The time is now: 2018-19 Flyers Season preview and predictions

Finally the Philadelphia Flyers will begin pounding the ice. It will be a feel good season for the orange and black. More importantly, their proud orange clad fans will have tons to cheer about. The words are coming out of my mouth from a famous singer Cece Peniston, “Finally it has happened to me right in front of my face, My feelings can’t describe it.” It’s no secret that the Flyers must get off to a good early start this season. With a young team being fragile, the orange and black can ill afford a bad start to the season.

The youth infusion that the orange and black will undergo this season has inspired so many people throughout the region. Gone are the days of overspending, as we don a new era of Flyers hockey. Some of these young great prospects from the farm system made the big club. Will all of them work out? Maybe not, but some will. This has Flyers fans pumped for the most anticipated in recent memory. Without further delay here is the season preview for your 2018-19 Flyers.

 

Line Pairings
1.) Giroux, Couturier, Konecny

2.) Lindblom, Patrick, Voracek

3.) JVR, Vorobyev, Simmonds

4.) Laughton, Weal/Lehtera, Raffl

For once, all four lines seem pretty balanced. It’s unbelievable what one free agent signing in JVR could do. What once started out as an experiment with Giroux shifting to the left wing, who would have thought this move would become permanent? This shows the Flyers top brass that he is all in on the season. Giroux will do anything for the the orange and black to have another successful season. Coming off a great camp, G will have another career year with 106 points for the engine that runs the Flyers.

Konecny, Weal, Patrick, and Vorobyev have all had good camps. Konecny has been all over the ice, and looks possessed at times. Love he’s getting some time on the Penalty Kill. The Flyers needed a threat while being a man or two down, and Konecny provides just that.

While Vorobyev has really opened some eyes throughout the pre-season, he can play the Penalty Kill, and Power Play if necessary. He provides much needed depth on both sides of the ice. Vorobyev is committed to a two-way game, and that is a breath of fresh air as he does it well.

Patrick is fresh off his first year in the NHL, and looks like a bolt of lightning. Points will soon begin to flourish for this young stud, so please don’t be alarmed from the lack of his name on the score sheet throughout the pre-season. Simmonds is Simmonds, and he is a beast that is the heart and soul of this team. Finally, Simmonds appears to be 100%, as he tallied his first goal, and chipped in an assist in his lone contest in the pre-season this past Saturday.

This could possibly be the best fourth line in a long time for the Flyers. I cannot recall a better fourth line unit that could put the puck in the back of the net at any given time. Raffl previously had a 20 goal season, while Laughton and Weal are out to show the top brass that they are both mainstays in the NHL. This line could wreak havoc for opponents. All in all these lines should work in unison with one another for a balanced well-oiled machine. Here are the pre-season statistics for all these players mentioned:

Giroux- 1 goal, 4 assists for 5 points in 4 pre-season games played.

Konecny- 2 goals, and 1 assists for 3 points in 4 pre-season games played.

Weal- 2 assists and was a plus 1 in 4 pre-season games played.

Vorobyev- 2 goals, 5 assists for 7 points in 7 pre-season games played. Led all Flyers players in points during the pre-season.

Simmonds- 1 goal, and 1 assist for 2 points in 1 pre-season games played.

JVR- 1 goal, 3 assists for four points in four games played.

Patrick- 0 points

 

Predictions for Forwards:
Giroux will pot another career high with 106 points.

Vorobyev will post a 47 point season in his rookie campaign, thus becoming a finalist for the Calder Trophy (Rookie of the Year).

Simmonds will rebound this season with placing 30-35 biscuits in the basket.

 

Defense Pairings
1.) Provorov, Gostisbehere

2.) Sanheim, Gudas

3.) Hagg, MacDonald

For the first time in a few years. The Flyers enter their opening contest with a clear understanding of who has made the team Defensively. The orange and black enter Thursday night carrying a total of seven Defenseman. Christian Folin will be the extra Defenseman.

The Provorov/Ghost pairing will be insane. These two will wreak havoc on their opponents on a nightly basis, and both will find the back of the net with ease.

Hagg and MacDonald are question marks. MacDonald is coming back from injury, and Hagg was less than stellar on the pre-season. Fortunately, Sanheim returned from his injury, and had a very good game this past Saturday. He was very tough to beat one-on-one, which is very encouraging entering Thursday’s contest.

 

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Predictions for Defenseman:
Sanheim will finish the season with a plus 12 rating.

Provorov will post a 55 point season.

Ghost will have 19 Goals/”Ghost bombs.”

 

Goaltending entering Thursday’s contest.
1.) Elliott

2.) Stolarz

Elliott enters his second and final season as a Flyer, after signing a 2-year $5.5 million last off-season. He enters the season after having hip surgery in the off-season, while recovering from previous core muscle abdominal surgery that he had before the playoffs began. He had a pretty solid campaign for the Flyers in 2017-18, as Elliott was a runner up for team MVP at the halfway point of the season. However, a few months later he had Core Muscle surgery, and during the playoffs one could tell he was not himself. Elliott struggled to move post to post. It was apparent he came back to early from the Core Muscle surgery.

A healthy Elliott can really do wonders for this young club. Elliott had a rocky pre-season until the Boston Bruins game this past Saturday, where he stopped 26 of 27 shots. He looked like the old Elliott against the Bruins thankfully, as he was able to move post to post nicely. Moreover, Elliott stood on his head in the second period. Hopefully, this gives him the confidence he needs to have a successful season. Expectations are a little higher this season, and a healthy Elliott is key for this club.

Stolarz won the backup role after a young netminder in Carter Hart was sent to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms strictly for seasoning. After a season of recovery from two knee procedures that occurred the prior year. Stolarz enters this new season healthy and ready to go. For the pre-season he posted a 3.00 GAA, and a .895 save percentage. This is a great opportunity for Stolarz as he has NHL experience. Hopefully, Stolarz can be the goalie the Flyers hoped he would develop into, and make the most of this opportunity. With Hart knocking on the door for full-time position in the future this may be Stolarz’s last shot to impress.

 

Prediction for Goaltenders:
Carter Hart will receive a call-up by December.

Elliott will post a 20-9-5 record.

This season will be a season of good fortune for the orange and black. The Flyers will rebound and make the playoffs again with 104 points, good for 3rd in the division. I remain optimistic this year due to the youth infusion, and I personally believe the Goaltending will be far better than last year.  Moreover, using some key young players like Konecny, Laughton, Vorobyev, and Lindblom on the Penalty Kill should help that once struggling unit. The proud orange clad fans need something to cheer about, so Let’s Get Flyered Up for the Orange Crush.

 

Flyers Notes:
With Dale Weise and Taylor Leier being placed on waivers yesterday. If they clear waivers, the Flyers could send either player to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in three weeks when Corban Knight returns. It appears the Flyers may be saving a spot for Knight, thus waiving both Leier and Weise.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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