With an NHL season like no other on the horizon, our Flyers team at Philly Sports Network decided to tackle a few predictions for the final outcome of this season. Keep reading for the hottest of takes, coldest of takes, and some that just might be right on the money from Alex McIntyre, Ricky Amandeo, Eric Reese, and Matt Stinger as well as CEO, Liam Jenkin,s on scoring leaders, the season record, and division standings.
Who scores the first goal of the 2020-21 season?
AM: The first goal of the season is always a tough one – only because I feel it has always been the least expected guy in the past. Going off of pure gut feeling, I’m going to say Sean Couturier. Coming off a Selke win may give him the guidance to lead his team into an early hot streak.
RA: I think one of the veteran guys makes a statement early this season. I could totally see Kevin Hayes potting the first goal tonight. Honestly, I think he does it pretty early in the game too, like within the first five-ish minutes. Hayes is a guy that’s going to want to set the tone early and often, and that’ll all start in game one.
ER: I’m all about a feel-good story. From what I can tell, Oskar Lindbom is the 1LW heading into 2020-2021. He evolved into a potent goal scorer in 2019-2020. The only caveat to no fans at the Wells Fargo Center is the roof won’t blow off the barn when he pots the first goal this season. He rang the bell last season to finish his Ewings sarcoma treatments. He’ll be the first to sound the goal horn in 2020-2021.
MS: Obviously, Oskar Lindblom is going to pot one on his first shift. This is going to send the universe back to its normal pre-2020, Covid-19 state. On a serious note, this would sentimentally be the greatest thing, coupled with a Carter Hart Shutout against the Penguins.
LJ: With the first game likely going to be a chance for both teams to shake off some rust, I think scoring could be down to begin with. I’m going to go with Joel Farabee. He showed last year that he’s ready for the next step and what better way to kickstart a sophomore campaign than with a goal?
Who leads the Flyers in goal scoring?
AM: Personally, it would be hard to say a name other than Kevin Hayes in this category. Last season, he was not far behind Travis Konecny for goal leaders. The scrimmage that was aired on Sunday [where Hayes potted two goals in the first period] showed that he is ready to hit the ground running.
RA: When looking at the goals leader, I could see Kevin Hayes taking the title of the team’s leading goal scorer. Like I said earlier, I think Hollywood is going to take another step forward while in an orange and black sweater. Hayes was second on the team in goals last season, and with what’s going to be an unorthodox season ahead, I can see him, as one of the older guys in the locker room, taking full control of this offense.
ER: Again, I’m sticking with Lindblom in this category. Another honorable mention is Kevin Hayes because, in year two of Alain Vigneault, he’s the most familiar with his system, and he’s going to be more familiar with the forwards. However, I view Lindblom is the dominant goal scorer on the Philadelphia Flyers. Before he missed the rest of the regular season a year ago, he was well on his way, in my mind, to accomplish this feat.
MS: I’m thinking Hayes is gonna lead the team in goals. He was one away from TK’s team lead last year and that was with coming to a new team and getting off to a not so hot start. This year he is gonna light the lamp the most.
LJ: Travis Konecny had a huge year prior to the playoffs and a drop in production has lit a fire under the 23-year-old. I think we see another step forward from him in 2021, as he leads the team in scoring for the second year in a row.
Who leads the Flyers in total points?
AM: I want to say this category could go a few ways. Known playmakers in Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek are options that are always there; however, as of late, we’ve seen a lot more playmaking ability from younger players like Konecny or Farabee. With Travis Konecny having shown improved stats each season, my gut is saying he’s going to pot a bunch of goals of his own and set up even more.
RA: By the end of the season, I’m going to say that the veterans play a much bigger offensive role than we all expect. For overall points, I think Sean Couturier will put up a point per game average this season, a feat that the Flyers did not have last season. He’s so consistent, and will feast if he is put in between two scorers, whether it’s one the first or “second” line
ER: While scoring goals is the most coveted metric in point totals, I will call on a playmaker instead to score the most points, Last season, Jakub Voracek had the most assists on the team. His new role as a 3RW could stunt that production, however. I’m looking at the second line, which was buzzing on Sunday during the Orange versus White exhibition. Everything tells me that Hayes will score the most points, including the most short-handed points.
MS: I’m gonna say this is where G has another great season. He looked really good in the intra-squad and being paired with Hayes and Farabee, that line is going to do damage.
LJ: With so much talent on the roster and a rejuvenated line, I’m predicting Jake Voracek to come out on top. Voracek led the team in assists last year and with Nolan Patrick back at center, that ceiling may only be rising.
Continued on the page below.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre