Training camp is well underway and we are just a few short days away from the start of the NHL season. It’s been a long offseason after the Flyers were bounced in the second round of the playoffs by the New York Islanders. But thankfully, 2020 is in the past and 2021 is looking like a promising year for the Philadelphia Flyers. So what better to get you ready for the start of the season than a little season preview from yours truly.
Let’s start with a negative thing that happened this offseason, the retirement of Matt Niskanen. Nisky was signed last year and was one of the better defenseman for the Flyers all year. His retirement came as a little bit of a shock and leaves a void on the Flyers blue line. Losing Nisky Isn’t ideal but the Flyers have some more than capable young guys who can step in and preform well.
After the Niskanen news Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher went out an added a defenseman to give the Flyers more depth. He signed Erik Gustafsson to a one year contract. Gustafsson adds more depth and will get key minutes on the powerplay. He’s similar to Shayne Gostisbehere and should help get the powerplay some better scoring chances on the second unit. While it may not be a huge splash I think Gus will end up being a solid role player for us. Worse case if it doesn’t work out it’s only a one year deal so we can get him out of here pretty quick.
The BIGGEST offseason addition for the Flyers was actually nothing they did. What I mean by that is the return of Nolan Patrick. The former number 2 overall pick missed the entire season last year due to a migraine disorder. Now, he’s back and he’s poised to make a huge impact on this Flyers team. Having Patrick back is a great addition as he is still only 22 years old and we have only seen a glimpse of what he can do. It may take him a little bit to get going, but once he does watch out because he is going to be a big factor in the Flyers success this season.
There is no situation in the net for Philadelphia and it feels so good to type that. Carter Hart has arrived and the Flyers have a true number one goaltender. I could go on and on about how much I love Carter Hart and how great he is and how great he is going to be but I’ll try and keep it short. He’s going to contend for a Vezina Trophy this year and for years to come. The guys an absolute STUD. He has all the talent in the world and his attitude is even better. Just look at this quote from a few days back…
This kid just gets it, he wants nothing more than to be the best in the world and my god I’m here for it. Oh by the way he is still only 22 years old so you can bet your ass he’s going to be around for a long time giving the rest of the league nightmares.
“Moose” Brian Elliot is back for another year and honestly he has been a great mentor for Carter Hart and has also played pretty well. Elliot is a reliable option in net and can step in when needed to give Hart a break. As long as Elliot’s age doesn’t start to show this year with the shortened season he should be good for about 20 games. That would give Carter Hart 36 games which he very well could play more than that based off of how the season is going.
The Flyers will have a lot of options when it comes to line combinations for the upcoming season. Obviously, lines change throughout the year and with training camp still going on this is a very rough draft of what they could look like…
Line 1: Voracek-Coots-Giroux
Line 2: Lindblom-Hayes-Konecny
Line 3: JVR-Patrick-Farabee
Line 4: Raffl-Laughton-Frost
Extras: Morin, NAK, Twarynski, Bunnaman,
Line 1: Provorov-Braun
Line 2: Myers-Sanheim
Line 3: Ghost-Hagg
Extras: Gustaffson, Friedman
We’re gonna see nothing but division opponents this year with the new alignments for this shortened season. This could be a good thing for the Flyers as they had pretty good success last season against the teams in their division. We will see our favorite rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins EIGHT times this year and you know they will be fun games to watch. Other than that we will see the Bruins more than usual with them now being in the same division and those are gonna be tough games but we played pretty well against them last year so hopefully its the same thing this year. Here’s a look at the full schedule with times included…
Now to the final part of our season preview, it’s prediction time! Now look I’m going to try and do this without being a complete homer and use my non biased opinions for this part. I love the Flyers but I am also a logical fan…or at least I like to consider myself one.
This team is good and last years success should have opened a lot of peoples eyes to that. The young guys are now another year older with playoff experience and our veteran guys know that their window to win a Stanley Cup is closing. Claude Giroux is the longest tenured athlete in Philadelphia and has gone through all the ups and downs with this team over the last decade. Jake Voracek and Sean Couturier are two other veterans who have been with this team a while and will be key parts in getting the Flyers over the hump. Kevin Hayes proved last year just how valuable he can be and with another year to gel with his teammates he’s only going to be better. One of the big things from last season was the Flyers ability to not go on extended losing streaks. Head coach Alain Vigneault had this team ready to go day in and day out and his system was working perfectly before the season came to a halt. With another year under him and in his system this team is only going to build off the success from last year. They will be one of the top four teams out of the East division and they will make the playoffs. I don’t know if they win the division because it’s going to be super competitive but I’m gonna go out and say they finish in the top 2. They have the talent and they have the experience to where this should be a great year for the boys in Orange and Black. What happens come playoff time who knows, but I definitely see them making it out of the first round and definitely could see them making it to the Conference Finals.
While I brought up some great points above I want to end this with being a logical fan………..
FUCK THAT! IT’S STANLEY CUP OR BUST BABY!!!! LET’S BRING THAT THING HOME BOYS! THIS TEAM IS MAKING A RUN AT THE CUP AND YOU ARENT GONNA TELL ME ANY DIFFERENT, I’LL SEE ALL OF YOU ON BROAD COME SUMMERTIME AND IF YOU WANT TO HOP ON THE BANDWAGON DO IT NOW BECAUSE THERE ISNT GONNA BE MUCH ROOM LEFT COME MAY.
Featured Image-Flyers Twitter
Hart Quote-Flyers Twitter
Nisky Image-hockey writers
G Image-Flyers Twitter