4 Reasons It's Too Early for Philadelphia Flyers to Press Panic Button

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IJanuary 30, 2013

4 Reasons It's Too Early for Philadelphia Flyers to Press Panic Button

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    The Philadelphia Flyers have had a poor start to the 2013 NHL season, but it is still too early for them to hit the panic button on this lockout-shortened campaign.

    After sputtering out to a 0-3 start, the Flyers have pulled it together somewhat, and there is no reason to think that they won't be a playoff team again this year.

    With a short training camp and such a compressed schedule, teams are bound to go on both hot and cold streaks. Hopefully the Flyers are just getting their legs under them and will pick things up soon.

    Here are four reasons that it is still too early for Philadelphia to press the panic button.

Power Play

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    The Flyers are an abysmal 2-of-27 on the power play so far this season. They are clearly just off to a rough start, and have been the victim of a few bad breaks.

    Once they get the power play on a roll, it will become an asset, instead of a liability. Players are still getting their touch and timing down, and it's only a matter of time before they start clicking. 

Ilya Bryzgalov

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    Ilya Bryzgalov takes a lot of the criticism when things aren't going the Flyers way, but so far this season he hasn't been anywhere near as bad as his record would suggest.

    In fact, Bryzgalov has made a number of huge saves and been relatively solid in net. He has only given up a couple of soft goals and has really stayed consistent through the team's ups and downs. 

    Against Pittsburgh, and in both games against the Rangers, Bryzgalov was one of the best players on the ice for the Flyers. If he can continue playing well, it'll be a big help in turning things around. 

Young Stars

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    Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have both been relatively absent so far this season. Neither have made a significant impact yet and Flyers fans are just waiting for them to break out.

    They're still just so young, and were undoubtedly hurt by not getting a lot of time to train and practice with the team before the season. They also were probably hindered by the lack of preseason games to acclimate themselves with NHL speed after playing in the AHL for a few months.

    For veteran guys, the transition back to NHL speed is much more seamless. It definitely came back quicker for them than for young guys like Schenn and Couturier, so it's only a matter of time before the Flyers' sophomore stars catch up.

Quality Losses

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    This may not be the most encouraging of things, but I find solace in the fact that other than the loss to Tampa Bay, the Flyers have not really been dominated at all.

    They played right with Pittsburgh in their first game of the season. They also played right with the New York Rangers and really had a great third period. They didn't have a great game against the Devils, but weren't dominated by any stretch.

    The score may have looked bad against Buffalo, but two disallowed goals and an empty netter make the story different than the result. 

    All in all, the Flyers shouldn't be happy with the way things have started, but there's reason for hope as well.