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It’s Philadelphia Flyers Day at PHT

Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

Jakub Voracek,  Vincent Lecavalier , Claude Giroux AP

Throughout the month of August, PHT will be dedicating a day to all 30 NHL clubs. Today’s team? The Philadelphia Flyers.

If there was a team whose season best resembled a roller coaster last season, it was the Philadelphia Flyers.

After getting off to a 0-3-0 start, the Flyers fired coach Peter Laviolette and brought in Craig Berube. Things didn’t get better right away as they went 3-6-0 in the next nine games and appeared to be in deep trouble after the first month of the season.

That’s when captain Claude Giroux took over. After decreeing they would make the playoffs, the real Flyers showed up going 39-21-10 the rest of the way and finishing third in the Metropolitan Division. Giroux had a season to remember finishing with 28 goals and 86 points – third best in the league behind Sidney Crosby and Ryan Getzlaf. As it turned out, those were his fellow finalists for the Hart Trophy that Crosby ran away with.

That’s neither here nor there though because Giroux’s performance was the kind of thing that makes you a legend in Philly. Not only did he help carry the team, he also helped bring others out their shell.

Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek had a career-years. Voracek had career-bests with 23 goals and 62 points and Simmonds did the same with 29 goals and 60 points.

One guy who had a hard time was Vincent Lecavalier. The new-old guy on the block did have 20 goals, but with just 37 points and looking not like the Vinny of old, he wound up in Berube’s dog house on the fourth line.

On defense, Mark Streit‘s first season in Philly saw him produce the most points from the blue line with 44. Kimmo Timonen was next best with 35 and Braydon Coburn‘s physicality made him a favorite. Perhaps the biggest surprise came in goal.

Steve Mason was the No. 1 guy in net and didn’t look like the guy we saw at the end of his run with the Columbus Blue Jackets. His .917 save percentage and 2.50 goals-against average helped keep the Flyers rolling along all year while Ray Emery battled hard but didn’t put up great numbers.

In the end, all the good stuff didn’t much matter as they were bounced out in the first round by the New York Rangers in seven games.

Offseason recap

While we’ve become accustomed to the Flyers stealing headlines in the summer, the hiring of Ron Hextall as GM virtually slowed that to a crawl.

The big move this summer was the trade that sent Scott Hartnell to the Columbus Blue Jackets for former Flyer R.J. Umberger. The Flyers felt they were done with Hartnell and his contract only to bring in Umberger and his shorter contract but not-as-good performance.

The biggest blow may have come from Timonen discovering multiple blood clots in his system – something that may keep him out for most of the season. That development led to the Flyers taking a chance and signing Michael Del Zotto. Philly also added Nick Schultz on defense to try and help add depth.

One move they haven’t made is moving Lecavalier. While rumors persisted for most of the summer that he would be finding his way out of town, and he nearly was dealt to Nashville, he’s still on the roster and the Flyers want more from him.

  1. patthehockeyfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:05 AM

    Oh, boy! The comments section should be pretty interesting today.

    As an LA Kings’ fan, my Flyers’ comment is: THANK YOU for Mike Richards! And, for Jeff Carter – by way of the Columbus Blue Jackets!

    Have at it, folks!

    P.S. Can’t wait to read the Giroux comments. :)

    • iwt5007 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:18 AM

      • wutangwild - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

        oh sh-t it’s Boy George!!

    • WillIEverSeeACupInMyLife? - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:42 PM

      The same Mike Richards the Kings are discussing buying out and the same Jeff Carter that got Philadelphia younger better prospects? You’re welcome.

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:52 PM

        Not quite.

        Mike Richards whom Dean Lombardi decided NOT to buy out, saying,

        “We don’t win the first Cup without him.”

        And, “You’re loath to ever give up on that kind of player, it’s very difficult to find that special ingredient. Even through his negatives this year, who rises to the occasion in the end? Time and again he shows up at critical moments.”

        And, “He plays his best hockey when everything is on the line, not just big games, but big moments.”

        THAT Mike Richards.

        Stay happy with your younger, better prospects, and keep bowing out of the playoffs early. I’ll take two Cups over that any day.

      • petersteelewannabe - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:05 PM

        I gotta side with Pat here-Mike Richards still very good player and I’ll wager he has much better season this year. I think the trade was win-win for both Philly and LA.

      • flyerspsu - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:07 PM

        you are acting like Richards and Carter won you the cups, they were 2 nice pieces added to a big puzzle that had already had an elite defense w/ a superstar like Doughty, and elite goalie in Quick and some great forwards in Kopitar, Williams, Brown, and Gaborik (this year)

        Richards is now an expensive grinder, sure he helped the Kings with his gritty play but im sure the vast majority of people would take Schenn and Simmonds over an aging and declining Richards

        Carter is still producing at a high rate but the Flyers got really great assets in return that are definitely more valuable than Carter by himself, Couturier as a 21 year old was already playing the 2nd most minutes among Flyers forwards after Giroux and might be the 2nd most valuable Flyers forward

        if Couturier isn’t 2nd most valuable Flyer forward, its Voracek, the other guy in the trade who is 2nd best scorer on the team and their best possession player

        The Flyers havnt gotten past the 2nd round of the playoffs in the 3 seasons since the trades b/c Pronger had his career ended leaving the Flyers w/ an atrocious defense, trades like JVR for Schenn and signings like Lecavalier

        the trades were actually 2 of the best things Holmgren has done

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        Not quite, flyerspsu. I am not acting as if Richards and Carter won us the Cup. Dean Lombardi said it.

        Dean Lombardi completed the Kings two years ago with the addition of these guys. I said ‘completed.’ This year, he did the same by adding Marion Gaborik.

        I am not a fan of the Flyers, and I have opinions about them that aren’t positive. I didn’t want to post anything negative about them here. That’s why I made my initial ‘thanks for Richards and Carter’ comment. I wasn’t about to trash the Flyers, or even make comparisons about which team got the better of the Richards and Carter trade.

        Truth is, I generally try to keep positive on these boards. Once in a great, great while, I’ll take a swing at some team or player. Or even a commenter; but that’s rare (with one exception: Voldemort [and thanks to wutangwild for that]). I even slammed one of the PHT bloggers once.

        I guess that my being a woman, I don’t have the same testosterone-fueled competitiveness found in most men. I love the sport first, Mike Richards second, and the Kings after that. And, I’ll write to defend Richards. Every time.

      • flyerspsu - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:45 PM

        fair enough, lets just agree both teams got what they wanted and it was a win – win for both

      • blackandorangeforlife - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:49 PM

        Pat
        “I love the sport first, Mike Richards second, and the Kings after that”….So did Richards make you a Kings fan?…..Or was it the two Cups?……..
        By placing the Kings 3rd on your list it would insinuate you are Bandwagon fan……By naming a player over any team would insinuate you are a Puck Bunny……..And being a women would insinuate you would be better off in a kitchen making dinner…….Now that would be what i call Testosterone!…..And i didn’t need a coaches comment to form my opinion!

      • patthehockeyfan - Aug 20, 2014 at 7:16 PM

        I’m going to follow George Carlin’s advice:

        ‘Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.’

  2. blackandorangeforlife - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:40 AM

    Lets go Flyers!

  3. mizzike20 - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:41 AM

    Don’t have a dog in this argument but as a Kings fan maybe you forgot who was in your front office helping assemble your two-Cup roster.

  4. phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:45 AM

    Oy-vi! arguably the most enigmatic team in the NHL. throughout the season I wrote how this team lacked depth on d and was chastised by the Flyers fan base. unfortunately, and regardless of the addition of the “enigmatic” DZ, & Schultz, this team’s depth on d is no better than it was last year. they remain slow and weak on the back end. it’s going to be an ok year, but early playoff exit for the Flyers in 2015.

    • ibieiniid - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:57 AM

      lemme guess, we’ll have to hear it another 2000 times this year too.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:55 AM

        only if there are 2000 comments trying to tell us that the Flyers d is good enough to take them to the SC champion ship.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:12 PM

        you realize some people are ALWAYS confident with their team, right? you don’t have to debate every one of them, even though we know how much you like talking about what you think…. over and over and over again….

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:04 AM

      Yeah as a Flyers fan I can’t really argue. Their top-6 blueliners are just too questionable. In a year or two they may be far more respectable when guys like Gostisbehere, Hagg, and Morin appear, but right now it’s pretty ugly. Still the offensive firepower is there and Mason is physically capable of putting up a Ben Bishop-type season, but that blueline will hold them back from anything substantial.

      I was actually one of the folks who wanted Kimmo to retire… he was so slow and just ghastly against New York… but I can’t say MDZ was an upgrade.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:58 AM

        exactly. they have to keep their core forwards until the back end catches up. it takes time to build a championship team. is berube a championship coach? that remains to be seen. he’ll be just fine for the next 2 or 3 years, but after that it may be time for an upgrade.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:03 PM

        seriously man, your standard negativity about all-things-Flyers is horribly annoying. what makes you think Berube can’t coach the right team to a cup? he turned this team around last year and has the attitude the Flyers seemed to need. what weaknesses did you possibly see in 70-some games that tells you he can never win a cup?

    • laxman1944 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:53 AM

      Totally agree the blue line has some good young talent in the minors. But they’re simply not ready yet and need at least another year to cook.

      So just stay the course and keep building.

      Hextal has the right idea and it will take some time.

      Pass the potatoes.

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:14 PM

      The broken record is playing again.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:19 PM

        Yep. Just like the Flyers d under achieve game in and game out.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 20, 2014 at 6:51 PM

        You spin me right round, baby
        Right round like a record, baby
        Right round round round….blah blah blah.

        No one cares about your opinion joey..really, nobody cares.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        regardlesa… i’m entitled to my opinion, and i’ll let PHT deal with commenters who smear others.

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 20, 2014 at 7:28 PM

        Oh no, not the dreaded PHT police. What are you now the resident tattle tale as well as the resident dbag?

  5. upper90cheese - Aug 20, 2014 at 8:57 AM

    Last years Flyers were better than most give credit for. They took the eventual Cup finalist Rangers to 7 games and almost pulled it off.

    If Mason didn’t get concussed on a cheap shot (no suspension LOL) the Flyers would have handled the Rags.

    • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:00 AM

      you don’t know that for sure. no more than the habs fans who say the habs would have beat the Rangers if not for the injury to price.

      • ibieiniid - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:06 PM

        wow. phtjoey, telling somebody that they don’t know something for sure. I wish he’d take his own insight.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        Trolling?

      • ibieiniid - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        no more than you usually do.

      • phtjoey - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:36 PM

        Ok. Thanks.

  6. kastout11 - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:23 AM

    They need a few things to go their way, like finding a spot for Vinny, either producing on the 3rd or 4th line or not in Philly, and they need their defense to improve. Maybe Hagg, Morin or Ghost are ready for the NHL or Del Zotto regains his form from a few years ago. I guess we will see in training camp. I don’t see Giroux having a month long slump to start the season either. If Mason is the real deal, which it appears he might be, I can see the Flyers winning a few rounds in the Eastern Conference, but I don’t see them winning the Cup. Even though Montreal caught lightning in a bottle and knocked out Boston in the playoffs last year, I still think Boston is the team to beat in the Eastern Conference, and the Western Conference is loaded. So, even if the Flyers were to miraculously make it through the Eastern Conference, I think there are four of five teams in the Western Conference that they would not be able to beat. Nice year, but still no cup.

    • chanceoffleury - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:44 PM

      I don’t know about Boston. They lost Iggy and Thornton and didn’t replace either. He wasn’t a huge presence on the scoresheet, but he kept opponents from getting too testy. He was the kind of depth that set them apart and he brought a confidence and respect level on the ice that 10 rookies couldn’t fill. I’m not saying they aren’t a threat, they’re still a playoff shue-in. But I think Montreal got better by adding Parenteau and the Pens added stronger depth. But Boston lost 2 big leaders. My head tells me they’ll still comfortably make the playoffs and possibly even retain their #1 seed with the Pens probably going through some growing pains early on with the new coach, but I think this summer they closed the gap a little.

      And I’d take Philly over the Rangers. Or at least give them a 2B ranking in the metro. It’s really tight but aside from slightly edging out the flyers in a ridiculously close round 1 the Rangers didn’t do anything last year that Philly couldn’t have done had they won that game 7. They could have kept it together as the Pens played themselves out of the playoffs, beat Montreals rookie third sting goalie then finally lost to the Kings in 5 games. They didn’t go on a tear or anything. Lundqvist was obviously amazing but Rask or Giroux or Crosby or Price could be just as much of a game changer in any given year. It’s so far away though who knows what will happen. Maybe Malkin and Crosby both get hurt. Maybe there’s a breakout star on the Rangers or Bruins that makes them unstoppable. Maybe Horton and Bob go on tears and the jackets shake things up. The variability is all part of the fun. Is it October yet????

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:03 AM

        Can’t freakin wait for October. There’s no better time of year than when football and hockey are happening simultaneously.

  7. alicesrightfootesq - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:39 AM

    Taking the day off just to troll.

  8. mcphillthy - Aug 20, 2014 at 9:58 AM

    Should be plenty of haters today!
    Let’s go flyers!!!

  9. hy3rid28 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:00 AM

    Haters rejoice!!! Lets go flyers. Need big years from schenn and couts. The defense is what it is. Not much good to say there except we’re 1 year closer to seeing morin, ghost, and hagg.

    • mcphillthy - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:04 AM

      Those young defensemen are what we are all looking forward to. You can include sanheim and alt among the names of young d prospects who will be making the jump in a couple years.
      We will stay relevant but will not be a contender until then
      Patience, my fellow flyers fans. Patience…

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:12 AM

        One of my major pet peeves amongst my fellow Flyers fans is the fact that ppl constantly gloss over Alt as a “non NHL prospect”. I can’t count the numbers of times I’ve had arguments about it. Getting him as a throw in for Boucher was a coup. I’m not saying he’ll be a huge difference maker but he was the Phantoms best blueliner last year, has impressive size/mobility combo, and looks to project as a steady #4-6 defender. With Alt, Hagg, Gostisbehere, Morin, and Sanheim the blueline could be young, varied, and quite impressive in a few seasons.

  10. pitpenguinsrulez - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:03 AM

    Been looking forward to this day lol

  11. bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:13 AM

    The Flyers have the Curse of Mediocrity. They suffer from the same symptoms that plagued the Sabres in the past and many other teams currently.

    They’re too good for the basement and not good enough for the penthouse. They are a fringe team that will never make it to another Stanley Cup as long as Hextall runs things. They will be saddled with mediocre draft picks and inconsistent play, which has been their hallmark for decades.

    So while the Sabres are at the bottom and the Flyers are swimming in the middle of the pack, I’m very happy that I’m us and not you. We will eventually rise to the top while you’re still failing in the playoffs – as long as Hextall is at the wheel.

    • xflyersx - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:26 AM

      Haha thanks for a good laugh

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        Have fun laughing…unfortunately for you, what I said is true. I saw the Flyers win the Cup in ’74 and I was in the arena when they won it in ’75. I know that I will never see them win the Cup again in my lifetime, and that’s fine with me.

        Like I’ve said before, the Sabres will win the Cup before the Flyers do again. I know that’s a tough pill for you Flyer fans to swallow, but again, that’s the truth.

    • dueman - Aug 20, 2014 at 12:23 PM

      What exactly has Hextall done to be labeled such a bad GM in your eyes? Heck, he’s only been the GM since May, and as an assistant GM in LA, he won the Cup. He worked his way up the ladder, starting as a scout, and moving up from there. So please, with your vast hockey knowledge, inform everybody why the Flyers will always fail in the playoffs “as long as Hextall is at the wheel?”

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:22 PM

        True. Actually his inactivity prevents him from making the dumb ass moves Holmgren made, which followed the even dumber moves Clarke made.

        So maybe there is hope…just let them stay the way they are. This way they will make the playoffs at least, but that’s about all.

      • macgrubie - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:06 PM

        The guys is a complete idiot. don’t waste your time.

    • petersteelewannabe - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:12 PM

      You do NOT get to mention the Sabres in the same sentence as the Flyers…

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:19 PM

        pppfffffttttt!!!!!

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:17 PM

      All that typing just to prove to us what a dope you are. Thanks bud!

      • bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:20 PM

        Truth hurts, doesn’t it?

      • broadstreetbeatdown - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Yeah, my side hurts from laughing at your “truth bulletin”

    • courtjester1234 - Aug 20, 2014 at 10:26 PM

      well baldweasle, do tell who should “be at the wheel”? you have as much hockey knowledge as an Ethiopian weatherman. DISMISSED

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 21, 2014 at 6:50 AM

      This is my favorite absolutely asinine anti-Flyers post in a long while. “They are a fringe team that will never make it to another Stanley Cup as long as Hextall run things”… I mean just classic idiocy. This is the same Hextall who just got the GM job a few months ago right? The GM who hasn’t been in charge for even one training camp scrimmage, PRESEASON game, let alone a single minute of the regular season?? And we’re talking about the same Flyers who have made 8 Cup finals and made more playoff appearances the past few decades than any team outside of Detroit.

      “They will be saddled by mediocre draft picks”… you’re talking about the team that regularly picks in the late teens and 20s and almost always comes away with solid NHL players right? Haha I mean c’mon dude. I don’t like to insult other commenters on PHT but this is a joke.

      The Flyers are a team with the following key forwards 27 and under: Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, Couturier, Read, Schenn, and Raffl. Mason is 26. Luke Schenn and MDZ are both 24 with 5+ years of experience. And now they have another projected top-9 forward prospect in Scott Laughton just entering the fray. You wanna buy into the inaccurate stereotype that the blueline is decrepit and about to fall off a cliff? Fine, what about Gostisbehere, Hagg, Morin, Sanheim, and Alt knocking on the door? Or 6’5″ 20yr old netminder Anthony Stolarz who’s one of the 10 best goalie prospects around? Yeah, you’re right, there’s absolutely no future in Philadelphia. And Hextall is definitely an idiot considering he was only a major component of putting together the current Kings dynasty. I can’t believe how terrible his Flyers have been with a record of 0-0-0. Not enough wins!

  12. blomfeld - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:17 AM

    GO FLYERS !!!

    “They made some fabulous changes which is a ‘good’ thing” … Martha Stewart

    • bullwinkle88 - Aug 20, 2014 at 1:26 PM

      You can always depend upon Martha Stewart’s hockey expertise.

  13. drewsylvania - Aug 20, 2014 at 11:25 AM

    “That’s neither here nor there though because Giroux’s performance was the kind of thing that makes you a legend in Philly.”

    The season starts in October, not November.

  14. blackraven1313 - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    All Flyer news is always bad! never gonna hear any good news other than maybe soon the flyers will announce they are shutting down the team because they just that bad!!!

    • macgrubie - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:07 PM

      That’s probably the worst trash talk i’ve ever read…

  15. ronniethec - Aug 20, 2014 at 2:28 PM

    Carter & Richards & other Kings equal 2 cups and more to come. Shenn & Simmonds & other Flyers equal zip.

  16. flyboystransport - Aug 20, 2014 at 3:17 PM

    Just out of curiosity, how many people that are bashing the flyers d corps actually play hockey? Yes they’re maybe slightly above average at best but the problem last season was the forwards don’t back check and when they do they chase the puck which tends to leave someone on the opposing team open. That’s the difference between cup winners and good teams

  17. ronniethec - Aug 20, 2014 at 4:26 PM

    I see the Flyers and Caps fighting for the last playoff spot and the Caps grabbing it in the last 5 games of the season.

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