Back just before the season started, I looked into my crystal ball, peered in, and tried to see what I thought this Flyers team would do. I came up with a list of predictions of stat leaders and team award winners. How’d I do with my predictions? In short….awful. Not even close. Let’s see what I suggested:
Metro Division Standings
My List Reality
NY Rangers Devils
Blue Jackets Islanders
NY Islanders Flyers
Devils Blue Jackets
Yeah…I was way off on NJ being the bottom-dweller team. But in all fairness, they started the year pretty poorly and fans were chanting for them to fire their head coach. Jersey had pulled it together and became the surprise of the Eastern Conference. I thought it would’ve taken years for them to become good again. But if they can turn it around quickly, there is no reason we can’t.
Likewise, the Blue Jackets surprised everyone by being at the bottom of the division. Nobody saw them challenging Carolina or NY Rangers for the top spot in the division, but I don’t think anybody saw them falling apart completely. They had a good enough team to be a borderline playoff team last year. You’d have thought that getting Johnny Gaudreau would’ve put them over the hump. Guess not.
I was correct in pegging the Caps for just missing the playoffs. Injuries took a hold of them and they could never regroup and recover. They are also an older core of veterans that they’ve held onto too long. Look out Pittsburgh…you’ll be next soon! At some point, Crosby has to start to not play well….right?…..right? I mean, they did miss the playoffs for the first time in 16 years. Maybe the core of Crosby-Evgeni Malkin-Kris Letang is done.
Flyers Stat Leaders
My predictions are on the left. The real leaders are in parenthesis.
Team Leader in Goals: Cam Atkinson (Travis Konecny )— To be fair, nobody knew at the beginning of the season that Atkinson would’ve been out the whole year. There had been no indications that he was hurt. Nothing was stated that he would miss the whole season. And to be fair, with him on this team, this whole season would’ve been different. But yeah… a big swing and a miss here. But also to be fair, it would’ve been a coin flip between TK and Cam anyway.
Team Leader in Assists: Travis Konecny (Kevin Hayes) — My thinking was that Konecny would’ve been feeding Atkinson on the goals. The previous year, he had led the team with 36 assists. I thought this was a slam dunk. However, Hayes has had a nice bounce-back year (statically speaking).
Team Leader in Points: Travis Konecny (Travis Konecny) — I felt that Konecny would’ve been second on the team with goals, but with him leading with assists, he would top the list here. TK finished third in assists but still topped Philly in points because of his 31 goals.
Top Scorer for Defenders: Tony DeAngelo (Tony DeAngelo) — I hit with this one. I watched him play last year in Carolina. I figured he could put up some solid offensive numbers here in Philly. Offensively, he’s been great. And to be honest with you, I’m kind of surprised he doesn’t transition into being a winger. However, he is a defender and that’s where his biggest weakness is.
Top Scorer for Power Play Points: Tony DeAngelo (Tony DeAngelo) — He had 19 power-play points (4G, 15A). The man advantage is where DeAngelo shines. It’s a shame he can’t do the same in other aspects of his game. But when he quarterbacks the power play unit, the Flyers have a good chance of scoring.
Most Penalty Minutes: Nic Deslauriers (Nic Deslauriers) — Let’s be honest. This wasn’t going to be much of a stretch. His 136 penalty minutes are almost double that of the next closest guy. This is why he came to Philly. In addition to a career-high in penalty minutes, he also posted career-highs in takeaways and hits.