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

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Game Time: 12:00PM CST
TV/Radio: NBC Sports Chicago, NHL Network, WGN-AM 720
The Gang Welshes On A Bet: Broad St. Hockey 

With the first game of the Jeremy Colliton Era under the Hawks’ belt in less than thilling fashion, the team leaves for the East Coast for a two-game Metro Division swing. The Hawks find a team in the Flyers who could probably use the recently departed Joel Quenneville’s services.

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

Everything Else

For the longest time under the stewardship of Bobby Clarke and Paul Holmgren, the Flyera simply threw good money after bad in always chasing the name brand free agents and trade targets in search of a Cup that has eluded the franchise since 1975. But under the leadership of notorious red-ass as a player Ron Hextall, the team has taken a much longer view and trying to actually build consistent winner from scratch. The results so far have been middling, but at least it’s been consistent in its vision. But this team’s psychopath fanbase isn’t going to be particularly patient with a non-linear progression. To conclude, the Flyers are a land of contrasts.

’17-’18: 42W-26L-14OT 98PTS 251GF 243GA 20.7%PP 75.8%PK 49.7%CF 7.83%SH .9245%SV

Goaltending: The same way that Bears fans wouldn’t know solid quarterbacking if it bit them in the nuts, there has been an institutional bungling of goaltending by the Philadelphia Flyers for generations. They even had a future multi-Vezina winning netminder in their system in Sergei Bobrovsky, but of course traded him for a big bag of bullshit to Columbus. Which brings things to the present day where the crease is entrusted to Brian Elliott and Michael Neuvirth, two “1B” goalies in their 30s who have wilted either under expanded workloads or not having lock-down systems in front of them. Things got so bad last year that the team acquired the completely broken Petr Mrazek and promptly let him walk at the end of the year. Elliott was the defacto #1 getting 42 starts and throwing up an unacceptable .909 overall with a slightly more respectable .926 at even, but an .812 on the PK which dragged things down. Special teams numbers can spike both ways for factors outside of a goalie’s control, but at 33, Elliott kind of is what he’s always been, which is certainly not a long term solution. Neuvirth had a similar disparity in his numbers (.915 overall, .934 evens, .810 PK), so it does speak to something systemic with the Flyer’s penalty kill. Either way, even if these two stay around this level and the PK picks things up, there’s not a lot here to make anyone a long term believer, particularly with Carter Hart waiting to assume the starter’s spot in Lehigh Valley should one or both piss their pants.

Defensemen: On the Flyera blue line, there are certainly some foundational pieces here in Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gosthisbere, but what their respective roles are going to be once this team intends on mattering again remains to be seen. While Ghost’s offensive and possession numbers are all impressive and what a puck mover should put up in the modern NHL, he’s still a bit of a turnstyle in his own end and will need some manner of protection in the form of a center-field type partner, optimized zone starts, or both. Provorov’s possession rate is basically directly at the team’s while playing much harder minutes all while still putting up 40 points from the back end. And with the likes of likely future war criminal Radko Gudas and the perpetually hurt or bad or both Andrew MacDonald complimenting these two young defensemen, it does not appear that there are any long term solutions currently in the organization, and leading to an unbalanced group.

Forwards: Claude Giroux had 102 points last year and Jakub Voracek had 85, and absolutely no one gave a shit. Moving Sean Coutourier and his two way abilities to the #1 center role and in turn moving Giroux to freestyle a little more on the wing certainly had everyone reaping the rewards, as Coots himself had 76 points along with devouring the souls of whatever center he drew as an assignment on a nightly basis. But doing so drastically altered the Flyers’ center depth to the point where they actually had to rely on any kind of contributions from the now departed Valteri Filppula and Finnish punchline Jori Lehtera down the middle. They haven’t done much to address the issue over the off season, as bringing back prodigal son James van Riemsdyk certainly gives them another rugged set of hands on the wing along with Meat Train Wayne Simmonds, so it will be necessary for Travis Konecny to take the next step and spend more time in the middle.

Outlook: Much like the Devils across the River, the Cold Ones probably did themselves more harm than good by making the playoffs last year only to promptly go home, as they would have been better served getting into the lottery. But with their top point-getters all right around 30, another development year might not have been the best route either. So Ron might have to get a little spicy and trade some franchise cornerstones to restock the system and fully start over should things sputter a bit, because the development arcs of their kids and the aging curves of their vets don’t sync up.

 

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Detroit Red Wings

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New Jersey Devils

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Everything Else

250px-Ozymandias @ phily-cheez-whiz

Game Time: Noon CST
TV:/Radio: CSN, SportsNet, WGN-AM 720
Travis Hughes Sucks, He Never Settled The Bet: Broad Street Hockey

blackhawks-lineup-card

flyers-lineup-card

For some obtuse reason, the Hawks travel to the armpit of the East Coast for a matinee in South Philly this reason. Normally these nooners take place after the Super Bowl and on NBC, but for some reason this one is only on the local outlets in the States. And because it’s a prime weekend matchup, the Flyera will more than likely be wearing their god-awful gold-trimmed 50th anniversary sweaters. But hey, home whites are home whites.

Everything Else

Radio-Flyer-Classic-Red-Wagon-lg vs. Hawk Wrestler

GAMETIME: 7:30pm Central

TV: CSN locally, NBCSN nationally

WOOTER ICE: Broad Street Hockey

Projected Lineups

flyers-lineup-card

blackhawks-lineup-card

POWER PLAY: Flyers – 0% (28th)  Hawks – 27.3% (12th)

PENALTY KILL: Flyers – 88.9% (10th)  Hawks – 46.1% (Dead Ass Last)

SCORE ADJUSTED POSSESSION: Flyers – 52.5% (8th)  Hawks – 47.9% (22nd)

TRENDS: Ghost Bear has seven shots on Saturday against Arizona, Mark Streit had an 83% CF% on Saturday

After battling through perhaps the two best teams in the West for the season’s first three games, the schedule lightens a bit this week for the Hawks. And it starts with a visit from Cold Ones, otherwise known as the Philadelphia Flyers.

Everything Else

We don’t know much about him. He’s just one of those creatures of the internet. We think he might used to have a blog about the Flyers, but if he did it’s only the roadmap to hit complete breakdown. Anyway, you can follow his descent into madness on Twitter @FlyGoalScoredBy.

It was actually a pretty quiet summer for the Flyers, who seem to have a plan? How are Flyers fans dealing with a rational and calculated front office for the first time?

We all are on a huge Hextall high.  We love the direction the team is headed in, albeit it a slower one than we are used to. Last year’s fun but brief playoff run was like playing with house money and this year is another one we approach with tempered expectations.  Our reward for this approach is a younger core, faster team and way more dynamic lines to enjoy.  The Flyers will Make Hockey Fun Again.™