Woooooooo can I get a wooooooooooo with describing the Philadelphia Flyers here as of late?! Wow after last week’s roller coaster week. Things seemed to be a little on edge towards the middle of the week for the orange and black. However, the Flyers pulled out a great team defensive effort later in the week against the Carolina Hurricanes. Just in time for the Stanley Cup Playoffs to begin, where defense wins championships.
The Flyers entered this week determined to show the hockey world that they’re ready to take the next step. It looked a little bleak after losing to the New York Islanders 5-4 on Tuesday night. However, the Flyers used a great defensive team effort, and beat the Hurricanes 4-3 last night. The win pushes the orange and blacks magic number to 1 to clinch a playoff berth. They are on pace for a 98 point season…say it with me, 98 points. Not many hockey analysts predicted that before the season began. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.
Mark Boehmer- Who are the Flyers goalies next year?
Mark I cannot thank you enough for your support. You believed in me from day one I have not forgotten that. This is a fabulous question coming from a die-hard Flyers fan. The starting goaltender next year will be Brian Elliott, and his back up wait for it…wait for it…drum roll pleaseeeeeee will be Alex Lyon.
Elliott when healthy has looked very rusty. He definitely was an honorable mention for Flyers MVP at the half way mark of the season. Just imagine where the orange and black would be without his pretty solid first half. He looked very rusty is his brief stint back from injury last night while making 19 saves, as the Flyers won 4-3 over the Carolina Hurricanes.
Lyon has done everything and then some to prove to the Flyers top brass that he is capable of being a backup goaltender in the NHL. He is 4-2-1 with a 2.75 GAA, and a .905 Save Percentage. Lyon may not be a starter at this point in his career, but he sure can be a reliable backup netminder.
Anthony Stolarz recent injury woes should raise a level of concern for the Flyers to trust him. Michal Neuvirth falls into the same category as Stolarz, and the orange and black will look to move Neuvirth in the off-season anyways. Dustin Tokarski will backup the young Carter Hart next season for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Petr Mrazek will not…I repeat will not receive a qualifying offer from the Flyers in the off-season, thus making him a free agent.
Miguel Quinones- I want to know where all the fans are that wanted Giroux traded
Miguel you’re die-hard Flyers fan, and it shows in this post. Honestly, Giroux’s numbers dipped for the past few seasons. Those fans had a right to criticize, although I personally thought Giroux would have a bounce back season. Each fan that wanted Giroux traded before the season, or stripped of his captaincy are very happy they were wrong. Giroux is the engine that runs the Flyers.
Everyone is finally seeing what Giroux can do if he remains 100% healthy throughout the year. He has really stepped up on and off the ice. Giroux is very vocal in the locker rooms these days, and it’s a pleasure to see him happy.
Max Shlifer- Yes. Why do the Flyers suck?
Max I like your sense of humor. You’re a fan either way, and just want the Flyers to excel. The Flyers have the 5th best record in the NHL from December to this point in the season. Honestly, many people and analysts alike didn’t expect the orange and black to make the playoffs before the season began.
This is a young team that is competing. Are they contenders this year? No. But, let’s give them credit for hanging in there. They were faced with some goaltending adversity, and the orange and black have responded quite nicely. Yes, the Flyers have lost to some below average teams here as of late, but they have beaten some really good teams too, such as, the Boston Bruins. Relax the Flyers will make the playoffs, and the young guns will get some valuable post season experience.
Michael Hunn- If Scott Gordon wins a championship with the Phantoms this year should he be promoted/considered for a coaching position on the Flyers?
Michael wowwwwwwwwwwwwww great question. First and foremost the passion for the orange and black runs through your veins. Scott Gordon has done an excellent job with this young Lehigh Valley Phantoms team. Its great to see some of the young Europeans excel on the North American ice. That being the likes of Oskar Lindblom and Mikhail Vorobyev. Give Gordon credit here, as he promotes a team friendly atmosphere.
Dave Hakstol will be the Flyers head coach next season, if the Flyers do indeed make the playoffs. Hakstol’s coaching record speaks for itself, as he’s 121-86-38 in 245 games coached in the NHL. Some knocks on Hakstol is his player usage, and erroneous benchings at times. However, let’s not forget Hakstol moved Giroux to the wing, moved Sean Couturier to a first line center, moved Travis Konecny to the top line, moved Nolan Patrick to the top PP unit and up to the second line.
Hakstol is learning on the fly with this young talent, and has done a pretty solid job. However, if the Flyers miss the playoffs Hakstol will not be the coach next season. That is most definitely certain. Let’s see how far this team can go in the playoffs. Who knows they may surprise us, and make a run like they did in 2010.
If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using the #Flyersmail. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports