It’s a breath of fresh air these days at the Wells Fargo Center. The Philadelphia Flyers are just on fire since their comrades in the Philadelphia Eagles won the Super Bowl. They are 8-0-1 since the Birds raised the Lombardi Trophy, and they seem to be a split image of the Eagles. If one looks up and down the Flyers roster they will see some talent, but players that were supposedly “has beens,” (According to some hockey analysts). Most hockey analysts had the Flyers missing the playoffs for a second straight season, much like most football analysts predicted the Eagles to maybe, a little maybe make the playoffs (Strictly because of Carson Wentz).
While taking a page out of the legend in Eagles Center Jason Kelce’s playbook, “An underdog is a hungry dog. G is done, Couts don’t have it, Voracek has lost it, Hakstol sucks, Konecny was done before he started, Laughton who’s that, Elliott is a has been, Neuvirth sucks, Lyon can’t do it.” The list goes on and on.
Low and behold the Flyers are tied for second place with 74 points in the Metropolitan Division, with the Pittsburgh Penguins respectively. Moreover, they currently sit just one point out of the first place Washington Capitals. Just who would have thought this would have been possible after suffering through a ten game losing streak, and losing both starting goaltenders to boot.
#Flyers are comparable to the #Eagles. Underdogs. No one thought the flyers would make playoffs before season started. "G done, Coots dont have it, Elliott is a has been, Hakstol sucks, Konecny was done before he started, Neuvirth sucks, Laughton never had it. #LetsGoFlyers
— Jamey Baskow (@JameyBaskow) February 21, 2018
What a redemption season it has been for the redeemed Claude Giroux. He is showing the world that at 100%, and no injuries to speak of, what he can really do if he remained healthy for an entire season (Including Training Camp). He really has taken a step forward this season as Captain of the ship. Moreover, Giroux has tallied 21 goals, and 51 assists for a total of 72 points in 61 games played. He is a whopping plus 16, and currently third in the league in scoring. Giroux is only, yes only, eight points away from the league leading Nikita Kucherov of the Tampa Bay Lightning, with 80 points. Giroux still has the goods, and like Derick Bobb of PSN states, “He should be considered for the Hart Trophy (MVP).”
“Couts,” what more can be said about this young 25-year-old, who should clearly be a Selke Candidate (Best Defensive Forward). He really is a first line center. Couturier has broken his previous career highs in goals (29), and points (61), with a whopping 29 goals and 32 assists. I want to reiterate this, he is a first line center that is turning peoples’ heads with his offensive fire power this season, and is an insane plus 25.
What’s even more impressive is the goaltending that the Flyers have received. Elliott was signed by the orange and black to a two-year deal on the opening day of free agency this past June. He is a stop-gap goaltender for the up and coming young netminders in Carter Hart, Anthony Stolarz, Alex Lyon, and Felix Sandstrom. A steady netminder in Elliott has been nothing short of phenomenal for the season thus far.
Yes, Elliott is currently on the teams IR. However, he owns a 21-11-7 record with a 2.72 GAA, and a .908 save percentage. These numbers are close to his career numbers of 2.45 GAA, and a .913 save percentage. This season’s numbers don’t tell the whole story for Elliott. He was the unsung hero on the ten game losing streak, with Elliott being the primary main reason the Flyers gathered five points within that span. Flyers fans haven’t seen this type of goaltending, well in decades.
Neuvirth owned solid numbers before being placed on IR, as well. He is 8-7-3, 2.61 GAA, and a .913 Save Percentage. It will be interesting to see how the Flyers handle the goaltending situation when Neuvirth comes off IR, as the Flyers traded for goaltender Petr Mrazek this past week. Mrazek was phenomenal last night in net against Blue Jackets. He made 19 saves in the Flyers 2-1 win, and he now owns a .950 Save Percentage, while donning a Flyers sweater.
Lyon has filled in admirably in Neuvirth’s absence. The young 25-year-old netminder has back stopped the Flyers to two victories, while maintaining a healthy 2.88 GAA, and a .903 Save Percentage in his rookie campaign. Lyon has proven to the Flyers top brass that he’s more than capable of being an NHL backup goaltender.
The Flyers season is reminiscent of the Eagles 2017-18 season. This Flyers team has undergone an unbelievable transformation on Broad Street within the past few months. They seem to be fueled by the Eagles great playoff run, that ultimately landed them the coveted Lombardi Trophy. How the rest of the season plays out remains to be seen, but it’s a great time to be a Flyers fan. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports