In 2011-12, the young Philadelphia Flyers exceeded all expectations by finishing with the third-best record in the Eastern Conference and a valiant defeat of the hated Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs.
The remarkable season came to an abrupt halt when the New Jersey Devils reared their ugly heads, humiliating the Flyers in five games where Philadelphia, quite frankly, looked like a junior squad trying to keep up with NHL All-Stars.
The Flyers enter 2012-13 with a little more comfort, as the faces of Brayden Schenn, Sean Couturier, Matt Read and others have become recognizable and their potential has begun to be realized. If the team had so much success with the “freshman” squad, imagine what they’re capable of when they are ready for varsity.
Still, not all is calm in Philadelphia as the free agency winds die down and the new season peaks over the horizon.
Expectations, as always, are high in the City of Brotherly Love, but the Flyers still have seven major concerns facing them as we approach the 2012-13 season.