Preview of the Flyers 2020-21 season

Last year, the Flyers definitely showed signs of hope for the future. With the shortened regular season, the Flyers managed to hold a record of 41-21-7. With new additions, and breakout seasons for some players last season, the Flyers are set to possibly be a contender this year. But what will it take for the Flyers to truly make a deep playoff run this year?

Well we definitely need to see some more breakout seasons. Last year we saw players like Carter Hart and Joel Farabee showed star-like potential last season, so we should expect the same from a couple guys this year. We should see players like Morgan Frost and Nicolas Aube-Kubel show the hockey world what they got this year. We can also expect to see Carter Hart and Phil Myers grow more over the course of the year. It’s going to be exciting to see the youth of this franchise compete this year.

To be successful we’re also gonna need to see bounce back years from some players. Some players including Claude Giroux, JVR and Shayne Gostisbehere has very disappointing years, especially in the playoffs. We’re going to really need to see those guys step up and play a lot better this season. They need to show leadership as well. Being a coach to some of these young guys will help with future success of this team, so the older players have a big job this year.

The last thing the Flyers need is consistency in management and front office. We need to see AV do the same thing he did last year. He disciplined the players, which kept us out of the penalty box for a good amount of the year. He lit a fire under the players which definitely helped out last year. We also need to have the front office be consistent. We need smart moves, if someone gets called up they should be able to provide something to the team. That was a problem last year. The Phantom players getting called up weren’t providing, so this year we need to be better.

The Flyers have a very exciting season ahead of them. Whenever the start may be, they have to be prepared and ready to start the season hot. If they start out the season hot, who knows what would happen? Maybe the cup could be on the way to Philadelphia soon.

What’s going on around the Flyers training camp?

As we now know, hockey is back! To kick off the start of the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs, the Flyers will play the Boston Bruins on August 2nd to begin the round robin. But before we get to the round robin, all teams participating will start their training camps. The Flyers started their camp only about a week ago and there’s a lot to report. So without further ado, here’s what’s going on around the camp.

Who’s doing well?

A couple names can make the list of who’s doing well and some are a little surprising. To start it off, rookie Joel Farabee is reported to be having a pretty good camp as of late. He’s on a line playing left wing with other forwards, Kevin Hayes and Travis Konecny. It would be awesome to see him perform well as this is his first ever playoff appearance. Another more surprising name on the success list is defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere. Assistant coach Mike Yeo is quoted saying, “He looks really good to me right now. His competitive level is very, very high.” Ghost is on a pairing with recently extended D-man Mark Friedman who was extended for another two years in the Flyers organization. These players would be exciting to see succeed and we hope we can add more guys to the success list in the future.

Other buzz

Some other news around camp is about forward Jake Voracek. Recently Voracek was deemed “unable to participate” which could mean a lot of things. Thankfully he was cleared to practice and was seen in scrimmages lately. In other unrelated Voracek news, players such as Carter Hart and Nicolas Aube-Kubel are looking forward to their first playoff appearances. Hart went on record saying “I’ve been waiting for this for my whole life,” in regards to the playoffs.

This year’s playoffs will certainly be one to remember as the format is a little crazy. But it will be fun to watch and exciting to see what this group can do and how they will succeed in the future. It all starts with this training camp though and hopefully this is only the start to a Stanley Cup playoff run for the Flyers.

What does a 24 team playoff mean for the Flyers?

The NHLPA approved the NHL’s plan for a 24 team playoff yesterday, May 22nd. This means we have hockey coming! And this also means that the top four teams from each conference would get a bye in the first round and play the winner from the series of the five through twelve seed winners. Not much would change here for they are one of the four teams that would get a first round bye. But what about the new playoff format could affect the Flyers journey for the cup?

Well as stated before, not much changes. If the current standings are in place for the playoffs then they would play the winner of a Montreal Canadiens vs. Pittsburgh Penguins 5 game series. Before the 24 team playoff format, the Flyers would have played the Penguins in the first round anyway. Obviously, the Canadiens are an underdog in the series but it would be interesting to see if they really want to stick around in the playoffs. Not to mention the Penguins have been really shaky right before the season stopped. This could also be a good thing for the Flyers because a first round bye could help them game plan and practice better and bring their A game for the second round. A first round bye may be just what the Flyers need to get back into the same groove they were in before the stoppage.

The Flyers were very hot when the season stopped, which is unfortunate because they were looking like they could make a deep run in the playoffs. But now with the season said to continue, a first round bye could go a long way for the Flyers and success in the playoffs. With the 24 team playoffs apparently becoming a thing, it could be exactly what the Flyers needed in order to bring the cup back to Philly.

What should the Flyers do in the 2020-21 offseason?

As the season is coming to a close, and hopefully the season continues so a cup can be rewarded, we have the opportunity to look ahead to what the Flyers should do in the 2020 offseason. Now that the Flyers could be only one step away from a Stanley Cup title, it’s interesting to see what Chuck Fletcher, the Flyers GM might do to improve the team. Let’s take a dive and see some of the moves the Flyers should make to continue success.

Contract Extensions: Now the Flyers have a couple of key guys who are worthy of a contract extension. One of those guys is Nolan
Patrick. He will be a restricted free agent after this season and is a must have for the Flyers. Even though he hasn’t played this year, he will get better soon and is a key part of Flyers future success. Nicolas Aube-Kubel is another player who’s shown a lot of improving this season. He’s a good player needing a contract extension. He’s a good player who could do a lot of damage in the mid lineup next year. One more player is Phil Myers. Phil is also a restricted free agent after the season who needs an extension. He’s going to be a top line d-man in the future and he’s already showing good signs. Some other players needing to be resigned are Braun, Hang, Lindblom, and Pitlick. Players like Brian Elliott, Chris Stewart, Alex Lyon and Derek Grant are players who will be interesting to watch because the Flyers have to decide whether to peruse locking up those players. But those couple of guys I mentioned before are some must resigns.

Big Splash via Trade or Signing: Like I said earlier, the Flyers might be only one step away from holding the cup above their heads, so a big splash from Fletcher aught to do the trick and put the Flyers in the right spot. One player worth taking a look at is winger, Johnny Gaudreau. This trade buzz with Gaudreau and the Flyers has been going on for a little bit but I think it’s the right time for Fletcher to pull the trigger. The all-star forward would put the Flyers ahead of their competition and it would be nice to bring Johnny Hockey home. Now some signings could help the Flyers too. Some big names who will be free agents after this season include, Roman Josi, Taylor Hall, Torey Krug, and Tyson Barrie. It’s a bit of a long shot to get some of those guys but you never know, it might happen. Other smaller names the Flyers have better odds at include, Travis Hamonic, Dylan Demelo, Christopher Tanev and Derick Brassard. Adding any of those guys to the lineup would definitely be exciting.

The Flyers are a very exciting team with a good core and a strong future. But if the Flyers want to be a contender next year, they’ll have some work in the offseason to do in order to get there.

Kevin Hayes’ impact on the Flyers this year

The Flyers made some good decisions in the 2019-20 offseason. Whether it was resigning players like Provorov and Konecny, or hiring a new head coach in Alain Vigneault, the Flyers were very smart last offseason. But arguably the best pickup by the Flyers was acquiring forward Kevin Hayes. At the time, Hayes was coming off a one year contract that he started with the Rangers but was traded and finished with the Jets. Hayes was an American born hockey player who grew up playing hockey. Hayes would be drafted in the first round by the Blackhawks, but would opt to go play hockey for Boston College in 2010. In 2014, Hayes would sign with the New York Rangers ans go on and record a total of 216 points with them. In early 2019, Hayes would be traded to the Winnipeg Jets and play out the rest of his contract there. On June 3rd, 2019, the Jets would trade the negotiating rights of Kevin Hayes to the Flyers for a 5th round draft pick. And on June 19th, Hayes would sign a 7 year, $50 million contract (7.14 AAV) with the Flyers. Early after he signed however, fans would criticize his contract and call him “overpaid”. These comments would turn out to be false, as Hayes became a fan favorite in Philadelphia. Now that we established who Hayes is, let’s get into Hayes’ impact on the team.

Physical Playing Style: “Chirp“ is a word used by hockey players meaning, trash talk, and let me tell you, Kevin Hayes chirps. Back when Hayes played for the Rangers, fans and player alike would hate to have to play against Hayes because he was physical and was just a downright nuisance on the ice. He loved to trash talk and get up in opposing players faces. Those skills definitely help the Flyers and it’s good to see that Hayes is in Philly and not on another team. He’s a very exciting player to watch and Philly fans love what he does. He’ll knock guys off the puck with his big build and excite his teammates with an occasional big hit. He’s a physical presence and a funny trash talker to watch.

Locker Room Presence: Hayes might not be the best player on the ice, but his locker room presence can boost a players confidence and let them play well and get pumped up. Hayes just about has a nickname for every guy on the Flyers, some of the best including, Tiki Bar (Travis Konecny), The Goblin (James Van Riemsdyk), and the classic, Cahtah Haht (Carter Hart). Hayes’ locker room presence is an overlooked asset to the Flyers success this year.

Off-Ice Well-Meaning Shenanigans: The last topic is Hayes’ off ice happenings. Whether he’s interacting with his “roommate”, Gritty or appearing on TSN or other shows like that, Hayes is a fan favorite in Philly.

Kevin Hayes was doubted at the start of his contract but as play started, he quickly became a fan favorite here. Hopefully now that we having him, Hayes can keep up what he’s doing and bring the Stanley Cup back to Philadelphia very soon!

Why the Flyers should draft Antonio Stranges

The 2020 NHL Entry Draft is approaching us now and there are a lot of very talented guys who the Flyers can pick from. But one prospect sticks out the most to me, mainly because of his offensive presence, and his name is Antonio Stranges. He is a 18 year old kid from Plymouth, Michigan who’s played for the London Knights for the past two years and has done some impressive things for his club. Baut before we get into why the Flyers should look to draft him, let’s get to know him.

Stranges’ primary position that is listed is left wing, but he can also play right wing and center too. Stranges played for multiple U.S. teams and caught the eye of many OHL scouts while playing. He was drafted by the London Knights in 2018 with the 21st pick of the OHL draft. Over the past two years with the Knights, he’s recorded 74 points in 127 games. Now, this might not seem like a lot but whenever he has the puck, he’s doing something unique with it. In my eyes, he’s the perfect fit for the organization and now let’s get to some reasons why that might just be the case with Stranges.

My first reason as to why the Flyers should draft his is the position he plays. Stranges plays left wing which will help because we could use a solid winger for the future. We could move him to right wing, which would give him more playing time and allow him to show off his passing and shooting skills with his lefty stick.

My second reason is that he can do crazy things with the puck. As in he can stick handle as well as he can shoot. I first discovered Stranges on an Instagram video of him doing some crazy moves on a shootout attempt and it blew me away. I knew then that this is the guy the Flyers should pursue.

My third reason is that Stranges is fast. And not to overhype the kid right now, but with what I see, I can see a future Connor McDavid in him. The Flyers could use his speed to blow past defenders and create good scoring opportunities.

My fourth and final reason is just his offensive presence. The Flyers could really use his ability on offense to provide points for the team and back up Carter Hart. With Stranges on the Flyers, they could look like a very scary team.

Antonio Stranges is a very good player with a big future in the league, which is exactly why the Flyers could use him to make themselves better. 2020 is a year that brings a lot of talent when it comes to the prospect pool and the entry draft. And the Flyers could look to find a player to help create offense and help with some future cup runs. That’s why it would be cool to hear a Flyers representative this Summer say, “And with the 25th pick in the 2020 NHL draft, the Philadelphia Flyers select, Antonio Stranges.”

The Forefront of the Flyers Success

Let’s be honest, before the suspension of the league a few weeks ago, the Flyers were on fire. Before their 0-2 loss to the Bruins, the Flyers were on a 9 game winning streak. With 89 points, they were only one game out of 1st place. But who can we give credit to for all of the Flyers success?

Well two words, Carter Hart. The 2nd year goaltender was on a roll before the suspension of the season. Backstopping the guys 7 out of the 9 games on that win streak, Hart has been solid for most of the year, especially towards the end of the season. The 21 year old goalie has a 24-13-3 record on the 2019-20 season. With exactly 1,100 shots against him so far this year, Hart has only let in 95. He has an amazing 2.42 goals against average and a fantastic .914 save percentage. Those are some unbeatable numbers from the kid.

But enough with stats, what has Hart done to help his team with confidence? Well a combination of huge saves and stellar performances have helped his team stick it out for the goaltender. Not to mention Hart has had to stand on his head a couple games to give his club the victory.

Don’t get me wrong, other factors like new management and some new players have helped the Flyers succeed this season but every team needs a good goalie in order to play with the better teams of the NHL, and Philly hopefully has theirs.