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Cedar Run, NJ • United States • 18 Years Old • Male

Flyers Preview

Posted 5:55 PM ET | Comments 5
Quick intro of myself since this is my first blog on Hockeybuzz...

I'm a college student at University of Connecticut and a huge NHL fan. I played junior A hockey since I was 16 years old, going back to my what would have been, second year of midgets. I played in the Atlantic Junior Hockey League, North American Hockey League for a few games, Eastern Junior Hockey League, and briefly played for the Saginaw Spirit. However, I blew out my shoulder and just have not been the same, so I enrolled into Uconn as a student. I grew up watching the Flyers and I am family friends with former Flyer Daniel Briere so they're the team I follow the most.

Now for the season preview of the Flyers...

Last year was a disappointment the very least to the organization, players, and fans all around. While the defense never really had a full lineup in most of the season, many players underachieved and collectively as a group never really got on a roll.

With the buyouts of Bryzgalov and Briere, the Flyers freed up much needed cap space this offseason. Flyers went out and signed goaltender Ray Emery who will battle to be the number one in Philadelphia this season, traded for Mark Streit, surprising winger Michael Raffl in the spring, and landed one of the biggest prizes in the free agency pool this year, Vincent Lecalvier, after his unexpected buyout from the Tampa Bay Lightning.

Many feel the Flyers are a much better team this season with their newcomers and a healthy defensive lineup. As I think they improved, this preseason (although it is preseason and regular guys aren't playing), didn't exactly produce the best results. In the last preseason game against Washington Capitals, where the Flyers lineup was what will most likely be heading into opening night, the Flyers struggled to keep the puck out of the net and solve the Caps goaltending.

I certainly expect the Giroux line to get right back at it and Scott Hartnell to have a much better season. While Giroux missed most of the preseason because of his finger, he did well enough to put up a few points and get prepared for the opener against Toronto. The line I'm most excited to see is the Lecalvier line with Schenn and Simmonds. You have a hybrid mix of physicality with finesse, putting together a dominant anchor line to Giroux.

One player I'm very excited to see this season is Matt Read. I thought Read was one of the best players last season, despite his post-injury performance, and one of the more consistent guys night in and night out. Now with Read wrapped up for another 4 years with his contract extension, he should be able to establish himself as an offensive threat in the NHL. Wherever Read ends up in the depth chart, I think with his versatility and talent, he will be a 20-plus goal scorer with 50 points on the season.

As the Flyers approach their first game, they really only have to make a few decisions on their opening night roster. Although Adam Hall was sent down to the Phantoms today, there is a chance for him to come back up to the Flyers if Scott Laughton doesn't perform. While I agree that Laughton should be given the chance to start as the Flyers 4th line center (where he is anticipated to be), I am not entirely positive about his play yet. From what I saw this preseason, he definitely outplayed Adam Hall and has a tremendous skill set, I'm not sure if he is a 4th line shutdown center as a young kid. Maybe he does well in his role or moves to 3rd line wing with Couturier, which would be very positive for the Flyers. I'm just not sure that we have seen the last of Adam Hall, unless he is traded in the new rumor of a package of him and a d-man.

One of the biggest, if not the biggest question, is how the Flyers goaltending will be. The departure of Ilya Bryzgalov is good for the team as I think many did not like his attitude and his tendency to blame the defensemen, but still didn't really solve the issue of having a number 1 goaltender, a consistent problem for the Flyers. While Emery and Mason are capable goaltenders, I don't believe either of them are true number 1 goaltenders in the NHL and will most benefit from splitting games, as they will be to start. With the free agency pool being one of the most stocked next year, the Flyers may be able to pursue a potential number 1 caliber goaltender like Jaroslav Halak, who was rumored to be traded last year, with the Flyers being a potential suitor. The positive development of 2012 2nd-round pick, Anthony Stolarz of the London Knights (OHL), is a sign that the Flyers may not need to lock up a goaltender to a long-term deal like Bryzgalov, if Stolarz is ready in I believe 3-4 years. However, for this upcoming season, I think the Flyers will most benefit from split games between the two goaltenders and see if there is an emergence from either one...

My projected lineup for the Flyers is something like this...

Hartnell - Giroux - Voracek

Schenn - Lecalvier - Simmonds

Raffl - Couturier - Read

Rinaldo - Laughton - Talbot

Jay Rosehill

Timonen - Coburn

Streit - Schenn

Grossman - Gustafsson



Thanks for reading!

Filed Under:   Flyers   NHL  
September 30, 2013 5:06 PM ET | Delete
Nice Read.... I agree but not sure how I feel about Raffl
September 30, 2013 5:14 PM ET | Delete
Good job, but I would slot Talbot on the 3rd line over Raffl
September 30, 2013 6:49 PM ET | Delete
this is very exciting
September 30, 2013 10:17 PM ET | Delete
raffle will be a good forward he was sent down to phantoms and scored two goals in their preseason finale last night
October 1, 2013 11:11 AM ET | Delete
Noticed Raffl got sent down as I posted the article. But I believe Hall may come up along with Raffl if Laughton ends up being sent back to junior, slotting Raffl/Talbot on the wing with Coots
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