The Flyers are nearly at the quarter pole of the season and have provided a body of work that is large enough to study and critique. Nothing is set in stone at this point, but there are some observations that do reoccur and will define the team at the seasons end.
The 2022 Flyers Edition Easier to Watch and Enjoy
The team has seven wins to this point and is already out pacing last seasons total of 25, but after a solid start the team has endured a 10 game winless streak and has tumbled to the bottom of the standings. But even through this rough patch, the team still gives good effort on most nights.
The fact that the team was able to steal games through effort and superb goaltending made it exciting. Last season, the Flyers lacked something, maybe it was the playing style or scheme, that made the thought of a comeback impossible. This year is different. This team seems like it just needs to get a couple of breaks and victory is possible.
The Flyers Need to Be Close to Perfect Each Night
In order for this team to compete it requires the team to commit to their strategy and for each players top effort, and for the team to be playing very close to their best. The stratgey looks a lot like the Flyers strategy from the mid eighties, where the top talent, Hayes and TK, take care of scoring and for the rest of the team to pin the opposition deep in their end and forecheck them into submission. This throw back approach may be what is so fun to watch. If the scorers fail to score, or the forecheckers fail in tilting the ice, this team will struggle to win
There is not a lot of offense on this team which makes mistakes very difficult to overcome. A bad turnover, a bad goal, a failed penalty kill can and will cost this team. It is hard to be that perfect that often.
But there have been nights where it has all come together, and to Tortorella’s credit, it seems most night the team is giving its all to play its best, which is a nice change in the culture. This team looks to be trying.
Goaltending Has Been A Bright Spot
Even with recent struggles, the Flyers golaies have been better than solid. Hart looks like he could be an all star most nights. He has faced the third most shots against in the league and also bosts the third highest high danger save percentage. If Hart’s play this season is not elite, he is as close as one can get to it.
Felix Sandstrom has settled into the backup role and the numbers say he has done a reasonably good job. Watching Sandstrom begs the asking of how much better will he get. He is big and athletic and surpringly quick. He makes some absolutley incredible saves, where he just beats the shooter. Many of the goals that get by him are bizarre tough luck deflections (I think Justin Braun has 2 himself). Sandstrom looks like he has a chance to be a very good NHL keeper.