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2018-2019 NHL Preview: Philadelphia Flyers

Years of teasers in playoffs materializes into more this year?

Pittsburgh Penguins v Philadelphia Flyers - Game Six Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

In this 31 part series, I will be working my way back from 31st to 1st in my projected 2017-2018 standings. Twenty-First up are the Philadelphia Flyers who are in their 51st season in the NHL they have spent the last six seasons making the playoffs every other years which SHOULD mean they miss it this year but I think they buck the trend and make back to back playoffs for the first time in 9 years.

2017 – 2018 NHL Stats:

NHL Standings: 12th
Goals for Rank: 13th
Goals against Rank: 16th
PP Rank: 15th
PK Rank: 29th

Projected 2018-2019 NHL Stats

NHL Standings: 11th
Eastern Conference Standings: 6th
Metropolitan Division Standings: 3rd
Coach: David Hakstol (122-86-38 regular season; 4-8 playoffs).

Overview:

The Flyers spent this last offseason making one big move rather than a number of smaller ones. They landed James Van Riemsdyk, who they drafted 2nd overall in 2007. He should fit into a deep offense that holds Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds as well as up and coming Travis Konecny, Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom. Some deviation of those eight forwards will flourish and some will tank, I’m just not sure which. Wayne Simmonds was coming into last season fresh off back to back 30+ goal seasons befor seeing a regression in points driven by a season where he played with a tear in his pelvis. I feel confident with JVR, this is a top 10 offense this year. On defense, they held opposing teams to the fifth fewest shots against and it might regress slightly but should be relatively the same this year. Andrew MacDonald is out for six weeks but should be back relatively early in the year, Ivan Provorov has proved to be quality top liner, Shayne Gostisbehere is a threat on the power play and Radko Gudas is well Radko Gudas. I expect them to sit in the average goals against area with above average shutdown of shots against. The reason they keep opponents to the fifth fewest shots against with the 16th most goals against is the same concern this team has had since now GM was at the helm. In net, they have Brian Elliott and Michal Neuvirth. Neither is terrible, per say, but neither is carrying the team anywhere either. Brian Elliott was 23rd last year with a 2.66 GAA and 32nd with a .909 sv %. There are a lot of hopes that Alex Lyon is the savior to come but his brief stint last year was so/so with a 2.75 GAA and a .905 sv %. The other elephant in the room is the Metropolitan division which holds the past three Stanley Cup Champions and will be a gauntlet all season long.

Major Additions:

James Van Riemsdyk

Major Subtractions:

Matt Read, Valtteri Filppula, Brandon Manning, Petr Mrazek

Prospects and Picks:

-Joel Farabee. Taken 14th overall in the 2018 draft, Joel is a great skater who isn’t shy about playing strong on both sides of the rink. He can score (15 goals in 26 games with the USHL U-18 team last year). He will likely need to bulk up a bit and a year or two of play in the AHL will be beneficial for him.

-Philippe Myers. With Andrew MacDonald out, there is a spot open for the undrafted free agent that was signed in 2015. After back to back seasons with 35+ points in the QMJHL, he scored 21 points across 50 points in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms last year. He is the next up to make the defensive squad this year.

Sleeper Fantasy Asset:

-Travis Konecny. If he plays all season long on the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, not to mention some time on the top power play unit, I have trouble seeing him NOT score at least 60 points. The most difficult part will be who gets what playing time between Wayne Simmonds, Nolan Patrick and James Van Riemsdyk. Travis certainly did his best to prove his worth as a top line forward for them last year.

Cap Situation:

$63MM Spent; $15M in Cap room; 19 players signed; average team age 26.

Poll

Will Travis Konecny be on the top line this year?

This poll is closed

  • 85%
    Yes
    (34 votes)
  • 15%
    No
    (6 votes)
40 votes total Vote Now