A Flyers Q&A Feature: JVR’s recent success and a call-up for Phil Myers?

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What a turnaround it’s been for the Orange and Black. With last nights win over the Rangers, the Flyers have won five, yes five, games in a row. Just a few weeks ago the Flyers couldn’t buy a win and now they’re winners of five straight. Anyway, it’s that time of the month again where I answer all your Flyers questions. In this weeks Q&A, we talk about what’s attributed to JVR’s recent success, the possibility of Phil Myers getting a call-up, and so much more. Lets get this party started Flyers fans!

In my opinion, I believe the Flyers will be buyers at the deadline. Call me crazy, but I strongly believe the Flyers have found their franchise goalie in Carter Hart. They have to build this team around him and it starts now. As far as I’m concerned, this season is a lost cause for the Orange and Black. If they decide to pass on being buyers, then they’re just digging themselves a deeper hole. They need to do it the right way though by making moves, not tanking for Hughes.

Thanks for the question Mike. You have been a huge supporter of my work and I couldn’t thank you enough. Lets Go Flyers!

When it comes to James van Riemsdyk, I think you have to give credit to his line mates for his recent success. When you have guys like Claude Giroux and Travis Konecny on your line, you’re bound to play a better overall game. I also think his talk with Scott Gordon really gave him a big boost. He seems to have a lot more confidence out there on the ice. Getting to the greasy areas in tight has also helped him break out of his slump. Look for JVR to build on his last few weeks of play. He has ten points ( 8 goals, 2 assists) in twelve games played in the month of January.

As far as Nolan Patrick goes, I think patience has attributed to his recent success. He’s had a rough go this season and I think with him being down on that 3rd line he feels like he has something to prove. You look at his play of late and wonder if that’s even him. He hasn’t changed his game. He’s more so stuck to it and hasn’t gone off course even though things haven’t been going his way.

Go back to the two goal game against the Wild. Remember that between the legs goal he scored late in the second period to give the Flyers a 4-3 lead? That goal doesn’t happen about a month ago. When you’re playing well, you tend to be in the right place at the right time. Look for him to continue to build on his recent success.

If Philippe Myers is recalled, it will be in late February/early March.

If the Flyers continue to play the way they have over the past week, I would lean towards him not getting a shot with the big boys until probably early March.On the other hand, if the Flyers begin to free fall, I expect them to call up the 6’5″ defenseman within the next few weeks and give him a chance to show everyone what he’s got. If for some reason he doesn’t crack the Flyers lineup this season, he sure will next year. It’s just a matter of time either way before he’s up with the Orange and Black.

If you had asked me this about three weeks ago, I would’ve laughed at this question. Out of the two, Simmonds would 110% be the one who would most likely get traded. But now, as we sit here with a little less than a month before the trade deadline, I sit here puzzled. This one is a tough one.

I would probably say as of right now, both guys have a 50/50 chance of being dealt. Both guys have different skill sets that could come in handy for playoff contending teams down the stretch. Not to mention, both guys have been playing pretty well of late.

Simmonds, who is in the middle of his 8th season with the Orange and Black, is a force to reckoned with when it comes to the power play. You can find him parked in front of the net taking the goalies eyes away and looking to redirect a shot. He also isn’t afraid to drop the gloves. Say what you want, but the Wayne Train is fearless. He’s a leader in the locker room and that can really pay dividends down the road for a team that’s looking to make a run at Lord Stanley’s Cup.

Raffl, on the other hand, is someone you rely on when it comes to killing penalties. Despite the Flyers PK being ranked 28th on the PK, they have made major improvements over the last two months and Raffl has played a big part in that. A few teams that are in the thick of the playoff race and are looking to improve the penalty kill include the Washington Capitals, the New York Islanders, and the Nashville Predators.

Don’t be surprised if both guys get moved before the deadline. May I even go as far to mention a possible package deal. All we can do is sit back and watch.

If you’re referring to the rest of the year, I believe the tandem will consist of Carter Hart and Anthony Stolarz. Hart has shown that he belongs up here with the big boys and hasn’t given the Flyers any reason not to have him remain the starter.

The Flyers also have to see what they have in Anthony Stolarz. His sample size in the NHL is way too small. Fingers crossed that he remains healthy for the rest of the year. In order for Stolie to be sent back down to the Phantoms, he would have to clear waivers. That scenario is unlikely. A team is bound to take a chance on him considering he’s only 25 years young. Don’t forget that he is an unrestricted free agent following this season. If he can prove he can stay healthy and play solid hockey, then there’s a very good chance the Flyers re-sign him to a one or two-year deal.

As far as Felix Sandstrom goes, I believe he will be a Phantom come next season. Samuel Ersson will most likely remain with Vasteras IK/Allsvenskan for at least one more season.

Thanks for the intelligent question Flyersfan. I appreciate all the support. Lets Go Flyers!

In terms of slow starts, it’s the team as a whole struggling to gel. If you look back at earlier this season, there wasn’t really a point and time where the Flyers were clicking as a team. Think of it this way. If you go back to early on in the season, Claude Giroux was one of the few consistent players on this team. You need more than one guy to get on a roll in order to win hockey games. The Flyers could just never seem to have more than one or two guys really get going in the first few months of the season. It’s hurt them in the long run as a shot at the playoffs is now almost impossible.

Thanks for all your support, Chris. It means a lot to me. Lets Go Flyers!

Twitter Name: @jim_FHW

Question: Do you think it’s more likely Wayne Simmonds is signed by the Flyers or traded by the deadline?

I would lean more towards being dealt before the trade deadline. This is pretty much a lost season for the Orange and Black and to sign Simmonds wouldn’t make much sense. If the Flyers were in the playoff race and Simmonds was making a big difference, then I might lean towards signing him but that’s not the case.

Question: Do you think Phil Myers will be called up in the near future?

I would sure hope so Jim. He has a lot of talent and definitely deserves at least a lookup in the NHL for the time being. I would say he’s almost a lock to make the Flyers out of training camp next year. If Mikhail Vorobyev can get called up, I believe Myers can also. Look for him to be called up probably sometime in mid-February/early March.

Thanks for the great questions, Jim. It’s always a pleasure. Lets Go Flyers!

I don’t believe the Flyers are looking to move Gudas at the moment. On the other hand, if something comes along that the Flyers like, I wouldn’t put it past Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher to shop Gudas. In my opinion, he’s been one of the most, if not the most, consistent Flyers d-men this season.

In terms of Dale Weise, I’m not so sure what’s going on with him. He was sent down to the Phantoms on Sunday afternoon. Chuck Fletcher, who spoke to the media Monday morning, said that Dale Weise had not requested a trade. He said that Weise just wasn’t a part of their plans moving forward. However, I do believe there is more to this. I just can’t wrap my head around the fact that they just determined out of nowhere that Weise was no longer part of the plan. He was having his best year yet with the Orange and Black. So you’re telling me Jori Lehtera is a part of the plan moving forward. Something isn’t right here.

When it comes to what guys will be put on waivers, I would lean more towards Lehtera just because he doesn’t really bring anything to the team at least in my opinion. MacDonald, who is in the middle of his sixth season with the Orange and Black, at least provide veteran leadership.

Thanks for the great questions J Pow. I really enjoyed the one regarding Weise’s situation. Lets Go Flyers!

 

Name: Howard- Facebook

Question: Do you think we will be getting a new head coach this season or just gonna do it in the offseason?

If the Flyers do go out and get a new head coach, it’ll be sometime in the off-season. Scott Gordon has done a great job since taking over for Dave Hakstol and I see no reason to have him fired before season’s end. He seems to work well with the team. Look at the impact he had on JVR after their conversation. The guy has been on fire ever since.

Thanks so much for the question, Howard. I really appreciate all your support. Let’s Go Flyers!

 

Name: Jason Wakeley- Facebook

Question: What’re your expectations for the D in the second half of the season? In particular… Hagg and Sanheim who seem to get better every game.

I mean I think when it comes to the second half, guys are going to want to prove something considering Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher said almost no one is untouchable. Having a guy like Carter Hart also eases the tension on the Flyers D-core because they know if they make a mistake, they have someone back there that can make a big save. That can go along way in terms of confidence.

One guy, in particular, to watch for in the second half is Ivan Provorov. He didn’t look anywhere close to himself in the first half of the season and you know he’ll be looking to make a statement.

Travis Sanheim has been spectacular this season. It’s a huge improvement from last season for the 22-year-old defenseman. One thing that I’ve noticed is that he’s learning when he can and can’t jump in on the rush up the ice. He’s putting his defense first and when he gets a chance, tries to contribute offensively. The sky’s the limit for Sanheim. He’s definitely someone who has a lot of talent and will only get better.

As for Radko Gudas, all I can say is.. wow! People can say what they want but Gudas has been the Flyers most reliable defenseman this year. He’s also learned how to not take stupid penalties but at the same time still play the way he has been his whole career, aside from a few minor changes. Gudas is also another guy that has contributed offensively this year. He’s firing a lot more shots from the point looking for redirections or even just to create a rebound for a guy in front. I don’t expect the Flyers to move Gudas before the deadline but if the right deal comes along, I wouldn’t be surprised.

Thanks for the great question Jason. Let’s hope that Ivan Provorov proves that the first half was just a fluke. Lets Go Flyers!

 

Thanks for another great Q&A Flyers fans! For future Q&A’s, use the hashtag (#FlyersQ&A) @rboyd0105 on Twitter or feel free to direct message me any questions. As for Facebook, feel free to comment below the post referring to a Flyers Q&A or simply send me your questions through Messenger.

As always, Lets Go Flyers!

 

Photo credit: Alex Mclntyre

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