Hockey

vs

RECORDS: Flyers 3-3-1   Hawks 2-3-2

PUCK DROP: 7:30PM CDT
TV/RADIO: NBC Sports Chicago, ESPN+, WGN-AM 720
BAM, LEAVE YOUR FATHER ALONE: Broad St. Hockey

The homestand at the United Center turns down the final stretch for the Hawks with tonight being the 6th of their seven straight on West Madison, and they’ll welcome their Prague travel mates the Philadelphia Flyers, wrapping up the season series between the two of them before the calendar hits November in another brilliant bit of NHL scheduling.

Since returning home from Europe, things have been back and forth for the Cold Ones, at one point losing four straight (three in regulation), and did so on a Western Canadian swing to boot, so at least they have a plausible travel excuse for their uneven play to this point. Most recently they pretty easily disposed of the Knights on Monday night prior to Vegas being here, though they did so early and often on Oscar Dansk appearing in his first NHL game in two years. Regardless, points in October and against overmatched goalies still count, and the Flyers are going to need every win they can get in a suddenly ultra competitive Metropolitan Division.

While Carter Hart hasn’t gotten off to a fantastic start (.907 at evens, .890 overall), which also included getting the hook in a 6-3 ass waxing in Edmonton, he’s going to get the bulk of the starts in net even if The Terminal Case Of Brian Elliott has been solid in his two starts. If the long term goal is to finally develop a stable goaltending presence in Philly, Hart is going to have to work through some of this stuff, and Alain Vigneault and the Flyera brass will have to resist the temptation of chasing spurious playoff hopes behind the aging and always flattering-to-deceive Elliott. It will he Hart’s net tonight, based on reports from the Flyers’ skate.

In front of him, AV seems to have figured out his defensive pairings with all three of them solidly in the black. Ivan Provorov is the defacto #1 here, at least when pointed towards the other net, though he’s not totally helpless in his own end. He’s paired with Matt Niskanen, whose cowboy days are probably over, but is still smart enough with the puck to keep things moving. Shayne Gostisbehere has been relegated to the third pairing with Robert Hagg, and getting the choice zone starts and matchups has helped give the Flyers push on all three pairings. That’s been possible with the emergence of Travis Sanheim as a legit top-4 defenseman, and he’s baby sat by Justin Braun on the second pairing.

Up front, the Flyers have been jumbling things around recently, and they at least worked against Vegas for a night fairly solidly. Claude Giroux has moved back to the middle with his familiar running mate Jakub Voracek on his right and JVR on his left. Neither Giroux or JVR have scored yet this year, but they’re both certainly in a position to break that bubble given how that line is constructed. Sean Couturier slots behind Giroux and will take whatever AV deems as the toughest matchup on a nightly basis. He’ll have Travis Koneckny on his right, who hasn’t stopped scoring since game 1 in Prague, and leads the team with 10 points. Oscar Lindblom is on the opposite side, and as a unit this line is currently sporting a 65 share of attempts in 50 minutes of even strength time together. Offseason acquisition Kevin “Captain Stairwell” Hayes has found himself as the third center already, which is probably where he ideally slots in on a good team anyway regardless of his paycheck. 2018 first rounder Joel Farabee is ahead of schedule on Hayes’ wing, and made his NHL debut against Vegas on Monday. Chris Stewart somehow caught on to the Flyers’ roster on a PTO, so he and Michael Raffl will assuredly contribute a very irritating goal at some point this evening from the fourth line.

As for the Men of Four Feathers, though the process against a better Vegas team on Tuesday was quite solid for 58 minutes, the results still need to be there, and Coach Kelvin Gemstone will now have to do some regrouping of things now that once again Connor Murphy is having crotch issues. With Murphy out, Slater Koekkoek will get his spot in the lineup, and Dennis “I Have The Name Of A Grandfather” Gilbert has been recalled to take the roster spot. Given the tools available, moving Calvin de Haan to the right side with Duncan Keith is about the only reasonable move here, as de Haan’s game is equally as positionally sound as Murphy’s though not quite as mobile. The hope is that trust can still be maintained from Keith, who has looked sprightly in cutting off entry attempts at his own blue line since being paired with Murphy, reminiscent of four or five years ago. Olli Maata will continue to bail water for Brent Seabrook, the only pairing that will remain unchanged. Koekkoek will play with Erik Gustafsson, whose play in a contract year has been unbelievably bad. Viewers at home with leftover pairs of eclipse glasses from two summers ago would be wise to throw those on when these two are out there.

The forward lines for the Hawks will stay the same, and while these groups haven’t been offensively bad at any juncture, they’re certainly not getting home as much as they need to. Alex DeBrincat is fighting it for the first time in his young career, and as was covered on the podcast last night, he’s still within the margins of getting his normal looks/attempts/chances, so it could be just a case of being snake bitten. But ADB is one of two “bad shot makers” that the Hawks have, and if it one of them isn’t finishing, then the results look like they have so far this season. That’s not likely to change tonight, as Coach Vinny Del Colliton would be very wise to keep Kirby Dach away from Coots as much as his humanly possible before he extinguishes any desire the rookie might have in continuing a career in the sport. Robin Lehner gets the net again tonight after another strong performance, though let it be said that Corey Crawford hasn’t exactly been benched, as Crow currently has a .930 mark at even strength, but the .615 while shorthanded might just be torpedoing that a little bit, and SHOULD rebound a little the longer the season progresses.

Alain Vigneault might be a lot of things (a penis and a crybaby for starters), but he’s not a moron, and he basically pioneered the usage of drastically unbalanced zone starts in Vancouver, and he has such a weapon in Couturier now here in Philadelphia. This stretch at home has shown that Beto O’Colliton is at least willing to get elbow deep into matchups when he’s got last change, but tonight he’ll be playing chess against a guy who has a lot more experience in doing so. There are matchups to be found against this Flyers bottom six, but he’ll need to be diligent in finding them. And stay out of the goddamn box (looking at you, 65). Let’s go Hawks.

Hockey

vs.

PUCK DROP: 1pm

TV: NBCSN in the 606, NHLN outside

WOOTER ICE: Broad St. Hockey

What seemed like a three-year offseason finally comes to an end this afternoon, or at least it sort of feels like it does. This still has an extended preseason feel to it, even though the points will be real. The Hawks don’t play for another week after this, giving it sort of an odd oasis-in-the-desert-of-West-Texas feel. Still, these points might matter come April, so you might as well get them.

We’ll start with the reason we’re here, and that’s the Hawks. The opener feels like new toy day in a way, though the Hawks will have to wait to unveil a couple. Calvin de Haan won’t make the bell, which allows Dennis Gilbert and Slater Koekkoek to be your third pairing and for you to wonder if maybe there isn’t a better way to spend your lunch break. Robin Lehner will cede the first net of the season to Corey Crawford, as he should.

So whatever’s “new” about the Hawks today is what you were kind of worried about before. Olli Maatta will debut next to Brent Seabrook, because of those preseason performances that apparently only the coaches could see. Alex Nylander will get to run with Daydream Nation, as the Hawks make every effort to prove he does in fact give a shit, or slightly more of a shit to actually get inside the circles. No one was actually “worried” about Zack Smith or Ryan Carpenter, because we know what they’re here for. So yeah…ok, maybe it doesn’t have the juice of a real “New Toy Day.”

As far as weird openers in a foreign country that don’t really feel like openers, there are harder landings than the Flyers. Except they do come with a fair amount of speed up front, which is something that will give the Hawks problems all season. And if you’re wondering, “Doesn’t every team have a fair amount of speed up front?” Well, now you see the problem.

The Flyers are in a strange place, where it feels like they’re rebuilding but most of their players have been around a while now, whatever their age. And to help take it a step forward, they have three failed coaches behind the bench. Alain Vigneault seems to get a bounce in his first year or two, but eventually drives everyone nuts and by the time he’s fired it’s usually just about the time his players are constructing a flammable effigy of him or two in the dressing room. He’s also an odd choice for such a young team. Beyond that, what Michel Therrien and Mike Yeo have to offer other than grunts and suggesting “MOAR HITZ,” I can’t tell you.

Still, the Flyers should boast a decent enough top-six, with Giroux and Travis Konecny flanking Sean Couturier up top, and new signing (and way overpaid) Kevin Hayes between Jakub Voracek and either James van Riemsdyk or Oskar Lindblom. It’s not the best top six, but it’s hardly the worst, even if Giroux is something of just a spot-up shooter right now. Joel Farabee turned some heads in camp at 19, and will start in the bottom six today, with the hopes of sticking around longer term.

The real hope for the Flyers is on the back end and especially in the crease, where Carter Hart is hopefully going to end the decades-long reign of all the goblins and evil spirits that have inhabited the Flyers crease. Hart was the only one of eight (!) goalies last year to look good, has been billed as the answer since arriving in the organization, and looks the part. The Flyers can only hope that he is finally the one strong enough to overcome the curse of anyone in orange pads.

The Flyers have promise on the blue line, though Ivan Provorov will have to overcome something of a plateaued year last year. Robert Hagg, Travis Sanheim, and Samuel Morin are all young, which is why Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen were brought in to be steadying hands (Niskanen was also brought in to make sure Radko Gudas didn’t turn them all into felons). Shayne Gostisbehere needs to prove he wasn’t just a one- or two-year power play phenomenon, because the Flyers have more than enough talent there to shuffle him along to save money.

Whatever it’s going to be, it starts now. The Flyers don’t have near the speed to destroy the Hawks defense, but they have enough that we can see what the plan actually is here. If they get snowed under by this, especially without de Haan or Connor Murphy in the lineup, we know how big the problems just might be. And whether or not Crow can keep Atlas-ing this team so that it’s scoring can make up the difference.

And…here…we….go.

Hockey

Gritty means clicks. Everyone knows this.

For the past seven years, the Flyers have been bouncing back and forth between a rebuild that never seems to get past the blueprint stage or a love affair with the #7 seed that always ends in a quick first-round exit that you have to be reminded happened in the first place. The Flyers don’t even generate nearly the amount of empty noise they used to, where they would get coverage and media love simply because it was a natural reflex from the past. Suddenly, the Flyers have become a team that’s just kind of there. And it looks like they’re going to be that again this year. Philadelphia never sinks into irrelevance in anything, simply due to the look-at-me obnoxious and yelling of any of their fanbases. But if any team can manage it, it just might be the Flyers. Let’s take a walk…

2018-2019

37-37-8  82 points (6th in Metro)

2.94 GF/G (18th)  3.41 GA/G (29th)

48.2 CF% (21st)  48.7 xGF% (18th)

17.1 PP% (23rd)  78.5 PK% (26th)

Goalies: If nothing else, the Flyers actually might have stability in net for the first time in a generation or six. Last year, the Flyers used eight goalies. Eight. Ocho. Acht. Huit. Their crease was almost literally a clown car, and definitely clown shoes. Things smoothed out when top prospect Carter Hart got the call, simply because he was a life-preserver in a rollicking sea of incompetence and silliness, and now he gets the con full time. And hopefully for the foreseeable future.

Hart put up a .917 while seeing almost 32 shots per game behind an porous defense, and he might have to do the same again. Still, at evens he was behind his expected SV% (.917 to .923), a difference that was only a touch better than Mike Smith‘s. If you’re in Mike Smith’s neighborhood on anything, baby you gotta move. But Hart did manage a .906 on the kill, even with the Flyers defensive problems, so that’s where they’ll hope roots grow out from. Clearly all the promise in the world, but life with young goalies can be treacherous. Remember they nearly chased Carey Price out of Montreal once upon a time, though in Montreal they chase just about everyone out of town in between drags of filterless cigarettes and a disdain for life.

Backing him up will be Brian Elliot, who’s been a backup for at least five years now but kept I Dream Of Genie’ing coaches and GMs into thinking he was a starter. Elliot has been pretty mediocre for three seasons now, but with a reduced workload and expectation, he probably can get the Flyers out of 20-25 starts. They’ll take it, considering what they’ve been through.

Defense: Clearly an issue last year as it feels like Shayne Gostisbehere has stalled out and to a lesser extent Ivan Provorov has too. Though Provorov is still only 22, and still needs re-signing as an RFA. The Flyers added Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun (who would have looked pretty all right here, but I digest) to smooth out things and provide an easier runway for their kids like Ghost Bear (if he’s a kid anymore), Provorov, Hagg, Sanheim, Morin, and Myers. Not all of them can play obviously, but all will probably get a look.

Ghost Bear had something of a strange year, struggling defensively and not totaling anywhere near the power play assists he had in the 60+ point season he had the year previous. His metrics were ok, though he gives up better chances than he creates, which might be a reason his name came up in trade rumors over the summer. That is if the Flyers were an organization that paid attention this kind of thing, not one that makes prospects fight to the death in a dark room to decide whom to draft.

Sanheim might be the real treasure here, as he put up the same points as Ghost Bear with glittering metrics and worse zone starts. Niskanen and Braun are clearly around to shield him, and with that sort of assistance this could be a real breakout season for him.

Forwards: The Flyers, in the most Flyers thing ever, traded for the negotiating rights to Captain Stairwell, then handed him $7M a year from here until Global Heat Death to watch him pile up 47-point seasons. The fascination with the younger and quite possibly dumber Hayes has always eluded this blog, though as a #2 or #3 center he probably doesn’t completely murder you.

The headliners are still Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, who will always pile up the points and the latter can still mark any opposing center out of the game (Toews only sees him twice a year and probably wants to murder him). Jakub Voracek will continue to bounce between the first and second lines and continue to pile up secondary assists, leaving it a mystery to what he actually does. As is their way, the Flyers are paying premium for James van Riemsdyk‘s decline.

What they need is a leap forward from any of Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny, or Nolan Patrick (or Patrick Nolan, I’m not sure it matters), to lessen their dependence on the Garbage Bag Warrior. Konecny has taken a run at 50 points the past two seasons, and with just a nudge and better teammates he could probably get over 60. Though one or two of them might have to move to wing to accommodate Hayes. Konecny, like Provorov, still needs re-signing (we keep writing that. What a strange league).

There’s also Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, and Isaac Ratcliffe, all candidates to make the team out of camp though more than likely to start in Allentown (what a fate) and perhaps be midseason reinforcements. All of huge promise, and perhaps as soon as next season make the Flyers really dangerous.

Prediction: Niskanen and Braun aren’t dead yet, but are getting up there so depending on them for shutdown or top-pairing roles is a stretch. However, if they can provide shelter for Sanheim and Provorov, and Ghost Bear can find the scoring touch again he has flashed, suddenly this blue line looks pretty tasty. The forward corps looks short, though a leap from one of the kids and a contribution from one of the trio mentioned above and suddenly it might not, even with Claude Giroux definitely on the back nine of his career. They need a full season from Carter Hart, and the Philly crease has swallowed many a kid before and spit back out a smoldering husk of an indistinguishable form.

It’s a lot of ifs, but none are complete fantasy. As stated before, this is a funny division with no truly dominant teams and a few teams that could be just about anything. They would need a 10+ point improvement to make the playoffs, but that’s not asking for the moon given the conditions stated. They’re highly unlikely to grab one of the automatic spots, but fighting for a wildcard down to the season’s last is hardly beyond them.

But again, this is the Flyers. Logic and reason died here long ago, and all we’re left with is a surreal and vulgar landscape. Your guess is as good as mine.

Everything Else

vs.

RECORDS: Flyers 35-30-8   Hawks 32-30-10

PUCK DROP: 7:30pm

TV: WGN

THEY BLEW UP HIS HOUSE TOO: Broad Street Hockey

Whatever this late-season charge is, and wherever it’s going, continues on Madison St. tonight as the Hawks host the Flyers. They have a chance to put a bad result behind them, and set themselves up once again for what would be a big weekend set against the Avalanche in an old school home-and-home. Essentially, after these three games (certainly four with the Coyotes after that), we’ll be as close to official word as we’ve had on what the last two weeks will be.

There was a moment there when the Flyers were also threatening to crash the playoff party in the East. They won 12 of 14 from January into February, but have been trading wins and losses since and have watched the Penguins, Canes, and Canadiens basically get away from them. They’re six points behind the Jackets with only nine to go, so that’s not happening. And really, this Flyers team doesn’t deserve a playoff spot. And neither do the Hawks, really. It’s one very much still in a rebuild/rebrand/transition/whatever term we use now.

The Flyers have suffered from the up-and-down nature of such a young roster. Not everyone takes a step forward at the same time, and Claude Giroux isn’t crashing in shots at to the tune of 18% anymore to even it out. 10 of the 19 skaters and goalie on display tonight are 25 or under, so the thought is the future is quite bright. And it may be, though it’s hard to see which of the neophyte set is going to be a true star. Nolan Patrick looks functional, but hasn’t yet popped or flashed that he’ll be inspirational soon. Then again he’s 20. Ivan Provorov has struggled under the weight of top-pairing assignments. Shayne Gostisbehere has looked like more than just a power play weapon, but also hasn’t really shown to be more than a second-pairing d-man. Maybe Travis Sanheim?

One who definitely has flashed being something that Philly fans will toast their lagers to before chucking the full glasses/cans at each other (it’s a sign of love there) is goalie Carter Hart. He’s also 20, but is carrying a top-10 SV% in the league and one of the better marks for a rookie in recent history. Flyers fans have been waiting for Hart ever since he started holding the entire WHL by the forehead and letting them uselessly swing their arms. He wasn’t supposed to be here, but thanks to injuries and incompetence from others he is and now he’s going to stay. If you’re any kind of hockey fan you know that the Flyers crease has been a succubus to anyone stepping into it decked in orange since Ron Hextall. Hart just might be the one to break the curse, but as it always is with the Flyers, one has to wait and see before fully committing. Odd things happen to men in masks there.

As for the Hawks, they seem intent on carrying on with this odd and frankly wrong set of forward lines, with Daydream Nation reunited and Dylan Sikura along for the ride. It’s too top heavy for no reason, as Sikura doesn’t really compliment these two in the way they need to maximize. They need a puck-winner like Saad or Caggiula. And that third line doesn’t really do anything. It’s not a checking line because Anisimov is too slow and too soft. It has no creator to score. Hopefully Beto O’Colliton realizes the error of his ways and goes back to what we had after no more than a period. Corey Crawford is your starter.

This one should be much more open than Monday’s what-have-ya. The Flyers don’t have the defense to trap, and it’s not what their young forwards want to do anyway. That should benefit the Hawks, but there’s some sneaky firepower down the lineup for Agents Orange, which means trouble for the trash on the third pairing for the Hawks. And Hart is capable of stealing a game here and there. So the Hawks can’t half-ass this. They can’t half-ass anything. They lost that right long ago.

If the Hawks are serious about this whole playoff push thing, and I’m not convinced they are, they basically have to take the next three, and probably in regulation when it comes to the weekend. Do that and they’ll be ahead of the Avs and at worst sitting on the shoulders of Minnesota and Arizona with the latter on the schedule the very next night. The Hawks have basically fallen in their own vomit every time they had a chance to turn their season serious, and this is probably the last one. Let’s see what they’ve got.

 

Game #73 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

When the Hawks visited The Iladelph in November, we documented just what a hellscape filled with suffering and blisters the Flyers goaltending spot has been. It has been a generational problem. At this point your father probably barely remembers Ron Hextall. You have never seen a competent Flyers goalie. You don’t know what it looks like. If you were presented with one, you would be paralyzed by confusion, if not a whole Birdbox scenario.

Could it be in the same year the Bears maybe have found a quarterback, the Flyers have found a goalie?

Carter Hart wasn’t supposed to be here. The Flyers definitely wanted to wait another season before bringing him up from Allentown (though you can’t blame anyone for rushing their escape from Allentown). But as is Flyers tradition, everyone they’ve asked to don the gear for them has either been hurt, bad, or both. We seem to be the only ones who continually point out that Brian Elliot has a terminal case of being Brian Elliot, and yet teams keep diving in. This is what you get. This is a team that actually traded for the broken and lost Cam Talbot. So they had no choice but to turn to Hart.

Hart popped up on the radar for Flyers fans after a simply dominant last season in the Western Hockey League, where over 41 games he put up a .947 SV%. That followed a .927 season where he also backstopped the Canadian World Junior team. Now, the WHL tends to throw up some pretty high save-percentages and defensive stats. It’s the anti-QMJHL. The leader this year has a .936. You’ll recall Mac Carruth putting up a .929 once upon a time, and he landed in the Upside-Down eventually. But .947 is .947, and leading the league in SV% three years running as Hart did turns a lot of heads.

Hart’s numbers in the AHL this year were not impressive, as he only put up a .902 SV%. But then everyone in the Flyers crease caught The Plague, and up he came. And he’s been brilliant. His .919 SV% is top-1o in the league, and it’s not like the Flyers are making it easy on him. Hart has seen just a tick under 35 shots per night. The Flyers are middle of the pack when it comes to scoring chances against per game, and top-10 in high-danger ones. So the volume of shots might be up there, but the quality of them isn’t that bad.

Hart’s .919 ranks 10th in the league overall. His .895 SV% shorthanded is sixth in the league. The signs are clearly encouraging. What does it mean in the long run?

Again, this is Carter Hart, and what has gone on before will have pretty much no influence on him. But the signs are encouraging. In the past 10 years, only 10 rookie goalies have bettered Hart’s .919. That list is: Joonas Korpisalo, John Gibson, James Reimer, Frederik Andersen, Matt Murray, Jimmy Howard, Juuse Saros, Cory Schneider, Jordan Binnington, and Tuukka Rask. Other than Binnington, who’s a rookie this year, all of those have at least been serviceable NHL goalies. Gibson, Schneider, Rask, and Andersen have been Vezina contenders at various points. Murray has two rings. Just below Hart in rookie seasons are Connor Hellebuyck, Corey Crawford, Pekka Rinne, and Petr Mrazek. Only Mrazek is a name that would cause Philadelphians to choke on their wooter-ice.

That’s if you don’t believe there’s some sort of voodoo sign hanging over the Flyers’ blue paint. We tend not to believe in things we can’t see, but this has gone on so long you wonder. This is Philadelphia after all. All the goalies mentioned above had some sort of dip or adjustment period along the way. None of them had to deal with Flyers fans throwing themselves off the upper deck in response or hurling dead pigeons at them. It’s a different place. Patience goes there to die.

Hart has the best chance of anyone to navigate it. But that doesn’t mean it will be easy.

 

Game #73 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

If it’s the Flyers, that means we have to turn to one of our creatures of the internet. We found @FlyGoalScoredBy in 2010 during the Final. He’s been stuck to our shoe ever since. 

So the Flyers have fired a coach and GM. Are we to believe they’re finally on the right path forward? Because we’ve heard that before, y’know…
There was a ton of optimism when Hextall took over, and rightfully so!  He won Cups in LA with rosters he helped build.  We thought our Canada Dry baby had come home but all we got was a very good farm system and a Finnish drug kingpin playing the penalty kill.  Hakstol was, Hextall’s “guy” but bottom line is neither of them did anything net positive with regards to building a contender in this era.  Sure, Hextall’s fingerprints may be on the next Flyers playoff team but nobody gonna remember this time as a fun one.  Chuck Fletcher comes in and by all accounts, has a mandate to change the roster around quickly and decisively.  I guess that means we’re about to lock up Milan Lucic to a max deal.
Is Carter Hart finally going to end the generations of hurt in the crease or will you monsters chew him up and spit out a husk just like always? 
The only good thing about the season has been Carter Hart.  Yeah yeah Couturier looks like a player and some nice small contributions from younger guys, but Hart is it.  Something about his calm demeanor provides stability that I honestly haven’t seen since early Hextall late 80s teams.  I will give him infinite amount of patience and time because he is a good hockey boy who needs love and protection from the likes of you. 
Shouldn’t Ivan Provorov be better than this?
I’m willing to give Provy the benefit of the doubt in a  year as shitty as this one.  I think his positives far outweigh his negatives and besides having a down year when he needs a new contract may be good for business.  As long as MacDonald is on the roster, all other defenseman will be shielded from blame and harm.  Hey, maybe THAT’S why they still give ice to AMac. He’s like a human shield for the young D core.
The Flyers have a shit-ton of cap space next year, though with Konecny, Provorov, and Sanheim to re-sign. They’re going to do something utterly hilarious, right?
I’m thinking we’re locked into a “Player-Coach Vinny Lecavalier” scenario. The Flyers are boring and slow.  They need some juice on this roster to even register in a four-sport town.  Myself and all other zombies are praying from some elite talent to get excited about….or at least sign like eight goons and embrace who we really are.  Does anyone have Colton Orr‘s phone number?

 

Game #73 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built

Everything Else

Like most of our friends, we don’t know where @FlyGoalScoredBy came from, and we’d rather not. Because then someone would have to be held responsible for his creation, and the penalties for that are too harsh to think about. 

By the time people read this the Flyers might have fired Dave Hakstol and hired Joel Quenneville. What is the general problem with Hakstol when it’s obvious the Flyers have no goalie?

I made a note of how Coach Q would be such a perfect fit for the Flyers, yet it will never ever ever happen. The Flyers are like some inbred family that can ONLY hire someone they’re related to. I’m surprised we don’t have “Coach Dan Carcillo” yet.  My biggest issue with Hakstol is his player usage. The Flyers are clearly in a long rebuild and have been for a long time, but their GM and coach always trot out these slow, old “vets” like Dale Weise, Jori Lehtera, and whatever a Christian Folin is. Play the kids Dave, it won’t matter with these goalies.

The Flyers were going to move forward as much as Konecny, Patrick, and Lindblom developed. How’s that going so far?

In short: well! I think everyone would love more consistency out of Konecny, but its a minor gripe. Patrick has started the season off very well and is putting on a solid two-way game. He looks more and more like a top pick now that he’s over a year removed from hernia surgery. Lindblom is just spicy. Feels like once he figures out the NHL game a bit more especially maneuvering around the offensive zone he’ll be lethal. These three are extremely important for the future.

Is Ghost Bear good? We know the power play numbers, but the metric suggest otherwise. Is he passed on the depth chart by Provorov and Hagg?

Ghost Bear is the best Flyers defensemen. He’s got that jackhammer of a shot, skates exceptionally well, owns three very beautiful doggos and is one of the only sources of personality on this team.  Protect the Ghost at all cost. Provorov is a scoop of strawberry ice cream. Ghost is a scoop of fudge ripple with walnuts and whipped cream.

How far away are we from Carter Hart?

Ron Hextall is frustratingly the most patient man in all of professional sports.  He’ll keep Hart in the AHL for as long as humanly possible. For right now, Hextall looks smart, as Hart hasn’t exactly been dominant down there.  He’s been fine, but not performing like an elite prospect. Hextall clearly was punting this year when he decided to roll our Brian Elliot and Michal Neurivrth’s bloated corpse as their goalie tandem. Hextall will not be rushed. I bet we see Hart end of the season if they are out of the playoff race for a few games, or in training camp next offseason.

Where should the Flyers be finish when all is said and done?

They’ll be exactly where they always are.  90-94 points. Struggling to get a playoff spot, hoping not to get their doors blown off by Pittsburgh or Washington. It’s a team stuck in the middle because their GM didn’t blow the thing up and do a full rebuild. The Flyers right now are like the early 2000 Leafs (sorry, do Blackhawks fans know hockey existed before 2008?).

 

Game #17 Preview Suite

Preview

Spotlight

Q&A

Douchebag Du Jour

I Make A Lot Of Graphs

Lineups & How Teams Were Built