In these dark times, staying positive feels like an impossible task. Nonetheless, here are three sources of optimism about the Philadelphia Flyers.
Was this an easy article to write? No, no it wasn’t. But that’s what makes it all the more necessary, because the Philadelphia Flyers are dumpster fire-ing harder than any Flyers dumpster has ever fired before. Our head coach might be booed out of town in the near future, and the team may currently have almost zero productive players outside of their stars, but it’s still possible to find the bright side in all of this. Here are three reasons you should still be optimistic about the Flyers.
The young talent is still talented
Heading into this season, we all expected that this would be the year when the youth movement truly arrived in Philadelphia. With Ivan Provorov and Shayne Gostisbehere already establishing themselves as franchise cornerstones, promising young players like Travis Konecny and Jordan Weal were primed to make a major jump forward. Add to that group Nolan Patrick, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, and Samuel Morin, and you’ve got a recipe for an exciting team loaded with future stars.
Of course, that isn’t quite what happened. Konecny and Weal continue to flash but haven’t backed that up with production. Nolan Patrick has yet to fully adjust to the NHL. Sanheim and Hagg have found significant roles with the team, but Morin has been left in the dust.
These players didn’t suddenly lose their talent. They’re young. They’ll come around. And even if some of them don’t reach their ceilings, they are all, beyond a doubt, deserving of a place in this league. Be patient with them, and enjoy watching them grow as the season moves along.
The top line is insane
The positive flip side of “we can’t score outside of our top line” is that, well, the top line is scoring. And make no mistake, they are Scoring. Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, and Sean Couturier are all currently top 20 scorers in the NHL, with Voracek leading the way with 30, good for 8th highest.
Bringing the three together has truly brought out the best in all of them. It’s not like they’re racking up the points with the man advantage, either; their combined 23 even strength goals when playing together makes up 50% of the Flyers’ total.
Considering how far the narrative surrounding these players has shifted since last year, it’s truly incredible what the top line is doing this year. Just wait until they don’t have to do it all themselves.
Change is coming
This losing streak is going to come to an end soon, but even after it does, changes are on the horizon. Dave Hakstol may soon be out of a job, even though Ron Hextall has publicly expressed confidence in Hak to get things moving in the right direction. Danick Martel and Mike Vecchione may gain a permanent foothold with the Flyers and give them a boost. At the very least, it seems highly likely that major line shifting and/or schematic alterations are coming soon.
Will they do the trick? Maybe not. But the Flyers need to do something to reinvigorate their roster, hopefully making them more entertaining to watch in the process.
(Stats via Natural Stat Trick and NHL.com)