The St. Louis Blues in 2018-2019 was an absolute surprise to the entire NHL. The team was an embarrassment until Jordan Binnington was called up on December 9th to play against the Philadelphia Flyers. Binnington ended up shutting out that Flyers team and the rest is history as we know it. Play Gloria became the anthem for the Blues after Brayden Schenn took his teammates out to a Blues bar in Philly.
The Blues were 16-19-4 up until Binnington came up. Afterward, the team began to turn it on. Going 29-9-5 for the rest of the season, the Blues worked their way to the Cup Finals beating the Winnipeg Jets in 6, the Dallas Stars in 7, the San Jose Sharks in 6 and the Boston Bruins in 7.
The team was set up similarly to this Flyers team. Vladimir Tarasenko led the way with 33 goals and 35 assists. Ryan O’Reilly had 28 goals and 49 assists. David Perron had 23 goals and 23 assists and then from there, multiple players with goals under 20. The big thing about this team was their ability to play together and play unselfishly. The Blues also didn’t make many world-ending trades, but this Flyers team will add, unlike that Blues team.
The Flyers are building the culture now for a championship future
The Blues finished that season 15th with goals per game scoring 2.98. 5th is goals allowed with 2.68. Their power play and PK both finished in 9th in the league. Having a PK of 81.5% and powerplay of 21.2%. The Blues goalie tandem had an SV% of .906.
While the Blues’ strength was their defense and goaltending, the Flyers aren’t too off from them. The Flyers since the new year started have been one of the hottest teams in the NHL earning 12 points in 7 games. They have been slowly climbing the standings with big wins and the Flyers will look to continue to do that.
Carter Hart has been more than enough to keep the Flyers in games and keep them competitive. Add in Ersson and this team has a tandem. While Sandstrom rehabs in Lehigh, expect to see this tandem more. As a tandem, the goalies currently have a collective SV% of .889%. Their PK and PP numbers are starting to climb and really become a weapon against teams.
With 2.83 goals a game and 3.21 goals against, expect to see both numbers go the opposite ways. The goals seem to be coming for the Flyers while keeping their opponents off the board. In their last 10 games, the Flyers have been putting up a little over 3.5 goals a game and giving up a little under that. If they keep playing this way, the sky is the limit.
With Konecny leading the team with 24 goals and 22 assists, he has been putting the team on his back more often than not. Add in the mix of Sean Couturier coming back, this team is going to get a big boost at the center position. This will almost be like a big trade for the Flyers getting Couturier back. His leadership, hard work and defense have been sorely missed by this Flyers team, but young Noah Cates has been a great bandage for the wound without him.
We can match up players on the Blues throughout their whole lineup. The only thing that really matters is if they can stay hot and get into the playoffs. Everyone is playing extremely well currently, and Tortorella’s system seems to be fully kicked in now with the team.
Veterans who were sat have rebounded in extremely positive ways. Kevin Hayes has been the only player on the fence since his benching, but he will either fall in line like everyone else or find himself in a new city.
This team understands what it takes to win hockey games and that is to play as a team. There isn’t one guy on the ice or 2 units and a goalie. They understand there are 6 guys on the ice, out there to support one another. This locker room is filled with young players who like each other and get along. When watching this team play, you can see they really care about other.
A really great example is after Ivan Provorov turned the puck over in their own zone to Johansson in the game against the Washington Capitals, Nic Deslauriers went to the defensive side of the bench and tried to pick Provorov up and make him laugh.
Whenever you see pictures of these guys postgame, there are always smiles. The player of the game pictures is even better. You usually see Wade Allison and Morgan Frost behind the POtG messing around or doing something fun.
With players like Tyson Foerster, Egor Zamula and Bobby Brink in Lehigh now. Cutter Gautier, Emil Andrae, Devin Kaplan and other players are ready to break out to come to the NHL. The Flyers will have an injection of youth continue to surge this new movement.
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Any of these guys can be the difference makers the Flyers have been looking for. Anything can happen and this Flyers team can move very similarly in motion like this Blues team. Just keep working hard and make it. Another team got and worked hard to make the playoffs in Philly. Maybe this is the year we see all our teams make the playoffs!