Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Ways the NHL Lockout Could Help the Flyers
It's really not too difficult to think about what the Flyerswill miss out on during the lockout.
Fans aren't going to be able to be in an NHL environment for a year. The next great Philadelphia rookie will have to wait another season until they can put their talents on display. The outcome for this year's team will become an unknown.
Those are all with the assumption that the lockout will last all season, and there are hundreds of bad consequences associated with no games.
But why talk about those right now?
Today feels like a good day, so let's treat it like one and get right into it.
Here are five ways that the Flyers could end up benefiting from the lockout.
Ilya Bryzgalov Could Get His Confidence Back
It's pretty easy to look at the stats and to think that Ilya Bryzgalov didn't have too bad of a season.
The issue is that when he was bad, he was really bad.
He seemed to give up goals in the worst games and his entire 2012 playoff performance was bad at best.
In case you were wondering, giving up 3.46 goals a game and having a save percentage of .887 means that he played poorly.
When a goaltender plays at that level it usually means that they are lacking the fundamental aspect of what got them there.
He was missing his confidence.
What can a lockout-riddled season do to help him?
Not having an NHL season gives him an opportunity to work on sharpening up his game in a different league. A league that doesn't mean anything towards Philadelphia's record.
That is exactly what he'll be doing.
Playing in the KHL is a lot like playing in a minor league system compared to the NHL.
When a player isn't producing at a high level, a popular solution is to send them to a minor league team in order for them to get their confidence back.
Sure, the competition is definitely lower, but competing at a higher level than anyone else tends to give an athlete a feeling of invincibility. A feeling of being the best player.
Having a successful stretch for Bryzgalov in Russia would help the Flyers more than they could have dreamed of. A confident Bryzgalov equals one of the better netminders in the league.
The lockout gives him the opportunity to get back to that point.
More Time Before Games Begin Means More Time for Players to Heal
For those of you that haven't checked the news for awhile, the Flyers have some injury problems.
There are two major ones and they happen to be to Philadelphia's defensemen.
In a dream world, Meszaros would recover from his Achilles injury and Pronger would be cleared to play. The two would go on to anchor the Stanley Cup-winning blue line and the city of Philadelphia would praise them for their play during the downtown parade.
Before you roll your eyes, remember, that was a dream world.
In all reality, both of those players could (and probably will) miss the entire season, regardless if it started late or not. The point is that the extra time still gives players that aren't 100 percent a chance to get back up to a passing grade.
Even if neither player ends up back on the ice for the 2012-13 season, the lockout still gives a glimmer of hope.
Sometimes that can be fun to hold onto.
The Atmosphere Following the Lockout Could Be One of the Best
It doesn't matter if you love Philadelphia fans or if you hate them, one thing is for sure:
You respect them.
Imagine the ridiculous environment at a Flyers game in January of a normal regular season. Now imagine the environment at the first Flyers game in January following the lockout.
Ear plugs are going to need to be handed out before that game because the fans will be louder than ever.
A lockout is only going to make Philly fans thirstier for some ice.
The Flyers will benefit immensely from a strong home-ice advantage. That advantage comes from the fans.
Every Player Will Feel the Same Way as the Fans Do
Talk about the ultimate piggyback, but there is no way that the players wouldn't be just as excited as the fans are to get an NHL season going.
Philadelphia defenseman Kimmo Timonen is 37 years old and nearing the end of his career. Jason Brough, writer for NBC's Sports' Pro Hockey Talk, said that Timonen spoke with the Philadelphia Enquirer about his future in the league:
“I feel like I am in great shape, but to be honest if this thing drags on another two or three months who knows, I might lose my motivation and we will see what happens after."
If the season began right before he was ready to call it quits, then the energy he would bring to the ice would be electric. To continue to play after having your career come so close to ending would be one of the most emotional situations and one that would be fun to watch.
Timonen is only a small example of what every player would be feeling. It wouldn't be crazy to think that you would see some of the most energy-filled hockey once the lockout ended.
Philadelphia would obviously be one of 30 teams that would all be feeling like this, but they already play with speed. Adding another level of atmosphere could put them over the top.
The Philadelphia Flyers Will Get a Fresh Start
Last but not least, the Flyers would get a clean slate.
Everything that has happened in the past few years is now looked over because there are more important issues. Issues such as finally playing games.
Philadelphia tends to be it's own worst enemy at times. People get so caught up in the past that they struggle seeing the bright future.
That goes for both the fans and the team, but the lockout ending puts all of the attention on this coming season. Not those of the past.
A fresh new start certainly doesn't mean that the Flyers are the new favorites to win the Stanley Cup, but it does mean that they could be a better team than last year.