Philadelphia Flyers Forwards Review: Philadelphia has one of the NHL's better offenses. My one issue with the Flyers is that Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Vincent LeCavalier all had less production in 2014-2015. You could say the same thing for Wayne Simmons.
Giroux went from 86 points in 2013-2014 to 73 points in 2014-2015. Couturier went from 38 points as a line 3 center in 2013-2014 to 37 points as a line 2 center in 2014-2015. Vincent LeCavalier went from 33 points in 2013-2014 to 20 points in 2014-2015. That shows you how awful the Flyers were at center this past season.
Philadelphia ranked 21st in goals scored. One area the Flyers dominated was the power play. The Flyers finished 3rd in the NHL on the power play last season. The Flyers must remain consistent on the power play while getting better production from the centers if they expect to return to the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Claude Giroux is a reliable asset. Giving Sean Couturier a line 3 center at best a 6 year extension was very foolish. I'm not sure how the back 6 with Gagner and Lecavalier will do. Giroux and Couturier both need big seasons with Giroux getting 80 points and Couturier getting 50 points if the Flyers expect to make the 2016 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Philadelphia Flyers Defensive Lines
Michael Del Zotto
Philadelphia Flyers Defensemen Review Philadelphia has some nice balance on defense. If this team is going to succeed Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn both have to play more than 58 games.
Mark Streit was phenomenal, but one could argue that MacDonald and Streit are both #2 defensemen on a top line. The Flyers ranked 21st in goals allowed and 27th in penalty killing after being ranked 7th in penalty killing in 2013-2014. The Flyers penalty killing decreased by 20 spots last season which is simply unacceptable. The Flyers have to do better with penalty killing this season.
Draft Utopia Between The Pipes Goalie Tracker
Goals Against Average
Goals Against Average
Philadelphia Flyers Goaltender Review Philadelphia has a great starter in Steve Mason. Mason improved his save percentage from .918 in 2013-2014 to .928 in 2014-2015. He also reduced his GAA from 2.50 to 2.25. Mason may not have won as many games, but he was one of the biggest reasons why the Flyers were so competitive last season.
Michal Neuvirth used to be a solid backup and had one good starting season in 2010-2011 with the Washington Capitals. Neuvirth is a journeyman and a shadow of his former self as he struggled with the Buffalo Sabres and New York Islanders in 2014-2015. Still, he's a solid short-term void until the Flyers finish developing their prospects.
Philadelphia Flyers Prospect Pool: Philadelphia has one of the best prospect pools in the entire NHL. This team has guys at center, defense, and goalie in their system that they are waiting to develop.
Let's start with the centers. Nick Cousins led the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in points last season after being the Philadelphia Flyers third round pick in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft. Cousins is in a contract year and another strong season may get him a one-way contract on Philadelphia. In the 2012 NHL Entry Draft, the Flyers chose to draft Scott Laughton with their first round pick. Laughton plays on the Phantoms second line behind Cousins. The Flyers third quality center prospect is 2015 first round pick Travis Konecny who played for the Ottawa 67s and was the #1 overall pick in the 2013 OHL Priority Selection.
You look at their defensive prospects, there are 4 guys that are capable of being on an NHL roster. Let's start with the Flyers first and second round picks in the 2013 NHL Entry Draft. Philadelphia took Samuel Morin in the first round from the Rimouski Oceanic in the QMJHL before drafting Robert Hagg of Modo Hockey from Elitserien over in Sweden with their second round pick. Travis Sanheim a defenseman for the Calgary Hitmen in the Western Hockey League was the Flyers 2014 first round pick. Philadelphia went with another WHL defenseman in 2015 when they took Ivan Provorov seventh overall from the Brandon Wheat Kings. Philadelphia is loaded on the blue line with prospects and they can be as patient or aggressive as they want with these guys.
Philadelphia drafted two goalies in the third round of the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. First they selected Felix Sandstrom from Brynas IF. Sandstrom seems like a quality keeper and was my sleeper among the Scandinavian prospects from Sweden and Finland in the 2015 NHL Entry Draft. Later in the third round the Flyers added Matej Tomek from the Topeka RoadRunners. Tomek was projected to go before Sandstrom so for the Flyers to get both of those goalies to develop was simply outstanding on their end.
Philadelphia Flyers 2015-2016 Prediction
The Flyers are a team with so much potential, but so many questions. If the centers do better and the penalty killing steps up this is a playoff team. If we don't see those improvements this upcoming season, then the Flyers will remain on the outside looking in. With the Rangers, Islanders, Penguins, and Capitals in the same division as the Flyers, I will say the Flyers are on the outside looking in.
Click the link below to get information on Philadelphia's AHL partner, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.