The Flyers have climbed back into the playoff race collecting 7 points out of a possible 10 during a 5-game home-stand. Even with injuries mounting, the team has managed to pull it together late in games and get the job done. They currently sit 4 points out of 8th place with 12 to play. It will be an interesting final few weeks of the season if the Orange and Black can get on a run. They will need to continue their strong offensive efforts and Ilya Bryzgalov will need to live up to that contract and will this team to a few wins along the way. If they do somehow manage to sneak into the playoffs time will be on their side as Coburn and Meszaros would be able to return from injuries.
The team's slogan for the next few weeks should come from a Bruce Springsteen track. "Mister, I ain't a boy no I'm a man and I believe in the Promised Land" Hopefully this team can go on a mission and finally bring Lord Stanley back to Broad and Pattison.
Looking Ahead: Offseason
During this home-stand the trade deadline came and went with the Flyers making a curious move in acquiring Steve Mason from Columbus. Mason, 24, is a former Calder Trophy winner and has a very high potential ceiling at the NHL level. Many people believe this summer will be a crucial one for the Flyers now that each team has been given two amnesty buyouts. The Mason move may begin to signal the end of Bryz, barring a strong finish to this season by him. Another candidate for a buyout is Danny Briere. Given his high salary and lack of production over the last 2 regular season, it may be time to bid farewell to #48. Another candidate for a buyout is Andrej Meszaros. The oft-injured defenseman is making $4 mil. currently and is not durable for an entire season. If given the option between Mez and Danny boy, I think the Flyers organization would be smart to keep Mr. Playoffs.
A name that has been attached to the Flyers over the last couple months is Bobby Ryan from Anaheim. He is a Jersey native who has said he would love to play for his childhood team. This deal can only be made if the price is right AND does not involve Sean Couturier. Couturier is one of the best shut-down centers in the game and his offensive potential is through the roof. Many fans feel Ryan would be an upgrade but he is no more offensively talented than Jake Voracek. Ryan is a big body and great power forward in this league and would fit in well on this Flyers team but how much more attention would he receive from the opposition in Philly as the #2 guy now that he doesn't have to play around Perry, Getzlaf and Selanne? A sensible trade for Ryan would be Matt Read, Mezsaros and a 2nd rd. pick. I would love to see Ryan don the Flyers sweater but they need to tread carefully with this new Salary Cap and the offensive stars they already have may prevent this deal due to Ryan's contract expiring in the summer of 2015, which will certainly warrant a raise from his current $5.1 mil. and Claude Giroux getting a big payday at some point in the next 12 months. and the need to retain young star Brayden Schenn.
Another player the Flyers have been linked to is Phoenix's Keith Yandle. Yandle is a great offensive defenseman who would fit in great on this team given his youth and skill level. The Flyers would be wise to target Yandle before Ryan due to the team's lack of D currently. Yandle has a decent cap hit and would be a huge addition to the Blue line. Toss him in the mix with Kimmo, Coburn, Luke Schenn, Grossmann and the upcoming pair in Gustafsson and Laurisdon the Flyers defense would be among the best in the league. I also believe this deal would need to involve 2012 top pick Scott Laughton but would be well worth it in the long run knowing what Yandle brings to the table.
From the Box,