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Did you know Wayne Simmonds is the NHL’s leading scorer since Dec. 17?

Jan 21, 2014, 12:29 PM EDT

waynesimmondsscoresgetty Getty Images

From the NHL’s morning email:

MOST POINTS IN THE NHL, SINCE DEC. 17
1. Wayne Simmonds (PHI): 12-10—22 in 17 GP
2. John Tavares (NYI): 10-12-22 in 16 GP
3. Thomas Vanek (NYI): 7-14—21 in 17 GP
4. Sidney Crosby (PIT): 6-15—21 in 14 GP
5. Joe Pavelski (SJ): 15-5—20 in 17 GP
6. Kyle Okposo (NYI): 10-10—20 in 16 GP

Those stats are courtesy the Elias Sports Bureau, and they show a couple of things:

First, Simmonds has been a huge part of the Flyers’ resurgence. The 25-year-old seems to have found some real cohesiveness with linemates Brayden Schenn and Scott Hartnell.

“A lot of it is chemistry between the three of them,” coach Craig Berube said last week, per Philly.com. “I think it took some time, but they have got it now. Little things like puck support and battling in the corners for pucks, and people at the net all the time. All their goals are [because of] guys around the net.”

For all the ripping Flyers management rightly receives for some of the contracts it puts on the books, Simmonds’ deal is looking pretty good right now — a cap hit of $3.975 million, and signed through 2018-19.

Second, the Islanders have been scoring a lot. In their past 12 games — during which they’ve gone 9-3-0 — the team is averaging 3.58 goals per game. This is a fun group of players to watch right now, and it can’t do anything but help the Isles convince Vanek to re-sign.

Defensively, however, the Isles still have their issues. Consider this — in five of their last nine wins, the opponent has still managed to score at least three goals. There’s nothing wrong with winning high-scoring affairs, of course, but the truly elite teams in the NHL consistently win all sorts of games, from 7-3 to 1-0.

The Isles have a tough schedule to close the month, starting tonight at MSG versus the Rangers. Should be interesting to see how they do:

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  1. ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

    somebody on here got laughed at and called a homer when they mentioned Simmonds over Kunitz. I still think Kunitz would deserve it over Simmonds, but it’s closer than a lot of people gave him credit for.

    • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:31 PM

      oh I’m talking about the olympic spot, btw.

      • killerpgh - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:33 PM

        Personally I don’t care who makes Team Canadian. But going back only to Dec 17th is a small sample size and “cherry picking” a certain smaller time period. Over that span Simmonds has 20 pts in 17 games (1.29 ppg) while Kunitz has 16 pts in 14 games (1.14 ppg). But prior to Dec 17th, Simmonds had 15 points in 33 games this year and Kunitz has 33 points in 35 games.
        At the time Team Canadian picked its roster Kunitz was the 3rd highest scoring Canadian born winger going back to start of the 2011-12. James Neal was 1st (left off team) and Corey Perry was second. The only definite thing Simmonds can do better the Kunitz is probably fight and thats not really needed in the Olympic. I don’t think a case can be made for Simmonds over Kunitz on the Olympic roster. Now if you were to ask me who I would rather have for the long term on my favorite team I would probably lean towards Simmonds since he is only 25 years old and improving while Kunitz is 34 year old and probably gonna start showing signs of declining in the next few seasons.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:50 PM

        seeing as how Kunitz has been playing with the Captain of the olympic team all year, and Simmonds has been moving between the 2nd and 3rd lines, there IS a case to not base opinions strictly on points scored, but rather the first part of what I just said…… Kunitz already knows the Cap’n pretty well and clearly has chemistry.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:52 PM

        and if you think “The only definite thing Simmonds can do better the Kunitz is probably fight” is entirely true… you need to watch Simmonds a few more times.

      • killerpgh - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        What does he do hand down better than Kunitz? Imo everything else they bring like skating, checking, forechecking, back checking, net front presence, puck release, etc can be argued each way. Fighting is the only clear cut edge Simmonds definitely has over Kunitz.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:16 PM

        I would personally give him the definite edge in board work and slot play. just posted a bit of detail on that below.

      • valoisvipers - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        I would say that besides fighting, Simmonds’s net presence and poke checking is better than Kunitz’s. I think that Simmonds’s skating would be his downfall on the larger ice surface. He is a north/south type of player.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:28 PM

        valois, i fully agree. if he can master what Voracek has seemed to master this year – moving from the wing to the slot with speed around a defender while protecting the puck with his body – he’d be a star player. he’s got the speed, he’s got the puck protection, he’s just gotta work on the side to side part of that.

    • c9castine - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:57 PM

      i dont blame somebody for calling them a homer but i wouldn’t laugh at them. simmonds is a lot more inexperienced, and even with his hot play doesn’t score as much as consistently.

      but he brings a lot of the same intangibles…plays a fast pace game, hard on the forecheck and good at turning pucks over and making good plays to the net. i don’t think he’s as good defensively but then again not bad. i can see him making the next team in 4 years i think he’s as good as evander kane and taylor hall.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:15 PM

        the slot play is, I think, his biggest asset. there’s a lot of guys that, when you say he scores most of his goals from the slot, get written off as somebody who only benefits from his teammates getting the puck deep. Simmonds is not one of those. that man can put the puck in the net regardless of which direction he’s facing when it comes to him. it’s incredible to watch him find the holes that he does. if he’s on the boards, he find a way for the puck to get to the center. I’m excited to watch the rest of his career in Philly.

  2. lowenni - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:38 PM

    Hate the flyers, love Simmonds! He plays a fun, hard-nosed, old-school style of play.

    By the way, looks like that top islanders line is reallyyyy heating up as well.

  3. stepanup - Jan 21, 2014 at 12:55 PM

    Excited for McDonagh to match up against the Isles top line over the next two weeks.

  4. hazlydose - Jan 21, 2014 at 1:10 PM

    Simmonds is one of the few players on Philly that I like. Every time he plays the pens he is a pain in the ass around and in front of the net. I have a lot of respect for his style of play.

  5. laxman1944 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    This is insane…..ALL the commentors are Flyer HATERS and what in the hell does Kunitz and the Olympics have to do with anything mentioned in the above article??

    Simmonds is playing well and getting some goals….wonderful. This squad is not going anywhere this year too many issues on the blue line.

    Pass the potatoes.

    • valoisvipers - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      They said that about the Kings the year they won the Cup. Want some gravy with your taters?

    • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:32 PM

      who’s hating? I thought this was a pretty cordial talk, surprisingly including some of the Pens fans that normally troll a bit. that may be the first constructive comment I’ve seen from c9 about the Flyers this season.

      and “ALL”? what am I, chopped liver?

      • laxman1944 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:38 PM

        My apologies……I guess it seemed odd that no Flyers fans had commented as of yet.

        Yes gravy would be nice…..Thank you for asking.

      • ibieiniid - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

        most delicious thread today.

  6. jpelle82 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:33 PM

    if the title is most POINTS since december 17th and there’s a tie…why does the tie go to the guy who has played more games? shouldnt tavares be ahead of him since he has the same number of points in less games? little bit of a reach to even post something like this, it would be one thing if it was most points since dec 21st – you know over the course of a month…not 35 days. who pulls 35 day stats? such an odd extrapulation

    • laxman1944 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:40 PM

      Agreed, 35 day stats is a bit odd…..looking to get their Flyer comment quota up for the day perhaps.

      • jpelle82 - Jan 21, 2014 at 2:50 PM

        perhaps. cant blame them. it is the nbc/comcast/spectacor/flyers site after all

    • valoisvipers - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:32 PM

      It’s due to Simmonds scored more goals not PPG.

  7. jbink2585 - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:03 PM

    JPELLE– is right pretty much the most meaningless article, and Im a flyers fan, seems to be just a filler article, bc perhaps there isnt much to write about. Next they will write about how Mason has best save % and goals against avg of all goalie on Saturday games as Long as the game starts before 3pm.LOL

    • jpelle82 - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:14 PM

      no offense to simmonds, good for him and the flyers. they couldve just said he’s having a great month or so though instead of forcing him to the top of a weird manipulated stat list.

      • jbink2585 - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:20 PM

        Absolutely Man

  8. matthewmacisaac - Jan 21, 2014 at 3:04 PM

    I’m a Flyers fan and think Simmonds is good in all aspects of the game. He’s listed at 182 lbs. but to watch him play, you’d swear he weighed 240. Along the boards, in front of the net, he can’t be moved and he’ll fight anyone out there. Kunitz deserves to play in the Olympics. Personally, I’m rooting for any Olympic team that has a Flyer on it to be eliminated quickly so they are well rested for the playoff push. The pros don’t belong in the Olympics, it’s a competition for amateur athletes & it screws up the NHL schedule. I know these players are honored to play for their countries, but that should happen when they are juniors.

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