After falling against the Islanders in the second round of the playoffs, the Flyers are looking forward to the off-season after what many would call 2019-20 a massive success.
Although their playoff run fell short, advancing to the second round is a feat they haven’t achieved since 2012. hockey in Philadelphia.
Let me explain …
The 2018-19 Flyers were a mess. They went through mid-season changes with head coach and general manager, had enough goalkeepers to make the history books, and continued the trend of another mediocre season. It felt like the same grind the Flyers have been in since their last playoff appearance in the second round.
There was a shift in 2019-2020 and it was positive.
Moving into this season, there had to be a definite change in many things, one of the biggest being the winning games they should win. Between that and trap games, the Flyers dug themselves into a hole where they struggled to get out.
That was no longer there this season. While there were some clunker performances sometimes it just has to be blamed on a bad night. It happens. The Flyers beat the majority of the worst teams in the league and did so impressively.
Based on the standings when the regular season officially closed, the Flyers went 18-8-0 against the 10 worst teams in the league. They also had an impressive record within the division, 16-4-4. Needless to say, they won when it mattered most.
When I watched the Flyers most evenings, I noticed that if certain players were underperforming, there were others who performed. It didn’t matter where they were in the line-up, who their opponent was or what the scoreboard looked like, there was a balance on the roster.
The Flyers didn’t have a single player in the top 30 of the league in points and it still didn’t matter. Instead, there were prolific numbers from all of their top players:
Travis Konecny: 24 goals, 37 assists 61 points
Sean Couturier: 22 goals, 37 assists, 59 points
Jakub Voracek: 12 goals, 44 assists, 56 points
Claude Giroux: 21 goals, 32 assists, 53 points
Kevin Hayes: 23 goals, 18 assists, 41 points
James van Riemsdyk: 19 goals, 21 assists, 40 points
It almost sounds like a broken record to praise Carter Hart and all of his accomplishments in just his sophomore year in the NHL, but the Flyers haven’t had a legitimate franchise goalkeeper for decades … so it will more often than not. It has been a long time since I had seen anyone in the net for the Flyers without believing there would be fluky goals or they wouldn’t be ahead.
All that seemed to disappear when Hart arrived. Admittedly, there are a few more things he is adjusting to, but seeing the talent he possesses at just 22 years old instills a sense of hope and security between the pipes.
Normal season: 24-13-3 2.42 GAA .914 savings rate
Playoffs: 9-5-0 2.23 GAA .926 savings percentage
The Flyers have their franchise goalkeeper … you never get tired of saying it.
Most excitingly, this selection is only going to get better in the years to come. Years of wells eventually led to an almost complete top-to-bottom selection with added depth, flooding into the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Listen, you may be frustrated that the Flyers didn’t win the Stanley Cup this season, but if you really believe that this is the same team from years past, don’t pay attention.
The 2019-20 season was just the start of a pretty incredible start for the new-age Flyers.
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