers are 6-3-1 with them being seven points back from being in the wild card. Starting goalie troubles With eight goalies in net throughout the season, some may chalk this up as a lost season. Others may view it as an epidemic between the pipes. Tying and subsequently breaking a record like eight starting goalies in one season is no easy feat. Additionally, with the team having a -24 goal differential, there is a compelling argument to back up that point. However, with the Flyers being seven points outside the fence, that may not be the case. There was also had two goalie injuries in Michael Neuvirth and Brian Elliot. Couple that with 5 “pinch” goalies in McKenna, Mrazek, Stolarz, Lyon, and Hart, maybe there was an epidemic this year. Who is Talbot? It remains to be seen what the former Oiler and Ranger can produce. Talbot will look to give the team the boost they need to shoot into the playoff picture. He has a total NHL GAA of 2.59 and a save percentage of .915. This means that the nine-year AHL and NHL vet have more than enough experience to make an impact. Talbot was the backup to Henrik Lundqvist when the Rangers made their run to the cup in 2013. After staying the next two years, he then headed to the Oilers for a four-year stint as the starter. He also set an Oilers record for most wins in a...
  • Looking back on the bye week for the Flyers, there’s been quite a bit to talk about in those eight days. The most notable thing that happened was the All-Star Game. However, there was also a lot of trade talk and a mascot that knew how to steal the spotlight. So let’s unpack all that happened. Prior to the ASG At the start of the bye week, it was pretty uneventful. Everyone was just enjoying their time off and Giroux and Gritty were preparing for their Skills Competitions. Anthony Stolarz celebrated his 25th birthday and was called up to the Flyers once again. Carter Hart was sent back down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms for what we could assume was to keep him fresh throughout the bye week. With the Flyers were on a three-game winning streak, it seemed that everyone was just taking those days off to relax and prepare for the second half of the season. The skills competition The only thing I can say is Gritty is a Public Relations genius. In his first season here, he has stolen the spotlight everywhere he goes several times over. Furthermore, he was able to outskate the San Jose Sharks mascot to win the Mascot Fastest Skating Competition. Not only is he a lovable Scottish Fozzie Bear looking…thing, he also knows how to beat the competition. Giroux was involved in the puck control competition, and let me just say he was very impressive in this competition. Finishing in 30 seconds to take third place, this is where he shines. If he takes what he learned from here and applies it to his control in-game, he could help bring the flyers up in contention again. The All-Star Game A final score of 7-4, Giroux helped lead the team with an assist...
  • When you think of starting goalies in the NHL, what do you picture? A seasoned veteran like Henrik Lundqvist or Martin Brodeur? Maybe a rookie who impressed a team so much that he dethroned said veteran? Well to the Flyers currently, they picture a potential record in their future. The Starting Goalies The Flyers have used Elliot, Neuvirth, Mrazek for five seconds, Stolarz, Lyon, and now Mike McKenna. As a result, McKenna now makes seven starting goalies, tying the Quebec Nordiques of the 89-90 season. Coincidentally, this means that Head Coach Scott Gordon’s name will be tied to both records. He was actually a contributing goalie to the record the Nordiques posted. Finishing with a 2-8 record, you have to wonder if there is a trend with the former Islanders Coach. So what does this all mean? With the Flyers office and coaching changes, a recent losing streak, and now going through seven goalies in a season, it seems as the boys are letting the season slip before its even over. Additionally, they are talking about potential trades of our most beloved players. Wayne Simmonds being at the forefront of that conversation, you have to question if they are making a big mistake. Personally, I say the problem isn’t between the pipes, it’s between the blue line. Countless times I have seen the forwards drive the puck in only to lose control the minute they get beyond the line. A quick fix I feel like currently, the flyers are writing the season off as a loss already and it makes no sense. I would think, after changing all that you have, this season would be one to beat the odds and play the hardest you can. However, my solution to this problem is simple. Just because you let more goals...
  • December 29, 2018

    Flushing the System of Hakstol

    Flushing the System of Hakstol It has been a few weeks since flushing the system of our boys head coach Dave Hakstol. The Flyers look like they are finally coming out of the coma that they have been plagued with for so long. I’m noticing the seasoned players finding the offensive zone after long droughts and the newcomers breathing a sigh of relief that they are finally not carrying the team anymore. If you look at th games before and after, you can see the Flyers put up more quality shots versus quick dives into the net as before. Watching the games throughout October to now, the Flyers started with some fire. But they cooled off almost instantly, and sure you could attribute that to injuries or a new season or even new players and goalies. Instead I saw a different explanation, which is coincidentally the same solution that the Flyers have now seen. New Coach? So the question now becomes, who should become the new coach? The Interim coach Scott Gordon is already taking control of the team. Moving up from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. A Louis A.R. Pieri Memorial Award winner and a playing career as a goalie. He is more than qualified to take that spot on the bench. He has already worked with some of the boys on the roster. That includes Carter Hart, who seems to be a shoo-in for the starter position. The boys seem to be more motivated. They appear to hang their heads less. Take for instance the Predators game last week. They were pushing all game. Despite the countless penalties against them and missed calls in their favor. I would have to say that the huge part of this resurgence has to be the fact that there is a lot of...
  • Flyers rookie Vorobyev has a chance to turn some heads After a lackluster 4-4 preseason for the Flyers, there were certainly some bright spots. Goalie-of-the-future Carter Hart posted the best stats of all the goalies. Shayne Gostisbehere looked to be in mid-season form. And now Mikhail Vorobyev has a chance with some serious talent centering the third line. Though most fans throughout the league don’t know the name Vorobyev yet, they likely will in just a few weeks. He will be surrounded with talent on opening night, with James van Riemsdyk playing on his left wing and Wayne Simmonds on the right. MIKHAIL VOROBYEV! FLYERS LEAD 1-0!#PHIvsNYI pic.twitter.com/wJP4Zzgk4d — NHL Daily 365 (@NHLDaily365) September 18, 2018 Strong camp and preseason paid off Though Vorobyev did have a strong season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last season, that isn’t why he got a spot. He did everything right during both summer camp and the preseason. Enough to impress GM Ron Hextall enough to give him a shot with the third line. “He’s been the best player in that position, it’s as simple as that,” claims Hextall. The 21-year-old center led the Flyers in points throughout the preseason, with two goals and five assists in seven games. As with most new players in the preseason, Vorobyev saw time on multiple lines with different wingers. Taylor Leier scores on a feed from Vorobyev after some hard work down below the goal line! Simmonds also involved in the forchecking. 1-0 #Flyers!#FlyersTalk #PHIvsBOS pic.twitter.com/qYFMDfDKuf — A Song of Ice & Flyers (@IceAndFlyers) September 29, 2018 “He seemed to have chemistry with whoever he played with,” said the GM. “He makes plays, smart plays, he’s hard on pucks.” And those kinds of smart plays are exactly what earned him his spot on the third line. And...
  • Flyers new mascot “Gritty” makes an interesting first impression After an uninspiring PR stunt during the Monday morning hours, the announcement finally came. The Flyers unveiled their new mascot, “Gritty”. Though it had been a well-known fact recently that the Flyers have had a new mascot in the works, his first impression was met with an abundance of criticism. Though some think he should be given a chance, others have expressed much more negative feelings. What exactly is he? Truthfully, we have no idea. The Flyers provided very little background information, other than a handful of little facts such as the fact that he loves hot dogs.  Visually, Gritty is a cross between Oscar the Grouch and Groundskeeper Willie. The amount of hair (fur?)  covering the new mascot is enough to provide for half of the locker room’s playoff beards. Join us in welcoming the newest member of the #Flyers Family, @GrittyNHL!! Learn more about Gritty: https://t.co/eQRwTtD54w pic.twitter.com/njHQO1824b — Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) September 24, 2018 As if the creepy bearded smile wasn’t enough, the poor mascot was given googly-eyes. It is honestly dizzying just looking at him. Which would be fine, if he had some sort of intimidation factor. However, that’s not the case. The mascot is nightmare inducing, yet somehow has nothing about him that says “bully”. Gritty is not alone as an NHL castaway Fortunately for Gritty, he has competition as worst NHL mascot. The NHL is full of misunderstood head-cheerleaders. In Detroit, they have an octopus named Al, who isn’t operated by a human but hangs from the rafters. Due to the background of throwing octopi onto the ice during the playoffs, the mascot is at least relevant. But unless a “mascot” can walk the sections and high-five little kids, I want no part of it. ‘Al the Octopus’ fetches...
  • Who will net the most goals to win the Flyers scoring race in 2018-19? After an up-and-down season which saw the Flyers exit after one round of the playoffs, expectations have risen going into 2018-19. With the addition of James van Riemsdyk, the top-six is full of talented players. One thing that will be in question this season: who will win the Flyers scoring race? Leading by example In the 2017-18 season, Flyers captain Claude Giroux put the team on his back. Towards the end of the season, the Ontario-native exploded for eight goals in just the last five regular-season games. This was exactly what the Flyers needed, giving them the chance at a playoff series against the Pittsburgh Penguins. Giroux led the Flyers in goals for the first time in his career. He also led the team in assists with 68, and total points with 102. Moving the face-off master to the left wing was somewhat controversial at the beginning of the season, however, clearly, he feels comfortable there. 10 NHL seasons with the Philadelphia Flyers. 200 NHL goals. Congrats, Claude Giroux! pic.twitter.com/1cckfcv6Z5 — Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) February 18, 2018 The expectations for the Flyers captain will remain high this coming season. Center Sean Couturier is coming off of a major breakout season, and winger Travis Konecny is expected to be a staple on Giroux’s opposite wing. The chemistry these three players had last year was impressive. Look to see more of that starting in October, and all three players to continue contributing heavily to the scoresheet. Giroux may not surpass the 100-point mark again, but expect him to be close. I don’t see him significantly slowing down anytime soon. The train won’t stop here Approaching a contract year, another Flyers scoring race candidate is Wayne Simmonds. This past...
  • Could Couturier’s injury mean a shake-up for the Flyers? During the early hours of the day on Wednesday, reports came out that Flyers first-line center Sean Couturier had reinjured his knee. The original injury stemmed from a collision with Radko Gudas during practice in April, in the midst of a playoff battle against the Penguins. Couturier’s injury turned out to be a torn MCL. #BREAKING Our @6abc video of @NHLFlyers star Sean Couturier going DOWN at practice today after colliding with Radko Gudas. He limps off with the trainer. Claude Giroux told me “it didn’t look good.” So far no update from the #Flyers #NHLPlayoffs2018 #EarnTomorrow pic.twitter.com/SlfplFKjUd — Jamie Apody (@JamieApody) April 17, 2018 Couturier went on to play through his injury, scoring five goals and four assists in five games. Losing the young star for a significant amount of time would be detrimental to the Flyer’s plan. How could Couturier’s injury impact the Flyer’s opening night roster? An already shallow pool at Center This offseason Flyers fans and analysts have been deliberating who would be the third-line center. With Couturier’s injury, that same debate now must be made for the second-line center position. Sophomore Nolan Patrick could certainly step into a first line role, but then what? Both Scott Laughton and Jordan Weal have emerged as early candidates for the third-line center role. Unless one of the two has hit a new stride this off-season, neither are considered ready to play top-six minutes. Unfortunately for the Flyers, Couturier’s injury could mean certain players will have to step into a bigger role. Weal does have the speed to center the second-line. The 26-year old did show flashes of brilliance at the end of the 2016-17 season. Playing with James van Riemsdyk and Jakub Voracek could potentially spark something. Jordan Weal ties the...
  • No shortage of talent on Flyers second line As of July 1st, 2018, James van Riemsdyk is back in Philadelphia. He will fill a spot on the Flyers second line, joining center Nolan Patrick and right-winger Jakub Voracek. All three top-ten draft picks have a ton of talent, and potential to complement each other. It’s my honest belief that this line can compete with some of the best lines in the NHL. There are so many factors into why this line will succeed. But what are those reasons, exactly? In the NHL, size matters Don’t get me wrong, some of the best players in the game are considered “undersized”. But having a big frame in the NHL is certainly a major advantage. And all three players on the Flyers second line are big guys. Patrick is currently the smallest, standing at  6-foot-2 and weighing in around 200 lbs. However, at only age 19, the Winnipeg-native could still be growing and most certainly will be adding muscle. Voracek is also 6-foot-2 but has 15 lbs on Patrick, and that weight helps him win battles along the boards. Getting the puck off of Voracek’s stick is not easy, as he uses that weight to his advantage. van Riemsdyk is the heftiest of the group, coming in at 6-foot-3 and 217 lbs. Voracek is so strong with the puck ? pic.twitter.com/ug6TH0ux0t — Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) December 10, 2016 The thing about being big is that you have to be able to keep up. And for all three of these players, speed is no downside. Patrick has been lauded for his skating abilities for a player of his size. Voracek has an explosive ability on his feet, being able to get around opponents in just his first few strides. That is not something you see...
  • Who will be the third line center on opening night? With the Flyers training camp less than two months away, the roster still has a few question marks. The re-acquisition of James van Riemsdyk has helped solidify the second line. The bottom six, however, is still somewhat up for grabs, mainly the position of third line center. Valtteri Filppula is now on the New York Islanders, leaving his spot on the third line vacant. It is now up to the players in training camp to decide who will take his spot. Can it come from the AHL? One player who is doing his part to earn a spot is Mikhail Vorobyev. The Russian center had a good season with the Phantoms in 2017-18, posting 29 points in 67 games. Those numbers may not seem that impressive, but his ability to create offense was one of the best on the team. Vorobyev’s play-making abilities between the wings have a lot of potential. Centering two players such as Wayne Simmonds and Oskar Lindblom would give him the ability to be creative. At 6-foot-2 and 195 lbs, the 21-year-old has enough size to play physical. Protecting the puck is one thing that sticks out about his game, and he can certainly win the battles along the boards. Nice shift by Vorobyev here. Draws a hooking penalty at the beginning of the video, maintains control of the puck along the boards, and starts a (short-lived) cycle. Three different Sound Tigers tried to take the puck from him and failed. pic.twitter.com/M5sP4cAoxF — Brad Keffer (@brad_keffer) March 10, 2018 Due to GM Ron Hextall’s patient approach, I could definitely see him wanting Vorobyev to spend another year in the AHL. A potential call-up due to an injury on the big club could let us see him...