The Philadelphia Flyers had two big problems in 2013, and they addressed both of them in the offseason.
The Flyers were shorthanded on the defensive end throughout the truncated season. They had a series of injuries that hurt their ability to block shots, get the puck out of their own zone and jump-start the offense.
The other issue was even more obvious. They had unstable play in goal with Ilya Bryzgalov. The quirky goalie was never consistent after being acquired before the 2011-12 season, and the Flyers realized they were never going to win with him, so they did not bring him back.
They acquired Steve Mason (2.59 goals-against average, .916 save percentage) from the Columbus Blue Jackets late in the 2013 regular season and then signed former Blackhawk Ray Emery (1.94 GAA, .922 save percentage). The duo will almost certainly share the goaltending duties this year and should be a big upgrade over Bryzgalov.
The Flyers added Mark Streit (six goals, 21 assists) on defense, and he joins Kimmo Timonen (five goals, 24 assists), Luke Schenn (three goals, eight assists) and Braydon Coburn (one goal, four assists) on the blue line.
There never were questions about the Flyers offense, and there shouldn't be with Claude Giroux (13 goals, 35 assists), Scott Hartnell (eight goals, three assists), Wayne Simmonds (15 goals, 17 assists), Jakub Voracek (22 goals, 24 assists) and newcomer Vincent Lecavalier (10 goals, 22 assists).
Head coach Peter Laviolette is under pressure to make sure the Flyers are a team that wins in the postseason once again, and he appears to have the talent on hand to make that happen.