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According to NHL stats, the Philadelphia Flyers averaged 3.17 goals per game last season ranking them second in the league behind the Pittsburgh Penguins. This season the team only equated 2.78 goals per game, ninth in the NHL.
Not a terribly bad stat, but magnified during the shorter season.
Philadelphia had some outstanding play from Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds this season, yet many others struggled putting the puck in the net. Scott Hartnell, who led the Flyers in goals last season, has totaled only eight goals in 31 games. A significant drop from his dominating run last year.
Another underachiever was Danny Briere, whose age may be catching up to him. The veteran forward played in 33 games, scoring only six goals this season. He was simply invisible when on the ice.
A few more offensive under performers in Philadelphia were Sean Couturier and Maxim Talbot, who was playing well before breaking his leg. Both finished their respective seasons strong but noticeably struggled for a majority of the year.
Last, the Flyers lost two goal scorers this past offseason trading away James van Riemsdyk and letting Jaromir Jagr test free agency. Two major holes Philadelphia was unable to fill.
In a recent interview with ESPN's Pierre LeBrun, team owner Ed Snider discussed the Flyers' goal-scoring woes this season.
"I look at our team, it's amazing that's where we're at with the power play and penalty killing near the top of the league; but five-on-five goals, we're way down. That's probably what did us in, more than anything."
Philadelphia must now resort to trading, free agency or the draft to find that replacement. The team currently has limited cap space to make any major moves in the market, leaving trades or the draft as the viable options.
Whichever route general manager Paul Holmgren decides to use, it's crucial for the Flyers to have a potential-scoring threat on their roster next season.