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 Florida Panthers.
The outcome between the Florida Panthers and the New York Islanders play-in series creates a potential butterfly effect for the Philadelphia Flyers. If the Islanders advance in that series, the Flyers have another team alive in the Eastern Conference that they haven’t defeated in the regular season. However, if the Panthers outlast New York, Philadelphia has proven to be better. Flyers fans should be pulling for Florida to win their play-in series. The Panthers are the tenth seed in an expanded playoff format.
I announced my predictions over a series of articles. The New York Islanders could be a team that plays spoiler throughout the 2020 Stanley Cup playoff. That includes the Philadelphia Flyers. With a Florida Panthers series win in the play-in, a lot of things change.
All-time, the Philadelphia Flyers are 55-39-7 against the Florida Panthers. In the 2019-2020 regular season, the Panthers managed a victory against the Flyers. If these two teams met in the playoffs, I would pencil in Philadelphia to win in five games. To make that happen, here are five players to focus on in a possible series against Florida:
James van Riemsdyk is second in career scoring of all the active Philadelphia Flyers against the Florida Panthers. Putting that into perspective, van Riemsdyk is as efficient as Claude Giroux when facing the Panthers. “JvR” is labeled as a scorer, but his numbers against Florida reflect a balance. Versus Florida, van Riemsdyk is a playmaker that compliments the powerplay. In 2019-2020, he scored two goals, three assists, five points, a plus-minus of 5, and a game-winning goal.
Most of Tyler Pitlick’s games against the Florida Panthers have taken place during the 2019-2020 season. He’s only played them a total of five times. The majority of his stats have cultivated since he came to Philadelphia. Pitlick doesn’t get the most ice time, but maybe he should receive some more in a series versus the Panthers. This year, he’s tallied a goal, an assist, two points, and a plus-minus of 2.
As I hinted at earlier, Claude Giroux has the largest and most efficient body of work versus the Florida Panthers of all the current Philadelphia Flyers. In forty games, Giroux has 26 points. That’s four more than James van Riemsdyk in eight more games. Similar to van Riemsdyk, Giroux is a playmaker head-to-head versus the Panthers. This year, he’s collected a goal, an assist, two points, a plus-minus of 1, with his lone goal coming while a man down.
The Bobby Hagg Hive
Unlike the other Philadelphia Flyers listed here, Robert Hagg only played in two games this season rather than three. A case that Justin Braun and Travis Sanheim excel as much as Hagg does against the Florida Panthers is plausible. Hagg is the best defensive player versus the Panthers. His plus-minus of 8 leads any Flyers player in career numbers against Florida. This season, he’s registered a goal, a point, a plus-minus of 4 in just two games, with his lone goal coming on the man advantage.
Carter Hart has played only four games against the Florida Panthers. Three of those are from the 2019-2020 season. The Panthers had his number in the first meeting between these two teams in 2019-2020, scoring four goals in eighteen shots. While Brian Elliott (6-4-0) does have a better winning percentage than Hart (2-2-0) against Florida, Hart has a better save percentage (.920.) The small sample size could destroy a save percentage, which speaks highly of Hart’s last two performances against the Panthers.
Check out our previous pieces to the Flying High Series as well…
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Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Eric is a University of Delaware graduate with a degree in English. While in school, he began writing for different publications such as The Highlight Network, Amps and Greenscreens, and he did color commentary for the University of Delaware Men’s and Women’s lacrosse teams throughout the 2013 season as an alumni. Prior to being featured with Philly Sports Network, he began a pro-wrestling podcast with a childhood friend called the Totally Over Podcast. As an avid sports die-hard for all things Philadelphia, Eric is also a proud supporter of West Virginia University.