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yave1964

Flyers offseason review

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Yet another spot on write up, @yave1964 ...lots of stuff I agree on in there.

 

Personally, I don't have the Flyers making the post season this coming year, although it is entirely possible a few of their young players accelerate their learning curves and surprise while some other 'established' contenders falter, vaulting Philly into a playoff spot.

 

We have seen in the NHL where teams with lots of young players can certainly succeed eventually, but usually not without going through their growing pains, learning curves, and growth cycles....and the East has plenty of good teams that Philly will have to be better than to make the playoffs and I just don't see that right now at this point in time.

 

I expect Philly to play hungrier (younger guys on the team will tend to do that over jaded vets), play harder, and with more passion, but at the end of the day, it will be tough sledding to make the playoffs in 2017-18.

 

Still though, for Flyers fans, I believe this coming season is one where they can FINALLY be genuinely excited about what their team can potentially do.

It was one thing to watch tired veterans go through the motions, but another thing entirely watching young players mixed with good veterans try and compete.  I think option #2 would be a more exciting brand of hockey, win or lose.

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OccamsRazor    4,339
21 minutes ago, TropicalFruitGirl26 said:

Yet another spot on write up, @yave1964 ...lots of stuff I agree on in there.

 

Personally, I don't have the Flyers making the post season this coming year, although it is entirely possible a few of their young players accelerate their learning curves and surprise while some other 'established' contenders falter, vaulting Philly into a playoff spot.

 

We have seen in the NHL where teams with lots of young players can certainly succeed eventually, but usually not without going through their growing pains, learning curves, and growth cycles....and the East has plenty of good teams that Philly will have to be better than to make the playoffs and I just don't see that right now at this point in time.

 

I expect Philly to play hungrier (younger guys on the team will tend to do that over jaded vets), play harder, and with more passion, but at the end of the day, it will be tough sledding to make the playoffs in 2017-18.

 

Still though, for Flyers fans, I believe this coming season is one where they can FINALLY be genuinely excited about what their team can potentially do.

It was one thing to watch tired veterans go through the motions, but another thing entirely watching young players mixed with good veterans try and compete.  I think option #2 would be a more exciting brand of hockey, win or lose.

 

 

Fair assessment.

 

But there are a few teams in the East that didn't get better just worse.

 

The Caps, Rags and Canadiens took step back IMHO so we'll see.

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pilldoc    2,081

@yave1964

 

Fair enough review and spot on.  Hard to counter with anything you said.  Elliot has historically had tremendous runs and tremendous dry spells.  As mentioned elsewhere, if he starts off the season by winning a couple of big games early on, then the Flyers just might get behind him  If he starts off on one of those desolate streaks...well lets just say things with get ugly at the Wachovia.

 

Again, IMO, this is a bottom tiered playoff team at best IF everything goes right.  That is not necessarily a bad thing as if you say, they will get better by subtraction.  Cutting the deadwood, as you say, gives me some incentive to watch the kids hopefully grow into what many of us Flyer faithful are hoping for.....good, solid, exciting NHL players for years to come.

 

I am curious to see if Giroux has a rebound year.......

 

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OccamsRazor    4,339
9 minutes ago, pilldoc said:

I am curious to see if Giroux has a rebound year.......

 

It is a must. Him and Jake have to get that groove back either on the same line or on other lines.

 

Great teams star's must shine to go far.

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5 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

 

Fair assessment.

 

But there are a few teams in the East that didn't get better just worse.

 

The Caps, Rags and Canadiens took step back IMHO so we'll see.

 

I agree with this to an extent...which is why I said "established contenders may falter a bit" opening this up for Philly.

 

That said, and staying within the Metro division, the Rangers and Capitals, while possibly taking a step backwards, are likely STILL well above where the Flyers are on the contender scale, due to the fact that Philly still needs to "ascend those ranks" to get to where those teams are or were.

 

The gap SHOULD be smaller now, but I believe even with a bit of regression from NY and Wash, they are still to be considered more solid contenders than Philly.....unless the Flyers can shock the holy hell out of the league this coming season and play well above what the general NHL fans expect them to.

 

As for Montreal....book is out on them. They LOOK like they took steps back, but then again, made some acquisitions that should make them a bit better in areas as well. Plus, if they have a healthy Carey Price, they ALWAYS are in the mix for a post season spot, regardless of the other parts of the team.

Once again, the Flyers have much work to do to prove they belong in the same contendership bracket as the Habs, whether they took a small step or two back or not.

 

IMO, the teams the Flyers need to measure themselves up against are teams who are similarly trying to work their way up the ladder or teams who missed the post season last year but who maybe expect to make it this coming year.

Such as Carolina, Florida, the Islanders, maybe even the Lightning if the Bolts really did regress rather than have injuries derail them.

 

Just to be clear, not saying Flyers don't have a shot at the post season (seriously, who thought Toronto could get in last year? Not many, yet they did), but just saying I don't see them as being favored in any way to get in....to me, they are likely to be sitting in perhaps 9th or 10th if they competed well enough, maybe further down if certain things go very wrong.

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yave1964    1,779
21 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

 

Fair assessment.

 

But there are a few teams in the East that didn't get better just worse.

 

The Caps, Rags and Canadiens took step back IMHO so we'll see.

I always cringe when posting in the Flyer section because I dont want to appear to be trolling, lol. Truthfully, I see the Wings and Flyers in a similar boat, both aging teams with talent, but the BIG difference:

 

The Wings held onto everyone, including half a dozen players who should have been moved out, the kids are still buried.

 

The Flyers moved out the junk and are going to give the kids a chance. Instead of an aging slow team they are now young and hungry.

 

Truthfully, I could make a case for both finishing dead last in their division, The Flyers are in the leagues top division hands down, Carolina and New Jersey are improved and IMHO have surpassed Philly, the Wings are just aging and slow. The Flyers however getting the kids feet wet are setting up nicely for the future, the Wings insisting that the aging slow crop has another run in them is unrealistic and is setting the organization another year behind on what should be a total rebuild. So the flyers look ready to take their lumps and let Patrick and the kiddie Corp on defense learn on the job and mix in a few forwards to boot getting OJT it is a good thing for the organization. Of the two ways, give the kids a chance and take the lumps riding Elliott as a stopgap at 2.5 million or give slow bloated aging players another shot to steal their paycheck and pay two mediocre goalies a combined ten million a year with no idea how long the bleeding will continue, I like the Flyer way a lot better. Elliott will be long gone before this team is any good again but he is a nice cheap bargain addition.

Edited by yave1964
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pilldoc    2,081
1 minute ago, yave1964 said:

I always cringe when posting in the Flyer section because I dont want to appear to be trolling, lol

 

LOL ...you have no worries on here..... you always have spot on posts.   Its not like you are "guaranteeing" the Red Wings to make the ECF like a certain poster does for his team(s) on here. ;)

 

 

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OccamsRazor    4,339
8 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

I always cringe when posting in the Flyer section because I dont want to appear to be trolling, lol.

 

Never. You're much welcome with your reviews. And i agree as you pointed an TFG out there are question through this team.

 

Many we won't know till mid season i think. Their Captain i think we all can agree needs to rebound. They need a clear guy in net they can lean on.

 

I think they can do it....answer those questions and make the playoffs....a strong start will help for once and some luck with heath.

 

No way to call it right now with this club they can go either way....

Edited by OccamsRazor

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OccamsRazor    4,339
25 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

both aging teams with talent

 

I don't know about the Flyers in that catergory.

 

I mean they will have 12 or 13 players (out of their 23 man roster) players 27 or younger when the season starts.

 

That is including Morin and Hagg as well. So i think that is pretty young i think but that is my opinion of it sure they aren't the Oilers.

 

And that isn't even counting Laughton or Lindblom making the team which could make it younger.

Edited by OccamsRazor

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yave1964    1,779
21 minutes ago, OccamsRazor said:

 

I don't know about the Flyers in that catergory.

 

I mean they will have 12 or 13 players (out of their 23 man roster) players 27 or younger when the season starts.

 

That is including Morin and Hagg as well. So i think that is pretty young i think but that is my opinion of it sure they aren't the Oilers.

 

And that isn't even counting Laughton or Lindblom making the team which could make it younger.

I edited my post after i put it out there, adding that the Flyers got rid of a lot of the aging paycheck collectors sending them on their way and will now be among the youngest teams in the game, whereas the Wings are just another year older and deeper in debt. I like the way the Flyers are doing it, take their lumps, let the kids play, build for the future. They coulda held onto a Del Zotto here and Schenn and added a Vanek and maybe gotten lucky and been a bit better but instead they are building the right way through the youth in their system.

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OccamsRazor    4,339
26 minutes ago, yave1964 said:

I edited my post after i put it out there, adding that the Flyers got rid of a lot of the aging paycheck collectors sending them on their way and will now be among the youngest teams in the game, whereas the Wings are just another year older and deeper in debt. I like the way the Flyers are doing it, take their lumps, let the kids play, build for the future. They coulda held onto a Del Zotto here and Schenn and added a Vanek and maybe gotten lucky and been a bit better but instead they are building the right way through the youth in their system.

 

As of now it seems to be the right way.

 

We'll know for sure i think in 2 years.

 

They should by then be pushing deep into the playoffs.

 

The Flyers have always did it the other way trade picks for other teams aging yet already developed talent.

 

Sure it got them close but still no Cup.

 

As i said it takes the right mix of vets with youth.

 

Easier said than done.

 

As of now it nice to try something different...

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AlaskaFlyerFan    936

@yave1964

 

Go away, you troll!!  :hehe:

 

I agree with others...You don't have to be worried about posting here.  You (and your opinions) are well respected.

Edited by AlaskaFlyerFan
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elmatus    280
58 minutes ago, RJ8812 said:

Mason isn't going to be the back-up in Winnipeg...

 

My guess is he'll end up splitting time pretty evenly with Hellebuyck.

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murraycraven    3,017
1 hour ago, elmatus said:

 

My guess is he'll end up splitting time pretty evenly with Hellebuyck.

 

 

ditto on Mason splitting time.

 

great write-up @yave1964!!  The Flyers, in my opinion, will fight for a playoff spot but they will fall short.   Biggest thing for me is to see a hungry G.   No more excuses - he simply needs to produce (Jake as well) this year on the ice.   Simple.as.that.

Edited by murraycraven
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Howie58    683

Yave:

 

I've been here since 2011. Intelligent posts from any source are respected. I concur with others--you are welcome.

 

I've said it many times--"making the playoffs" in a league where 16 of 30 (I guess, 31 with Vegas), is not too impressive.  A second or third round...now we're talking.

 

My "eye test" is simpler--will I put on NHL Center Ice (or one of the 16 games on national TV) and stay engaged?  That may sound stupid but I started game threads quite often last year (a strange role for me) and found many posters, myself included, felt disengaged and tired watching.  We played defensive hockey to stay competitive and avoid blowouts.  Our offense sputtered.  Win, lose, tie--I hope for some offensive creativity and consistent D.  If we play .500 hockey and the youngins provide some interesting and engaging hockey, the season will be a plus in my book.  For the last two years we've been subjected to stretches of disinterested hockey that is unwatchable.  I hope that changes.  

 

As for Giroux--my broken record is that the subjective outweighs the objective. If he doesn't get to 65-70 points there will be too much drama, much like Forsberg in and out of the lineup, or Pronger and his concussion troubles.  Giroux's work will be under a microscope. If he doesn't do more to earn his keep, media and the fans will be in a tizzy that will overshadow promising youngster performance.  For the team's sake--and his-- I hope there is a 60-70 point year.

 

 

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King Knut    1,645
On 7/31/2017 at 4:31 PM, OccamsRazor said:

 

$

 

I TOALLY agree that Elliot is no step down from Mason.  He had a bad playoffs.  Thats about all one can say to support the argument.

TO me though, the whole premise of asking the question of whether Elliott's an improvement or not is off base IMHO.

 

Every move being made is for the long term improvement of this team, NOT NEXT SEASON.

 

Anyone focused on whether the team will compete for a cup next year is going to be frustrated by the moves made.

Anyone looking forward to the next 10-15 years not being as miserable as the last 5 is going to be pleased and excited. 

 

Long story short Mason wanted more money over a longer term than the Flyers wanted to give him, PRIMARILY because they have two goalies in the system that look extremely promising and two in Allentown that look at least like decent backup/tandem options.  Secondarily, there was probably a slight degree of acrimony between Mason and the staff/brass.  I don't blame mason for this after the whole Reese incident.  However if Mason is upset about Neuvirth getting the new deal and he didn't, or Neuvy getting the mass of  starts leading into the trade deadline and Mason not, then I would like to myself pour Steve a nice warm cup of "WAKE THE HELL UP!"

 

Neuvy started so much because he was being showcased.  Hextall was desperately attempting to shop him for the deadline/vegas for the draft.

 

-When there were no takers, he signed Neuvy at the deadline SPECIFICALLY because he was the goalie Hextall DIDN'T WANT TO KEEP.

-Hextall had to expose a goalie for the vegas draft. 

-If he didn't trade for one (something that obviously failed) he'd either have to expose his promising young (and cheap) Stolarz or resign one of either Mason or Neuvy. 

-If he didn't sign one of them, he's spend most of his spring and summer trying to trade for a mediocre goalie on a short term contract from another team JUST to expose him in the draft.  

-There would be UFA goalies available on 7/1 but that's too late for the Vegas draft.  

-He could have traded for one such goalie, but he'd have to give up assets (likely draft picks which Hextall had been hoarding)

-Of the two, Mason would have been asking for more at the time: 

     -It's true that Mason did ultimately sign with the Jets for the same duration and less money than Hextall is spending for both Elliot

      and Neuvy, but there's NO WAY Mason was taking that same deal from Hextall at the Trade Deadline.  His market value was

      significantly higher at the time.  

-Which isn't to say that Neuvy and his agent didn't know what was going on and didn't fleece Hextall for more than Neuvy was clearly worth at the time... 

-Which was still way less than Mason would have fleeced him for.

-It was a fair bet that McPhee would take Neuvy, especially in hindsight when looking at what he did take, HOWEVER...

-The Penguins couldn't figure out a better option for Fleury and convinced him to waive his NTC.  This pretty much ensured Vegas wouldn't be taking Neuvy, but unfortunately, it was too late, he was already under his new contract.

-Meanwhile all the other "better" goalies on the market were acquired by other teams -most before the playoffs were even over.

-This killed Mason's bargaining power by the time 7/1 rolled around.  There were suddenly many fewer destinations.  Supply was high and demand was suddenly low.  He had to sign to the Jets for less time and money than he was probably asking Hextall for (however it was still twice as much as Neuvy got from Hextall).

-Hextall did what I consider an excellent job in signing Elliot to not a lot of money for a short term deal.  Pretty nice deal making if you ask me. 

 

So in hindsight, I'd be a lot more thrilled with this goaltending situation if we had Mason for two more years and Stolarz as his backup.  Or even Elliot for two years with Stolarz as his backup and no Neuvy in either scenario.    That's what I would have wanted.  (I actually liked Nilsson more than Elliot, but Elliot is NOT AT ALL A PROBLEM).

 

But long story short:  I understand the complications of how and why we ended up here and I kinda think Hextall did the best he could with a difficult situation.  Complaining about it without acknowledging the context and suggesting what might have been done to work around it makes no sense to me.  

 

 

 

 

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Honestly, bottom line, with regards to the title of this thread, "Flyers Off Season Review", is that the Flyers had a good one.

 

Whether they make the playoffs this season (possible, but as I stated, doubtful as far as I am concerned) will remain to be seen.

So in terms of playoff contention, I give Philadelphia a C- or so.

 

But in terms of the type of off season they had, like what @yave1964 and some others mentioned what with removing the deadwood and allowing the young players to step into roles and making NO ridiculous long term signings, I think the Flyers knocked it out of the park and clearly earned an "A" grade for that effort.

 

And yes, Ron Hextall's plan is long term.

With any luck, not only will he have dismantled the monster of a mess his predecessor put together, but may have this team be a viable contender, year in, year out quite soon.

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King Knut    1,645
On 7/31/2017 at 5:29 PM, yave1964 said:

I always cringe when posting in the Flyer section because I dont want to appear to be trolling, lol. Truthfully, I see the Wings and Flyers in a similar boat, both aging teams with talent, but the BIG difference:

 

The Wings held onto everyone, including half a dozen players who should have been moved out, the kids are still buried.

 

The Flyers moved out the junk and are going to give the kids a chance. Instead of an aging slow team they are now young and hungry.

 

Truthfully, I could make a case for both finishing dead last in their division, The Flyers are in the leagues top division hands down, Carolina and New Jersey are improved and IMHO have surpassed Philly, the Wings are just aging and slow. The Flyers however getting the kids feet wet are setting up nicely for the future, the Wings insisting that the aging slow crop has another run in them is unrealistic and is setting the organization another year behind on what should be a total rebuild. So the flyers look ready to take their lumps and let Patrick and the kiddie Corp on defense learn on the job and mix in a few forwards to boot getting OJT it is a good thing for the organization. Of the two ways, give the kids a chance and take the lumps riding Elliott as a stopgap at 2.5 million or give slow bloated aging players another shot to steal their paycheck and pay two mediocre goalies a combined ten million a year with no idea how long the bleeding will continue, I like the Flyer way a lot better. Elliott will be long gone before this team is any good again but he is a nice cheap bargain addition.

 

 

We're far more likely to give other Flyers fans a hard time than respectful, insightful Redwings fans.

 

It's not like you're a Penguins fan or anything ;)

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I think the Flyers are in line for a big jump. Lindblom coming over is huge and with the success he's had against men in the SEL, I think it's very likely we're looking at a 20 goal/40 point scorer in his rookie year. Add in a 2nd year of Konecny, who should also be good for a 20 goal/40 point effort and then Patrick and a possible 15 goal/35 point effort and that's 55 goals added to the lineup. Throw in a rebound by Giroux to the 70 to 75 point mark (I'm still pegging him for 80+ because he plays his best when people doubt him and his back is against the wall) as well as a 70 point effort from Voracek and a 65 point effort from Simmonds and the offense is firing on all cylinders. I'll be honest in that I really don't expect Couturier to crack the 50 point mark, but if he does, that's a bonus. Don't forget Weal either. He showed he could play and there's no reason to believe he can't put up Schenn-like numbers in terms of 25 goals/55 points. 

 

The only area of concern is going to be the defense and that's just because it's going to be young. But it's not young and awful. It's young and incredibly talented. If the kids grow into their roles quickly, there's no reason to believe that they can't help carry the club into the playoffs. 

 

What really aggravates me the most though is reading about the goaltending and Brian Elliott. The guy is a coach on the ice in the defensive end. He's had the luxury of helping young defensemen grow into their roles and he's going to be pivotal to the success of Morin, Hagg, Gostisbehere, Provorov and Sanheim because he'll be able to direct them accordingly as to where they should be on the ice, something Mason never did. Elliott is going to be a big contributor and I expect that he'll be a little slow coming out of the gate because he's going to need to get a feel as to how the young guys play, but once he sees a pattern, I expect that he'll be vocal with the kids and they're going to benefit because of it.

 

This is starting to shape up to being a good club. There's still going to be work in order for them to be great, but there's lots of things to be really excited about. I expect this club to give the rest of the league fits and I expect the youth to be leading the charge.

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King Knut    1,645
On 7/31/2017 at 3:26 PM, yave1964 said:

2016-17 A QUICK LOOK BACK: image.pngnull

  The Flyers entered the season hoping to catch a few breaks and contend for a bottom tier playoff spot, instead they got stuck in the mud and never quite gained traction all year. Not really bad, not really good, they were that worst of all scenario's a mediocre team. They finished 39-33-10 for 88 points, 6th in the division and 12th in the conference.

  Lots went right. Jakub Voracek had a nice bounce back season and led the team in scoring, Schenn and Simmonds were power play gods with 16 and 17 PPG respectively, kids such as Konecny and Provorov played regularly and showed that they are here to stay.

  As for what went wrong, The combinded goaltending of Mason and Neuvirth were not good and that may be generous. The sophomore slump ate the season of outstanding young blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere. Claude Giroux had the lowest full season point total since 2009-10. Free agent Weise was a bust. Veterans such as Del Zotto, Streit, McDonald, Read and Filpulla did not pick up any slack and made the team a two line club. Kids such as Manning, Cousins and Raffl seem to be either overrated as prospects and the Flyers have to wonder where secondary scoring is going to come from.

  They caught a massive break in the lottery as they ended up with the second pick in the draft and chose Nolan Patrick. At the draft they traded Schenn to the Blues for a package that includes dissapointing center Lehtera and draft picks.

 

FREE AGENTS:

 

BELLEMARE lwas lost in the expansion draft to Vegas. Not a bad player but easily replaceable.

VANDER VELDE was not resigned and has not signed anywhere. Neither 

MASON was shown the door and left to be the backup in Winnipeg.

DEL ZOTTO now plies his trade in Vancouver.

LYUBIMOV failed in a trial in North America and is now back in the KHL.

 

All of these moves excepting possibly the loss of Bellemare should be considered addition by subtraction.

 

As for signings, they added BRIAN ELLIOTT who was borderline awful for Calgary before kind of sort of righting the ship in the stretch drive. That is really it.

 

2017-18 QUESTIONS:

 

1) IS ELLIOTT AN IMPROVEMENT OVER MASON? IMHO no, not really. He has played behind some of the games best defenses, yes Calgary is stacked on the back end and deserves credit for helping the goalie stats, before that he played in St. Louis behind Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and Pareyko, he was ran out of St. Louis by Jake Allen who is barely an NHL starting goalie, and in Calgary he had to fight for crease time against the immortal Chad Johnson. Yes, Mason was bad last year but I feel that expecting much more out of Elliott is unrealistic. He signed cheap and seems to be a nice guy in all of his interviews. 

 

2) IS THE TEAM FUNDAMENTALLY IMPROVED FROM LAST YEAR? Elliott/Mason probably close to an even swap, that leaves Patrick/Schenn as the other big change in the lineup, at this point I think Schenn is the better player although Patrick is a tremendous prospect and has a very bright future. The other losses will allow ice time for kids such as Weal, Laughton, Martel and Leier among the forwards and defensive prospects such as Sanheim, Morin and Hagg will get into the mix. 

  So my opinion is that by saying goodbye to a bunch of vets who didn't do the job and getting ice time for the kids they are improved, although it may not necessarily show in the standings this coming year. 

 

3) WILL GIROUX BOUNCE BACK? He was not exactly awful last year but it is impossible to be objective and not admit that he had an off season. His 14 goals was the third year in a row of a goal scoring drop off, his assists have dropped every year during that time as well and his minus 15 was a career worst. His points in full seasons since 2011-12 have went 93, 86, 73, 67 and now 58. 

  He faces a challenge every night with the Flyers lack of secondary scoring of putting too much on his own shoulders and more will likely be expected now that Schenn is gone and the inexperienced Patrick will probably be brought along slowly in the middle six. I think he will be in the neighborhood of 68-70 points breaking his slideas he takes almost every single offensive zone faceoff and he averages 20 minutes on the ice a night.

 

So my opinion is they cleared out a lot of deadwood both among the forwards and the defense and that by giving the kids a chance to strut their stuff they will be more entertaining but as far as contending they are miles away but again, just clearing out the deadwood makes it a successful offseason. 

image.jpeg

 

 

The broken record I've been skipping on for the past 6 months or so is that this team's biggest problem is it's defense and lack of stability in it's own end.  This kills them at even strength and makes quality talented players with offensive skill god awful scorers when they're not on the PP and results in 3 lines of net minus players.  This team is GOD AWFUL at even strength.  

 

It has the added problem of making their goalies look even worse than they actually are.  Frankly, no goalie is actually as bad as Neuvy was last year.  Period.

 

Their defense can't shut down play at all and can't control the puck.  They are terrible at positioning, and continually give up extremely high quality chances (lots of men left open at the side of the net for an easy tip in). 

 

Early last season the Flyers were the 2nd best scoring team in the league.  This was desite Giroux starting slow (he finished slow too as you point out).  

 

What happened?  They were getting their butts whooped in their own end so even though they were scoring 4 or 5 a night, they were giving up 5 or 6 and losing. 

 

So Hakstol abandoned his system and started dropping his forwards back to help stem the bleeding.  What resulted was the destruction of their transition game (because everyone was inside their own blue line and there was no one to pass to and when they do, the opposing defense is already in position to shut them down).  What happens next is inevitable and ugly dump and chase hockey (which the Flyers aren't bad at controlling actually) but which results mostly in passes back to the point and extremely low percentage perimeter shooting that is frequently blocked.    

 

Long story short is that if Hagg and Morin make this team and if they look remotely as good over the course of a season as they did in their limited exposure last year (a game each), then the Flyers might be on to something already.

 

Add in the potential offensive additions of Patrick, Lindblom & Weal, and you see the 4th line suddenly being populated with guys that were on the first and second lines last year (Raffl, Weise, Read, Lehtera).

 

Long story short, I don't expect them to compete for a cup this year, but I certainly think the playoffs aren't unlikely.  More importantly, I believe this is a team on the upswing for more reasons than just that we hope these kids can be something special.  I think this team's been driving toward this moment since the year before Hextall took over and they're about to start turning things around.

 

If it works... and that's no small if... but IF it works, I believe they'll start scoring more and start giving up fewer goals at the same time.  

 

 

 

 

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OccamsRazor    4,339
6 minutes ago, BobbyClarkeFan16 said:

I think the Flyers are in line for a big jump.

 

 

REPORTED!!!!!

 

You know you're not allowed to post the possibility of something good happening to the Flyers right???

 

You will be promptly reported to the Sky is falling police...

 

...sorry that behavior will not be tolerated here.

 

Feel free to comment on the shortcomings of any Flyer play you so choose but the other just can't be allowed....

 

:VeryCool:

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vis    365

@yave1964

 

Great post.  Agree with just about everything.  As mentioned, it should be an exciting year in terms of watching young players develop.  Looking forward to that.  But I am not sure the youth movement and other changes (or lack thereof) will result in an improvement in the standings.  At the very least, I hope to see more consistent play from the team in general.

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    • 6
      Post
      2016-17 A QUICK LOOK BACK:    The Flyers entered the season hoping to catch a few breaks and contend for a bottom tier playoff spot, instead they got stuck in the mud and never quite gained traction all year. Not really bad, not really good, they were that worst of all scenario's a mediocre team. They finished 39-33-10 for 88 points, 6th in the division and 12th in the conference.   Lots went right. Jakub Voracek had a nice bounce back season and led the team in scoring, Schenn and Simmonds were power play gods with 16 and 17 PPG respectively, kids such as Konecny and Provorov played regularly and showed that they are here to stay.   As for what went wrong, The combinded goaltending of Mason and Neuvirth were not good and that may be generous. The sophomore slump ate the season of outstanding young blueliner Shayne Gostisbehere. Claude Giroux had the lowest full season point total since 2009-10. Free agent Weise was a bust. Veterans such as Del Zotto, Streit, McDonald, Read and Filpulla did not pick up any slack and made the team a two line club. Kids such as Manning, Cousins and Raffl seem to be either overrated as prospects and the Flyers have to wonder where secondary scoring is going to come from.   They caught a massive break in the lottery as they ended up with the second pick in the draft and chose Nolan Patrick. At the draft they traded Schenn to the Blues for a package that includes dissapointing center Lehtera and draft picks.   FREE AGENTS:   BELLEMARE lwas lost in the expansion draft to Vegas. Not a bad player but easily replaceable. VANDER VELDE was not resigned and has not signed anywhere. Neither  MASON was shown the door and left to be the backup in Winnipeg. DEL ZOTTO now plies his trade in Vancouver. LYUBIMOV failed in a trial in North America and is now back in the KHL.   All of these moves excepting possibly the loss of Bellemare should be considered addition by subtraction.   As for signings, they added BRIAN ELLIOTT who was borderline awful for Calgary before kind of sort of righting the ship in the stretch drive. That is really it.   2017-18 QUESTIONS:   1) IS ELLIOTT AN IMPROVEMENT OVER MASON? IMHO no, not really. He has played behind some of the games best defenses, yes Calgary is stacked on the back end and deserves credit for helping the goalie stats, before that he played in St. Louis behind Pietrangelo, Shattenkirk and Pareyko, he was ran out of St. Louis by Jake Allen who is barely an NHL starting goalie, and in Calgary he had to fight for crease time against the immortal Chad Johnson. Yes, Mason was bad last year but I feel that expecting much more out of Elliott is unrealistic. He signed cheap and seems to be a nice guy in all of his interviews.    2) IS THE TEAM FUNDAMENTALLY IMPROVED FROM LAST YEAR? Elliott/Mason probably close to an even swap, that leaves Patrick/Schenn as the other big change in the lineup, at this point I think Schenn is the better player although Patrick is a tremendous prospect and has a very bright future. The other losses will allow ice time for kids such as Weal, Laughton, Martel and Leier among the forwards and defensive prospects such as Sanheim, Morin and Hagg will get into the mix.    So my opinion is that by saying goodbye to a bunch of vets who didn't do the job and getting ice time for the kids they are improved, although it may not necessarily show in the standings this coming year.    3) WILL GIROUX BOUNCE BACK? He was not exactly awful last year but it is impossible to be objective and not admit that he had an off season. His 14 goals was the third year in a row of a goal scoring drop off, his assists have dropped every year during that time as well and his minus 15 was a career worst. His points in full seasons since 2011-12 have went 93, 86, 73, 67 and now 58.    He faces a challenge every night with the Flyers lack of secondary scoring of putting too much on his own shoulders and more will likely be expected now that Schenn is gone and the inexperienced Patrick will probably be brought along slowly in the middle six. I think he will be in the neighborhood of 68-70 points breaking his slideas he takes almost every single offensive zone faceoff and he averages 20 minutes on the ice a night.   So my opinion is they cleared out a lot of deadwood both among the forwards and the defense and that by giving the kids a chance to strut their stuff they will be more entertaining but as far as contending they are miles away but again, just clearing out the deadwood makes it a successful offseason. 
    • 4
      Post
          ditto on Mason splitting time.   great write-up @yave1964!!  The Flyers, in my opinion, will fight for a playoff spot but they will fall short.   Biggest thing for me is to see a hungry G.   No more excuses - he simply needs to produce (Jake as well) this year on the ice.   Simple.as.that.
    • 3
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      @yave1964   Go away, you troll!!     I agree with others...You don't have to be worried about posting here.  You (and your opinions) are well respected.
    • 3
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        LOL ...you have no worries on here..... you always have spot on posts.   Its not like you are "guaranteeing" the Red Wings to make the ECF like a certain poster does for his team(s) on here.    
    • 2
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      Yave:   I've been here since 2011. Intelligent posts from any source are respected. I concur with others--you are welcome.   I've said it many times--"making the playoffs" in a league where 16 of 30 (I guess, 31 with Vegas), is not too impressive.  A second or third round...now we're talking.   My "eye test" is simpler--will I put on NHL Center Ice (or one of the 16 games on national TV) and stay engaged?  That may sound stupid but I started game threads quite often last year (a strange role for me) and found many posters, myself included, felt disengaged and tired watching.  We played defensive hockey to stay competitive and avoid blowouts.  Our offense sputtered.  Win, lose, tie--I hope for some offensive creativity and consistent D.  If we play .500 hockey and the youngins provide some interesting and engaging hockey, the season will be a plus in my book.  For the last two years we've been subjected to stretches of disinterested hockey that is unwatchable.  I hope that changes.     As for Giroux--my broken record is that the subjective outweighs the objective. If he doesn't get to 65-70 points there will be too much drama, much like Forsberg in and out of the lineup, or Pronger and his concussion troubles.  Giroux's work will be under a microscope. If he doesn't do more to earn his keep, media and the fans will be in a tizzy that will overshadow promising youngster performance.  For the team's sake--and his-- I hope there is a 60-70 point year.    
    • 2
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      Yet another spot on write up, @yave1964 ...lots of stuff I agree on in there.   Personally, I don't have the Flyers making the post season this coming year, although it is entirely possible a few of their young players accelerate their learning curves and surprise while some other 'established' contenders falter, vaulting Philly into a playoff spot.   We have seen in the NHL where teams with lots of young players can certainly succeed eventually, but usually not without going through their growing pains, learning curves, and growth cycles....and the East has plenty of good teams that Philly will have to be better than to make the playoffs and I just don't see that right now at this point in time.   I expect Philly to play hungrier (younger guys on the team will tend to do that over jaded vets), play harder, and with more passion, but at the end of the day, it will be tough sledding to make the playoffs in 2017-18.   Still though, for Flyers fans, I believe this coming season is one where they can FINALLY be genuinely excited about what their team can potentially do. It was one thing to watch tired veterans go through the motions, but another thing entirely watching young players mixed with good veterans try and compete.  I think option #2 would be a more exciting brand of hockey, win or lose.

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