The Philadelphia Flyers are sitting in the middle of the Eastern Conference standings. They are 10-8-1 and are coming off a five game win streak after a loss to the Islanders. Compared to last season, this is beyond the difference between night and day.
In the spirit of the season, here’s a list of things that we Flyers fans should be thankful for. These are six things that are making us happy about being a Philly fan right now.
The Flyers Don’t Suck
This may sound like some low-hanging fruit here, but “Yeah! We aren’t terrible! Whoo hoo!” All kidding aside, many experts predicted the Flyers to be among the worst teams in the NHL. CBS Sports ranked them the 31st best team. Sportsnet Canada had them slightly better at 30th, and Bleacher Report concurred with their northern brethren. This is just a sample of what you can Google up. Most outlets had them somewhere in the bottom five teams.
The Flyers have defied all expectations so far. Yes, the season is still early. They are still just shy of a quarter of the way through. Still, they are playing well. The guys have come out to play and are scrappy. They are not a polished, finished product yet but they are winning games and not getting embarrassed out there. Also, unlike last year, they aren’t spotting the team a one or two goal lead in the first period in almost every game OR having a complete collapse in a close game in the final frame and end up losing by two or three goals.
A big part of their success is that they are relatively healthy. Having Cam Atkinson and Sean Couturier back has been a huge boost. Travis Konecny has been healthy and productive as well. In fact, the three of them have combined for 37% of the goals scored so far.
When you consider that Marc Staal had missed much of the season and Rasmus Ristolainen has yet to hit the ice, this becomes even more amazing. The few injuries they have had have been weathered relatively well. If the injury bug can continue to stay away for the most part, maybe this team has a chance.
Continued Rise of Players
This team has been banking on the development of some younger stars. Owen Tippett has been shining, with seven goals and seven assists. Joel Farabee is tied for second on the team with 15 points (eight goals, seven assists). Despite the benching of Morgan Frost, he has looked as if he is starting to produce; scoring two goals and two assists.
These guys are part of what should be the future of this team. So far, they are contributing and showing that they belong and that any success they had last year was not a fluke.