The Flyers came into this season with a lot of changes, and with that, a lot of unknowns. The biggest doubt in my mind was that the overall product would be a good team. So far, the team has been very fun to watch, thanks to Peter Laviolette’s aggressive system. I’m not completely blown away by this group like I had been with last years. Still, I want to take a look today at what I do like. Tomorrow, I’ll take a look at the opposite: things I don’t like about the team.
Claude Giroux - The Flyers expected him to step his game up. they expected him to play the hard minutes. They expected him to start producing more on the score sheet. After 22 points in 17 games, he’s tied for 2nd in league scoring. He’s been dazzling as usual, and has really lived up to our expectations.
Jaromir Jagr + Giroux - I wanted Jagr to be more than just an old guy with a great history. I expected him to score in the 60 point range. What I didn’t expect was the chemistry he would have with G. Both are coming back and helping out the defense. When they have the puck, they make magic happen. They pass well, cycle well, and they make their other linemate better, whoever he happens to be.
Sergei Bobrovsky - The Winnipeg game aside, he’s been rock solid. He still doesn’t have a shutout, but in limited action he’s looked pretty good. He’s doing the same things he did last year very well. I still contend that with a solid team in front of him, he’s more than capable of backstopping a Cup winner.
Max Talbot - Who knew that he’d be adding to the scoresheet as much? On top of that, he’s been a solid penalty killer. The more efort he shows night in and night out, the more I’m starting to warm up to the former Penguin.
Matt Read - He’s fast. He kills penalties. He scores goals. He’s a hustler! Come on baby, get that Calder Trophy!
The offense: We’ve been scoring a lot more than I thought we would. It’s been mostly the Giroux line, with goals sprinkled in from all over the place. It’s not the same kind of depth we had before, but if you’re getting scoring from a lot of places, that’s still depth.
Road warriors: Do you realize we’re 6-1-1 on the road? That’s why we’re tied for top spot in the conference with Pittsburgh right now.
Statements: I love how we played against Tampa. Screw them and their boring system, and their boring coach, and their stupid fans. We’re not going to attack and play into your trap. We’ll do what’s necessary for us to win, not for you.
Lack of Jody Shelley and Andreas Nodl: I hate both of these guys. They added absolutely nothing to the mix. I don’t care whether it was injury, suspension, or coaches decision that has kept them off this ice. As long as they aren’t wearing Orange and Black, that benefits us.
Lack of drama: I think all the locker room stuff was severely overblown by the media last year. It bothered me because it was always in the news and I got sick of hearing about it. This season, all we’ve heard about is how funnyBryz is, how hard Jagr works, and how the guys are getting along. I like when there are no stories and we can just focus on how the team is playing.
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