After another loss, the Flyers are spiraling down to the basement of the league. For a team that looked ready to go this summer, they have been a huge letdown.
A Disappointing Year
It feels so strange to be writing about this now because this time last month the Flyers looked pretty decent. It only lasted two games, but I thought they were finally turning things around. Boy was I wrong.
The Flyers continue to play terribly, and the season is a lost cause at this point. I believe Fletcher has seen enough of the team, and hopefully, he makes some trades down the stretch here. The team looks good on paper, and not so good when they hit the ice. I thought a coaching change would mix things up, and it did for a few games, but they’re playing like a pee wee team.
It’s almost become a chore to watch them play, they got shutout by an equally bad team in the Blues last night, and to top it off Brayden Schenn opened up the scoring against his former squad. The fans are stuck in limbo, they just don’t care to watch this team play anymore. For the game last night, the god damn parking passes for the game cost more than the tickets.
They obviously aren’t a playoff team, which is strange because this team is better than the one who made the playoffs last season. Fletcher needs to make some moves, but I am hoping it’s for the long term success of the club. It’s like a damn broken record, trading assets for the future, and we saw enough of that with Hexy as the GM. At this point, there really isn’t much to do since they won’t make the playoffs.
There Is Some Hope
For the billionth time, the future is bright for the Flyers, but this season has been extremely disappointing for a number of reasons. The core group of players (Jakey, Claude, Couts) can win a Stanley Cup, but they need to be surrounded by players who can make plays. I hate the narrative about how lazy Voracheck is, he has decent point totals this year on a team that is not very good. People love to forget about his point totals over the last few years, and I don’t think to trade him is a very good idea in the long run.
We have one of the best players in the world in Giroux. People in Philly always talk about how underrated he is, and I don’t agree with that statement. He is good, and for those of us who have been watching him play since 2010, know this is true. He doesn’t get talked about as much as some of the other premier players in the league, but believe me, he is an elite talent with very hockey IQ. It sucks that we have to watch him waste his career away playing for a team that looks like it doesn’t give a shit. Claude isn’t a generational talent like McDavid or Crosby, but he is not very far behind them.
Remember “The Shift” against Pittsburgh in the playoffs in 2012? He has been playing a such a high level for so long, and I just wish someone else would step up and help him once in a while.
There are some bright spots in the Flyers prospect pool. Morgan Frost played an excellent WJC with team Canada and finished first in the team in points. Players who had a good WJC was Joel Farabee, who was drafted in the first round last year. Both of these players were the resulting picks for the trade that sent Schenn to the blues. Frost is having a great year in juniors and is putting up a similar camp to that of Giroux when he was playing in the juniors. I’m not saying he will end up being the high-end talent Giroux is, but it’s something to look forward to.
I think Carter Hart is going to be very good in this league for a long time, but it’s hard to win games when the team in front of you is playing so terribly.
What To Look For Going Forward
At this point, I wish the Flyers would just turtle and go for Jack Hughes. He looked spectacular at the WJC for Team USA. They got snubbed on Patrick Kane a while back, and the odds of them getting the first pick are pretty slim, but at this point, I would take anyone in the top 5 or top 10. I have been saying this for years, but I want them to draft a pure goal scorer. Someone like Laine, who has proven he can put the puck in the back of the net.
Many of the players who played well last year are having off years. Konecny, for example, has not looked like the player he was and hopefully, he can pick up where he left off next year. Probably the most disappointing player this year has been Nolan Patrick. He played decent last year, and I was hoping he would pick up the pace again this year. He hasn’t. Patrick is a young kid so I am not too worried about him being a bust. It just sucks that the 2nd overall pick that fell into our laps hasn’t panned out yet.
I’m not sure what else to say about this team. They suck this year, and it’s embarrassing as a fan. I will continue to watch and support the team even though it’s like watching paint dry. Hopefully, they can show some signs of life down the stretch, and show the world that this season was just an anomaly.