Philadelphia Flyers: After the Flyers, 10 game win streak was snapped, a lot went wrong. Little to no production from top guns, poor defense, and inconsistency in goaltending, have left the Flyers out of the playoffs for the 2016-2017 season.
EXPECTATIONS AT THE BEGINNING OF SEASON?
After clinching a playoff berth late in the season last year to have a short-lived playoff run, left Flyer fans pleased, to say the least. While they saw an outstanding performance from Shayne Gostisbehere last season. Flyer fans sought out a trip to the playoffs this season. Which is understandable, with names such as Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Shayne Gostisbehere and Brayden Schenn Flyer fans set the bar high for these caliber players. After mounting a 10 game win streak, Flyer fans hopes were high for this year’s potential playoff appearance. Once the streak was snapped, it was downhill for Philadelphia, as they hit a rough patch. Which has led them to 7th in the Metropolitan division currently and officially eliminated from the playoffs, due to their loss Saturday night.
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Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sportsheir loss Sunday night.
BIGGEST STRENGTH: Solid forward depth
Now it’s hard to exactly identify a strength for a nonplayoff team, but realistically the Flyers do have some solid depth. Forward depth to clarify, the defense can be discussed later. When you look at this Flyer lineup, immediately you notice a group consisting of well-rounded players. Solid fourth line players, top goal scoring, playmaking ability. Which you cannot deny Giroux is an unbelievable playmaker, Simmonds has an itch for finding the back of the net, Chris Vandevelde, and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare plays the fourth line well. Along with Valtteri Filppula, Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn the Flyers have a ton of weapons. When I state forward depth, I am not saying that their forward depth produces, in fact, the Flyers forwards did not produce this season. Which is the main reason as to why they have missed the playoffs? But if the Flyers can somehow get these players to consistently produce, they can be a good team.
BIGGEST WEAKNESS: Inconsistency plus lacking defense
The Flyers have been streaky over recent years, to say the least. Each year Philly has their highs, which usually always very high and their lows, which are below surface level low. Bringing me to one of their weaknesses, inconsistency. Honestly inconsistency all throughout the lineup, on their 10 game win streak this season, Mason played quite well, the Flyers scored 36 goals during that span. The talent is there, but yet again the Flyers tapered down and slowly began to fall apart. Along with their faulty defense, the Flyers season this year was a disappointing one, to say the least. I’m sorry but if you are Flyers fan out there and can confidently say the Flyers defense is not a problem, then you are living in a fantasy land. To save myself the time, I’ll list the Flyers defense(in no particular d-pairing order) and feel free to chat with me about it.
OUTLOOK FOR THE OFFSEASON: Trade Giroux, get rid of McDonald, bring up prospects
To get into some detail Claude Giroux has been quite the disappoint as of late, posting 14 goals, 43 assists, and 57 points. Now before anyone says “he had 57 points!” 30 of them came on the power play plus 5 of his 14 goals coming on the power play as well. Quite honestly making Giroux a useless 5 on 5 player, tallying 27 points and 9 goals. Over the last three seasons, Giroux has slowly declined, this year has been the worst over his last three years. I will simply end this rant and leave you with something to chew on. Over three years Giroux has played in 238 games, scored 61 goals, tallied 136 assists, collected 94 power play points, 197 points, 25 power play goals and posted a -26 +/-. Not too shabby. 5 on 5 Giroux 103 points and 36 goals. For a franchise player production, even strength needs to be better, simple as that. If you’re not familiar with Andrew McDonald, he signed quite possibly the worst contract for the Flyers and ever since has been the biggest disappointment, just taking up space on the roster. Getting rid of him would be a step in the right direction for Philly, allowing them to bring up some of the numerous defensemen prospects they have. It kills me to write this but the Flyers seriously should consider trading Giroux, 30 years old his production as his gets older will not get much better. Sending him off could benefit the Flyers more than you can imagine.