As one would expect, the numbers show the Flyers struggling in several areas. Perhaps most concerning are the injuries and in turn organizational depth. As of right now, the Flyers do not have the assets to give away their best players as with Hayes and DeAngelo. The numbers illustrate the problem and indicate even tougher times immediately ahead after Briere’s trades.
Provorov leads the team in Minutes (Win)
The Flyers former do-it-all defensemen easily lead the team in minutes at over 1887 played in 82 games, was skating 23 minutes a night, out pacing Tony DeAngelo by almost a minute. Provorov meant a lot to this team, a team in the lower end of the standings. I hate to see him go but trading him for rebuilding assets is a better use of his talents.
Provorov Plays Over 25 % of His Minutes with Justin Braun (Loss)
Mercifully, Provorov was paired with Braun for just 76 minutes this season, less than 10% of Provorov’s time on ice. Braun, characterized as an elite defender by former Flyers’ GM Chuck Fletcher, only averaged 15 minutes a night in 51 games, spending the bulk of his ice time with Travis Sanheim and Nick Seeler. Braun posted the familiar middle of the road stats that defined his time in Philadelphia and retired at the season’s end.
It was clear that Braun was a boat anchor that Provorov was dragging around on ice, unfortunately Provorov failed to find any chemistry with any partner this season. We will see if the change of scenary will change his luck.
Tony DeAngelo Leads the Flyers Defensemen in Scoring (Win)
Despite whatever questions there may be about Tony DeAngelo, he can fill a stat sheet without a doubt. He lead the team’s defensemen with 42 points, in only 70 games, eclipsing second leading defensive scorer Provorov by 15 points. If DeAngelo is paired with the right player, he can produce. After his release, it is clear he will not be producing in Philly
Carter Hart’s Numbers improve Again (Win)
Hart played more games, collected more wins, had a higher save percentage and lower GAA on a team that had only one effective defensive pairing. The team’s forwards did a better job in front of Hart, and the goalie was able to play with a bit more confidence, playing further out from the net where he can most effectively shut down angles. There are many areas of concern on this team, but goaltending is not one of them.
Sean Couturier plays less than 60 Games (Win)
As bad as things were for the Flyers last year, outside of his massive extension, things were worse for Couturier. The center was unable to suit up for a single game. Missing a player of Couturier’s stature for the season certainly diminished the team’s chances, but his health remains an open concern this year. At this point it is fair to wonder not only how effective he will be, but just how many shifts the Selke winner has left in his career.
Ryan Ellis Plays Less than 41 Games (Win)
Ellis, like Couturier, failed to dress for a single game. His absence, while probably just as damaging, was far less surprising for the team and fans. No one is counting on any contribution from Ellis this season, and if he did see the ice it would a huge surprise. At this point it looks like Ellis may be best used as a place holder to get a team above the league mandated salary cap minimum. Ellis is under contract until 2027.
Ronnie Attard plays less than 41 games (Win)
Attard was a late season call up after the DeAngelo blow up, and played in only two games. Attard did have solid numbers with the Phantoms, however he is now 24 years old, overaged as a NHL prospect. To put it in perspective, the recently traded Ivan Provorov is 26 and Yegor Zamula is 23.
Given the nature of last season , it is surprising that Attard did not get a longer look, with players like Justin Braun and Nick Seeler suiting up regularly. It looks like Attard is running out of runway to establish himself as a bottom pair or seventh defensemen, this season may be his last, best chance to earn an NHL slot.
Zamula Earns Spot with The Big Club (Loss)
Between injuries and the Tortorella dog house, Zamula failed to lock down a regular spot on defense. He has the size and mobility to be an NHL defender, but has failed to put it together in a way to make him undeniable. It should be an interesting camp for Zamula with less established veterans and more competition from other prospects. If I had advice for Zamula, it would be don’t take a shift or even a second off. Talent alone is not going to decide who plays.