In a new series by Philly Sports Network, we will be looking at how each guy on the Flyers’ roster fairs against the round robin and qualifying teams. Each player will be evaluated based on their points per game, as well as other factors such as average time on ice and special teams production. We will be doing this by the order of the standings. Next up, we take a look at the top performers for the Flyers against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
As my predictions for the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs show, the Eastern Conference Quarter-Final round could feature the Philadelphia Flyers squaring off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. For this scenario to take place, the Flyers would have to be re-seeded from the fourth seed to second seed after the Eastern Conference round-robin. All the Maple Leafs need to do is defeat the Columbus Blue Jackets in the play-in round. It’s a playoff matchup that is very realistic. Considering the top candidate for the Eastern Conference hub city, Philadelphia has the opportunity to be an early spoiler for the city of Toronto.
Throughout the 2019-2020 regular season, the Philadelphia Flyers and the Toronto Maple Leafs faced each other on three occasions. Two of those games went into overtime, splitting overtime wins. The most recent showdown between these two franchises ended with a Flyers onslaught victory, 6-1. If Philadelphia faces the Maple Leafs in the Eastern Conference Quarter-Finals, I went on record to predict the Flyers winning in six games. Philadelphia’s favored against Toronto and here are five reasons why:
Oh, Captain! My Captain!
Claude Giroux has been tormenting the Toronto Maple Leafs for thirteen seasons. Okay, technically twelve seasons since Giroux only appeared in two games in his rookie campaign (neither against the Maple Leafs.) He’s arguably the most reliable Philadelphia Flyer when facing Toronto. Throughout 37 games, Giroux has scored thirteen goals, 23 assists, 36 points. Four goals have come on the powerplay, and he is a +2 rating in those 37 games. He’s the captain you want in this perfect storm.
He’s Going Places
The recipient of the 2020 Philadelphia Flyers Toyota Award, Travis Konecny has continued to add to his resume. Konecny had a breakout season in 2019-2020, topping the Flyers in scoring. Since his rookie season, the contributions from “TK” have been ever-growing. He’s also consistently produced against the Toronto Maple Leafs in his four-year career. In twelve games, Konecny tallied four goals, six assists, ten points, and remained neutral in the plus-minus statistic.
James van Riemsdyk is a Philadelphia Flyer that has to be discussed when including the Toronto Maple Leafs. Originally a Flyer, van Riemsdyk is back to serve as a double agent of sorts. He left Philadelphia to play for the Maple Leafs just to come back to the Flyers and help in the 2020 Stanley Cup playoffs. That’s my script. “JvR” played 15 games against Toronto with Philadelphia, recording five goals, three assists, eight points, one powerplay goal, and a +5 rating.
The Boogeyman of Philadelphia
Philippe Myers has found his groove specifically against the Toronto Maple Leafs. When the Maple Leafs players sleep at night, they are having nightmares of Myers. He’s the boogeyman. “Philadelphia Myers” may be the best defenseman on the Philadelphia Flyers roster in games against Toronto. Five games is a small sample size, but he’s totaled a goal, three assists, four points, and a +5 rating.
“Hart” of a Champion
Carter Hart has never lost a game to the Toronto Maple Leafs. He’s also only started against the Maple Leafs twice. His tag partner, Brian Elliott, has a 50% win percentage (9-7-2 record.) In playoff hockey, the goaltender with the hot hand gets the start. Hart owns a 2-0-0 record, a 92.9% save percentage, and allows an average of 2.4 goals versus Toronto.
Check out our previous pieces to the Flying High Series as well…
- Boston Bruins
- Tampa Bay Lightning
- Washington Capitals
- Pittsburgh Penguins
- Carolina Hurricanes
- New York Islanders
Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports