Cam Atkinson must take charge for team consistency
Unlike the other players on this list, Cam Atkinson isn’t an impact player who needs to step up a little (or a lot) on the ice to bring even more value to the Flyers. No, it wouldn’t hurt, but at 34, Atkinson is the oldest full-time player on this team. And in a situation like this, his leadership should take center stage.
Atkinson has been in this league for 12 seasons, and has played in at least 70 percent of his possible regular season games in 10 of those campaigns. So he’s seen a lot, and even a position somewhat identical to what the Flyers are currently in. Flashback to the 2018-19 Columbus Blue Jackets season, and Atkinson saw a team that accumulated 98 points sneak into the postseason as a wild card.
Following a so-so January that year, Columbus ended up finishing 19-12-1, with just two points separating them from the ninth-place Montreal Canadiens. That effort not only pushed them into the playoffs, but the Blue Jackets also pulled off a major upset when they swept the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round.
Therefore, Atkinson knows what being right on the bubble is like, so he is the greatest asset for this team to turn to on the ice. So when it comes to an A-Game, it’s not necessarily production, but on-ice leadership that Atkinson must bring.
(Statistics provided by Hockey-Reference as of February 11th)