• July 4, 2022

Flyers Real Test Begins Now

I was asked tonight by a Boston Bruins fan who hadn’t followed hockey closely in the last few years, “The Flyers are doing well now, right?” The best answer I could relay was that the next few games would be the true indicator.

Last season, the Flyers started off 10-4-1. They had a fresh new goalie in Ray Emery, an improved defense with veteran Chris Pronger, and rookie James Van Riemsdyk was looking like the no. 2 draft pick we all expected him to be. Then they went on a road trip.

Seventeen games later, the Flyers had lost 13 contests. They were ranked 14th in the league. Emery was injured, goaltender Brian Boucher was not receiving any love, head coach John Stevens was fired, and the team was in utter disarray.

Enter Michael Leighton, and the rest is history.

The point in all this is that the Flyers are currently 2nd in the Eastern Conference with a 9-4-2 record, almost identical to where they stood last year. Prior to the slump-starting road trip, the Flyers had a substantial amount of time off and took their annual bonding trip down to Florida. The slump that ensued almost cost them a playoff seat.

The Flyers have four days off at this point and are enjoying a team bonding experience playing golf in North Carolina. Everyone’s having a good laugh at how much the Russians on the team stink at golf, but the real test for this team is about to begin. Will they be able to sustain a winning atmosphere or will everything turn to garbage in a short time?

My best guess is that with Peter Laviolette at the helm, any and every underperforming player will be held accountable. You won’t have the coddling from John Stevens that occurred last year taking place. Despite my misgivings with his salary cap management, general manager Paul Holmgren has improved the team in offense, defense, and goaltending (though by luck with Bobrovsky and injuries).

As I told the Bruins fan, “It’s too early to tell.” Anything can happen in a season, especially when injuries begin to mount. That said, tomorrow’s tilt against the Carolina Hurricanes (coming off a 7-1 thrashing of the Edmonton Oilers) will be a good measuring stick as far as how competitive this team will be in the months coming. Do they repeat the mistakes of the past or do they make a run for the President’s Trophy?

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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One Comment

  • Go Fly-boys!

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