The NHL 2013/2014 season started last Wednesday night for the Philadelphia Flyers in what seemed to be something too eerily similar to last year. Good effort for parts of the game against the Maple Leafs only to let a few mistakes end up costing them the game. It was a combination of defensive miscues and lack of taking advantage of the seven power plays they had. For the most part last years fall from playoff contention was due to defensive consistency; be it the injuries, system, players, front office, etc. Take your pick. Truth is it was probably a combination of a few of those factors, but with a new season comes new hope right? A chance to dream of Philly finally hoisting Lord Stanley’s Cup after nearly 40 years. Is this the year ?
*If the Flyers play the way they did on Wednesday; I feel pretty good about their chances to make the playoffs in a very tough Metro Division. From there anything can happen.
*They had a ton of great chances to put that game away. Let’s face it Maple Leaf goalie Jonathan Bernier was awesome. To top it off the Flyers took over 70 shots, but only registered 32 shots on goal. That means that 40 shots were either blocked or were shot wide of the net. That is quite a bit of shots, which means that the offense had its chances. I’ll take that kind of output night in and night out. Most of the time pressure like that alone will win games.
*I will go out on a limb this year and say that the defense will not be as bad as it was last year. Now that is not too much of a bold prediction given that it would almost seem impossible to replicate the defensive futility of last season, but after opening night I can sense some fans starting to get that here-we-go-again feeling.
*Philadelphia Flyers will now embark on their first road games of the season in back to back nights. First it is off to Montreal to face off against Danny Briere and the Canadians. I was a big fan of Briere while he was here. Never really lit it up in the regular season, but come playoff time he took his game and others to another level. It’s going to be ugly seeing him in that sweater. Then the Flyers head to Carolina and face off against the Hurricanes on Sunday.
*I must admit that I look at the Flyers through orange and black glasses with most of their moves but the Laughton “loan” to juniors has me scratching my head a little. I know he is to young to go to the AHL, but he looked to be a good fit on the third line wing. That is just on paper though considering the fact that they had almost no intention of switching him from his natural center position. The call up: Kris Newbury??? Why not keep Michael Raffl and see what he could do on the third line wing.
*Is it just me but did the roster moves of this last week scream of a trade proposal that never happened? Is one coming???
*It’s still very, very early but I think that the Flyers(if no deals are made) would be better suited with Max Talbot on the forth line wing with Hall centering and a combo of either Zac Rinaldo/Tye McGinn.
*Steve Mason got the start on opening night and I for one was not all that surprised. Emery will go tonight against Montreal. All off season I was back and forth about who I thought would be the starting netminder this year and I still feel that it is Mason’s job to lose, but I am perfectly fine if the job goes to Ray Emery. May the best man win.
*Zac Rinaldo will be playing in his 100th game of his professional career tonight. Congrats!!!
Well that is all for now as always you can leave a comment or e-mail/follow me directly [email protected]. You can also follow me on Twitter @RevPhillyD