Scoring 2021-22 Flyers Bold Predictions

PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: The Philadelphia Flyers salute the crowd after the game against the Ottawa Senators at the Wells Fargo Center on April 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PA - APRIL 29: The Philadelphia Flyers salute the crowd after the game against the Ottawa Senators at the Wells Fargo Center on April 29, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images) /
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The Flyers are great, they allow the public to indulge in wild unfounded optimism and rampant speculation. Year in an year out, no matter how much good will is spent or tradition is destoyed the fans always come back to let the world that this is this year. Maybe not this year.

It is hard not to be bearish on everything right now, the Flyers included, but before last season there was still some hope an optimism regarding the team. They took risks in efforts to take the team to the next level. Unfortunately, these were gambles with limited upsides and huge downsides, big contracts, and terrible asset management. This made predicitons less fun than normal , and was more like a slow motion car wreck. These gambles coupled with injuries and strange roster decisions doomed the Flyers to a 61 point season.

2021: 9 -11 (45%)    2022:14–6 (70%)    Total: 55-41-4: 57%

Flyers Fail to Make the Playoffs (WIN)

The Flyers made this easy, as I was skeptical of the Ellis trade initially because of his availability and of the loss of Phil Myers. Once Ryan Ellis was out of the lineup the Flyers stopped looking competitive.   Justin Braun and Ivan Provorov were reunited with even worse results than 2021.

Watch out fans, Fletcher has brought back the “elite” Braun (his words, not mine) to ruin another year of Provorov’s prime. The Flyers had a lot of injuries to key players, coaching changes and lacked any continuity, which makes it hard to implement any kind of strategy or system. This year was a disorganized mess and a step back, netting the Flyers a meager 61 points.

The Powerplay Finishes in The Top 10 (Loss)

Since the Flyers fired Joe Mullen, the power play has looked worse each year. Apparently after a decade of Giroux with the puck on the half boards the league had caught on. There is a saying that if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.  While Giroux is an all-time great, something was very broken on the power play. The Flyers finished 32nd, that is last.

I had hoped that new blood would alter the scheme in a positive way. I guess not. There may have been nothing more dispiriting to watch last season than the Flyers on the powerplay and one has to wonder how many more points they could have collected if the unit was average.

Flyers Sell at the Deadline (Win?)

The Flyers did sell, so it is technically a win, parting with Brassard, Braun and Giroux.  The return for Giroux was underwhelming so it is hard to consider that “winning”. I had thought that Fletcher had been so gentle with the Panthers with the intentions of having Giroux return, in some sort of unspoken arrangement. It turns out the return for Giroux, and the other pieces he moved was the best Fletcher’s negotiating skills could muster.  All in all not the jump start that the franchise should get for parting with an all-time great.

At Least One Flyers Coach or Executive will be Fired Before the Start of the 2022 Season (WIN,WIN,WIN)

The Flyers sacked Alain Vigneault and Michel Therrien on December 6th.  Mike Yeo was able to finish the season before being let go. That is a trifecta. Thought to be unfair by some, these firings seem more like a good start. With a full scale house cleaning in the coaches quarters, Flyers management are running out of fire walls.

Nate Thompson “The Sequel” will be Worse than the Original (WIN)

Thompson’s presence in the lineup and on the roster was a travesty on a variety of fronts, making the sequel unquestionably worse than the original.  While Thompson managed three points in this tour with the Flyers, two more than his previous stint, he was also -15 as opposed to a +1. Worse he took valuable playing time away from players like Morgan Frost, and took up a roster spot that led to players like Gerald Mayhew and Aube Kubel to be lost on waiver claims.

Thompson is a good illustration of just how bad the Flyers mismanaged their roster. They seem unable to understad who has value and who doesn’t.   Rather than expose Thompson to waivers, they lose a young winger in Aube-Kubel who finds a regular spot on a championship team. Just be clear, the Stanley Cup Champions found a spot for NAK on their fourth line, but I guess the Flyers are so talent laiden that they couldn’t. It is unreal.