A Flyers Dive Into 2022-23 By The Numbers: Part Two

Mar 25, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) following a goal allowed in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 25, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) following a goal allowed in the second period against the Colorado Avalanche at Ball Arena. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /
facebooktwitterreddit

In part one of the dive into the 2022-23 Philadelphia Flyers, we focused on cap space, or lack thereof, individual goal scoring and the power play. Here in part two, we are going to focus on goaltending and the penalty kill.

The general consensus is that General Manager Chuck Fletcher did not make any offensive upgrades. Although as mentioned previously, Tony DeAngelo should improve their power play. By bringing in John Tortorella as coach, one thing he will provide is structure and accountability. We have seen in the past that Torts is not afraid to bench any player. Lets take a look at some glaring numbers that have to improve.

5- I think most can agree that Carter Hart can be a #1 NHL goalie. This will be the first time he will be playing with a truly structured defensive system in front of him. Torts will expect no less. But the glaring number of five is the number of NHL games that Hart’s backup played last season! Long gone are the Grant Fuhr or Martin Brodeur days of playing 70+ games in a season.

Felix Sandstrom is the lone goalie on the current roster who played in the NHL last season. He played five for the Flyers. Troy Grosenick’s last NHL game was in 2020-21 with the Los Angeles Kings. Ivan Fedotov is stuck in Russia. And Samuel Ersson played five games in Lehigh Valley last season. A lot of pressure will be on Hart. The Flyers will go as far as Hart can take them. And keep in mind, his career high in games played is the 45 he played last season.

3.59- The combined goals against average for Flyers goalies Carter Hart, Martin Jones and Felix Sandstrom during the 2021-22 season. Good for 27th in the NHL. I don’t think there is a question that adding Tortorella to instill a solid structured defensive system is going to improve this number. Torts is able to do more with less.

He was able to take some of his Columbus teams to the playoffs and have some success. We all remember them sweeping the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2018-19 with a much less talented team as the 8th seed that season. A full season from number one forward and former Selke Award winner Sean Couturier will also help stabilize the forward group.

75.7%- The Flyers penalty kill last season. To put that into perspective, former Flyers legend Rod Brind’Amour’s Carolina Hurricanes led the league in penalty killing last season at 88%. That’s a significant difference. And one that has to be improved on.

On the plus side, Cam Atkinson did lead the Flyers with three shorthanded goals. Just like with the team goals against average, the penalty kill will be improved with full seasons by Couturier and Kevin Hayes. Add Atkinson and Scott Laughton and you have a solid core PK group up front.

It cannot be understated the impact Tortorella will have on this team. Structure and accountability are his calling card.  We have heard about changing the culture around this team. His teams generally exceed expectations. For the Flyers, hopefully that trend continues.