Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Travis Sanheim has more than earned our trust

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Will the consistent Flyers please stand up? What appeared to be a week of getting back on track, well the same inconsistencies seem to be popping up. This has led the Flyers to a 3-4 start.

The Flyers were hoping to build a nice winning streak into this weekend. However, after falling to the Columbus Blue Jackets last night 6-3, it’s apparent the orange and black need a reset. A reset for solid Goaltending and Defense on a nightly basis. Goaltending in particular has been the Achilles heal for the Flyers since President Reagan was in office. The Flyers need to address these two issues sooner rather than later, or they will not become the consistent hockey team they envisioned before the season began.  Moreover, the Flyers Defense looked leaky against the Blue Jackets, and the free for all ended with a deflating defeat for not only the players, but the fans, as well. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

Travis Sanheim is having a pretty solid year thus far. Simply put, he’s been one of our better Defenseman. In 6 games played on the short season, Sanheim has registered 2 assists, 4 blocks, 2 hits, registered 2 takeaways, and is averaging 16:17 ATOI. Sanheim’s average ice time this season is up 42 seconds from the prior year, and he has seen time on the Power Play. One area of improvement in Sanheim’s game that he has to clean up is gap control. This is the amount of space between a puck carrier and a Defenseman. Once Sanheim masters that he will be an excellent Defenseman. Can Hakstol use him more? Absolutely. I would love Sanheim to permanently be on the second Power Play Unit. I hope as the season goes along Sanheim continues to grow, so Hakstol will use him more in critical situations.

Anthony Stolarz is a forgotten Goaltender sort of speak in this organization, at the moment anyways. He currently has a 4.34 GAA, and a .851 Save Percentage in two games played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. If the Goaltending continues to go South for the big club, anything and I mean anything should be on the table.

Unfortunately, Stolarz is sitting behind the future in Carter Hart. Hart needs to see as many games as possible, so honestly I do not see where Stolarz fits within the organization, unless the Flyers Goaltending situation doesn’t improve. Stolarz finally registered his first victory in 19 months last Sunday for the Phantoms, in a 5-4 shootout victory against Springfield. It’s just tough for ice time with a healthy Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, and himself now. Head Coach of the Phantoms Scott Gordon can intermix any of these goalies (If he chooses), as depth at this position isn’t a problem. It’s just hard to say where he fits in at the moment.

I love this joke with Jori Lehtera. Shockingly he has played well to start the season. I mean he’s no Simon Gagne, but he looks ok on the ice in the early going. I love the humor.

Barry you inspire me to become better. God bless you and your family, and thank a lot for your continued support.

Ivan Provorov just doesn’t appear to be right. I don’t know if his shoulder is still bothering him or not, but he appears to be over thinking things on the ice. Provorov isn’t crisp, and has lost some confidence. It has become very apparent in his play.

I think the Provorov/Ghost pairing should be split up. It would be interesting to see if this would help restore Provorov’s confidence or not. Provorov just appears to be clutching his stick at times, and taking a shot off his foot during the game on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers sure didn’t help the matters. He was seen in the tunnel working out his foot in between shifts. After last night’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s apparent that Provorov needs a reset immediately, to hopefully restore his confidence on the Defensive side of the puck. However, I’m confident that Provy will return to being the player we have come to know of him, sooner rather than later.

Brian Elliott will remain our starter for one very reason…Hakstol. He has stated that Elliott is the guy between the pipes this season. Elliott is a big key for success for this young Flyers club. A healthy, well performing Elliott is needed to take the next step for this young club. I do not foresee Elliott moving into a backup role at the moment, rather it will be a tandem for the rest of season, with whoever the backup is. Right now that Goaltender is Calvin Pickard. If the Flyers lose tomorrow to the New Jersey Devils, and the Goaltending shares the responsibility of the loss. Trust me a move will be made, whether that is giving Michal Neuvirth a shot or calling up Alex Lyon.

Tommy thanks for your continued support. You’re the man, and without you this site doesn’t exist. God bless you and your family.

https://twitter.com/archangels1111/status/1052686236173778945?s=19

The Flyers currently have $8,095,432 in cap space, according to Cap Friendly. If I’m a betting man Ron Hextall will save this money to re-up the contracts of Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny at some point. At this point I cannot see Hextall adding someone until maybe the trade deadline. Of course, that depends on injuries, and how the team is faring at that point. I would love to add either William Nylander or Artemi Panarin, but that’s a wish list.

Wayne Simmonds is a beast, and he is showing no signs of slowing down after an injury riddled season last year. Simmonds is off to a fast start (5g,1a in 6 games played), and the Flyers need him for them to be successful. Even though, I think he will be the most improved player on this young Flyers team. I just really don’t foresee Simmonds coming back next season. Simmonds is seeking a long-term deal (Rightfully so), and that could have been one hold up in his contract negotiations with the Flyers in the off-season. It’s not about the money with the orange and black, as Hextall has previously stated he would pay for a player with great talent. Of course, Simmonds is that player, but Simmonds wants job stability with years of contract. Unfortunately, the Flyers can’t offer the years with all these young prospects waiting in the Wings.

Michael you’re the man. God bless you and your family. Thanks so much for your continued support, as we wouldn’t exist without it.

I think the Provorov/Ghost pairing should be split up. It would be interesting to see if this would help restore Provorov’s confidence or not. Provorov just appears to be clutching his stick at times, and taking a shot off his foot during the game on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers sure didn’t help the matters. Moreover, Provorov is giving opponents way too much space. It was nice to see him join the rush last  night, and register his first point of the season (assist). However, he just doesn’t appear to be the same player as last season. It may be pressure of being the best Defenseman on the team, or he really still is healing from his shoulder injury last year. I’m confident that Provorov will return to being the player we have come to know of him, sooner rather than later.

Anthony Stolarz is a forgotten Goaltender sort of speak in this organization, at the moment anyways. He currently has a 4.34 GAA, and a .851 Save Percentage in two games played for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. If the Goaltending continues to go South for the big club, anything an I mean anything should be on the table.

Unfortunately, Stolarz is sitting behind the future in Carter Hart. Hart needs to see as many games as possible, so honestly I do not see where Stolarz fits within the organization, unless the Flyers Goaltending situation doesn’t improve. Stolarz finally registered his first victory in 19 months last Sunday for the Phantoms, in a 5-4 shootout victory against Springfield. It’s just tough for ice time with a healthy Alex Lyon, Carter Hart, and himself now. Head Coach of the Phantoms Scott Gordon can intermix any of these goalies (If he chooses), as depth at this position isn’t a problem. It’s just hard to say where he fits in at the moment.

Kevin I’m happy to know you. Thanks for your support. God bless you and your family. Without your support we don’t exist.

This should be an easy question after last night’s debacle in Columbus. Calvin Pickard did not look good-by any means last night. However, this is a tough question to answer at the moment. I mean Pickard looked good in relief against the Florida Panthers, and Brian Elliott looked good in both Vegas games. Across the board the Goaltending has been up and down. I personally believe the Flyers will waive Pickard following his 10 game mandatory with the Flyers, and keep Michal Neuvirth up with the big club. I think the Flyers will ride with an Elliott/Neuvirth tandem, and cross their fingers Neuvy can stay healthy to be a quality backup.

Craig thanks so much for support. Without you this site doesn’t exist. God bless you and your family.

This should be an easy question after last night’s debacle in Columbus. Calvin Pickard did not look good-by any means last night. However, this is a tough question to answer at the moment. Personally, I believe Pickard will be waived after his 10 game mandatory, and the Flyers will roll with an Elliott/Neuvirth tandem. Hopefully, Neuvy doesn’t get hurt and can be a reliable backup. When healthy Neuvy is a good goalie.

At the moment that’s how I see it playing out. A few other options the Flyers have is by recalling Anthony Stolarz or Alex Lyon, until Neuvirth is 100% ready. Before last night’s game Ron Hextall stated that Neuvy is “Days” not “Weeks” away from returning. Everything should be on the table at this point. Tomorrow’s game should give us a lot of answers to this question, as Elliott more than likely will be starter.

The wheels on the bus are falling fast, and the Goaltending and Defense share responsibility for such. This coming week should provide us a lot of answers to your question.

Flyers thanks so much for your continued support. Without you this site doesn’t exist. Your knowledge of Flyers hockey is a breath of fresh air.

Ivan Provorov just doesn’t appear to be right. I don’t know if his shoulder is still bothering him or not, but he appears to be over thinking things on the ice. Provorov isn’t crisp, and has lost some confidence. It has become very apparent in his play.

I think the Provorov/Ghost pairing should be split up. It would be interesting to see if this would help restore Provorov’s confidence or not. Provorov just appears to be clutching his stick at times, and taking a shot off his foot during the game on Tuesday against the Florida Panthers sure didn’t help the matters. He was seen in the tunnel working out his foot in between shifts. After last night’s loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets, it’s apparent that Provorov needs a reset immediately, to hopefully restore his confidence on the Defensive side of the puck. However, I’m confident that Provy will return to being the player we have come to know of him, sooner rather than later.

Provorov needs his confidence back ASAP. That’s first and foremost. I think Hakstol should shift the Defensive pairings to see if he’s putting too much pressure on himself, while being paired with Ghost. While being paired with Ghost, Provorov might be putting too much pressure to create Offensively.

Mr. Nice Guy thanks so much for your support. God bless you and your family.

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 #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: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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