Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Is This Year Make It Or Break It For Nolan Patrick?

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Carolina Hurricanes
Mar 30, 2019; Raleigh, NC, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Nolan Patrick (19) against the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. Mandatory Credit: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

“To be or not to be,” that is the question of this year’s Flyers team. Will they be the underdog team that surprises many, or will they be a team that falls flat once again. One thing is for certain, this year’s young Flyers team appears to be hungry for a better start to the season. Without further delay, here are the answers to your questions.

Nolan Patrick will have to show the world what he is made of this year. Now with that being said, every prospect is different, and sometimes it takes some prospects longer to perform to the best of their ability. The problem with Patrick is he was taken second overall in 2017, so he’s faced with more pressure to perform than some other prospects. For instance, it took Sean Couturier six seasons to perform to the best of his abilities offensively. Patrick should be given the same amount of time to perform, but that won’t happen.

Patrick plays a sound defensive game and I think his offensive game will come this season. He is just too talented not to perform offensively. However, Patrick needs to focus on staying healthy for the entire season. There have been times where Patrick starts to get going offensively, and then he gets hurt. This sets him back more times than not. I will say with confidence, that Patrick will post 45-50 points this season. The future is bright for this young man and the fly guys, for that matter.

The Flyers will likely expose Jakub Voracek in the Expansion Draft, and he could very well be selected by Seattle. Seattle will be looking to add a veteran skilled winger for stability purposes, and Voracek would more than fit their billing. I say it’s a high probability, even with his contract, that Voracek could be selected by Ron Francis.

In regards to Shayne Gostisbehere, the Flyers are faced with a conundrum here. Even if Ghost returns to form in the 2019-20 season, and the 2020-21 season for that matter. Ghost would still likely have to be exposed in the Expansion Draft. The Flyers will probably use the 7-3-1 protection method, so Travis Sanheim, Philippe Myers, and Ivan Provorov more than likely would be protected.

Seattle would be getting a solid top-four defenseman and a favorable contract with the selection of Ghost. However, if Fletcher wants to keep Ghost, he could very well use draft picks/assets, as part of a deal to keep Ghost.

The biggest difference between the new coaching staff and the old one will be communication. Coaches in Mike Yeo and Alain Vigneault communicate very well with their players. They are respected because players know exactly where they stand. However, Michel Therrien is the one that worries me the most. Vigneault, however, is familiar with his personality, so I will give him the benefit of the doubt at the moment.

Accountability will be a strong word used around the 2019-20 Flyers team. This coaching staff will hold their players accountable, and if a player refuses to take accountability for his actions then they won’t play. This should make the locker room more vibrant.

The two biggest stats that will change are the GA (Goals Against), and the PK (Penalty Kill). Fortunately, the Flyers will have Carter Hart for the entire season this year (hopefully barring injury), so the GA should vastly improve. Moreover, with the additions of Justin Braun and Kevin Hayes, the PK should vastly improve, as well. Finally, the Flyers have a legit scoring threat while being short-handed, as well, in Hayes.

All in all, it will be a fun-filled season of Flyers hockey, and they should make the playoffs. They might be on the brink of the playoffs, beings they are in a tough division, but the orange and black should make it nonetheless.

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: James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports