The 2018-2019 season was one to forget for many Flyers players, especially the defensemen. Ivan Provorov had himself a mediocre season while Robert Hagg continued to struggle. However, no one had more bumps in the road than Shayne Gostisbehere.
Over the course of the 2018-2019 season, Ghost moved from pair to pair but never really settled in. He had a good game here and there but he wasn’t anywhere near the player that Flyers fans have come to know.
Saturday marked the end of the 2018-2019 regular season and you can be certain Gostisbehere wasn’t proud of his season performance. He finished the year with a +/- of -20 and only 37 points which is 28 less than what he finished with last year.
On Sunday afternoon, the players spoke to the media for the final time before going their separate ways. Ghost did not attempt to make any excuses for himself. “I’m not an excuse guy. I didn’t have the best season, obviously. I felt I could’ve helped my teammates a lot more”.
You have to respect Ghost for holding himself accountable. He easily could’ve pointed out the struggles the team had as a whole but instead, he pointed out that he simply has to better. That all starts with off-season workouts and by what Ghost said Sunday afternoon, it sounds like he’s already ready to start preparing for next season. “For me, I have to look in the mirror and have a good summer and really bear down and get things going.”
The fact of the matter is, Ghost has to be better next season for two reasons: number one the Flyers need him to be the Top 4 Defenseman he was originally projected to be; and number two they also need him to help revamp the PP.
The Flyers’ power play finished 23rd in the NHL with a success rate of 17.1% according to ESPN.com. Out of Shayne Gostisbehere’s 37 points this year, only 14 came on the powerplay. Last year, Gostisbehere finished the season with 65 points, 33 of which came on the powerplay. It’s simple; when things are going well for Gostisbehere, the Flyers power play seems to find a way to click.
All in all, a comeback year for Ghost is certainly a possibility. He is only 25 years old and is still learning how to manage both the offensive and defensive part of his game. With a strong push this offseason and a positive attitude, Ghost can turn things around. Adding another Top 4 defenseman wouldn’t be such a bad idea either in order to take some of the pressure off of Ghost. Flyers fans just need to hope for the best and pray that Ghost can find a way to get back on track.
As always, Lets Go Flyers!