The Top 5 Highlights in Philadelphia Flyers' 2013-14 Season so Far
It hasn't exactly been a start to remember for the Philadelphia Flyers.
At 4-9-1 and having garnered a paltry nine standings points to date, the Flyers sit in dead last place of the pedestrian Metropolitan Division and lead only the lowly Buffalo Sabres in the 16-team Eastern Conference.
Philadelphia has earned back-to-back wins just once this season and has already endured three- and four-game losing skids through just its first 14 outings.
Still, there have been moments of brilliance for the Orange and Black.
Here are the top five highlights in the Flyers' 2013-2014 season so far.
Steve Mason Denies Jordan Staal, November 5, 2013
It may have been in a losing effort, but Steve Mason was once again spectacular in Philadelphia's most recent outing.
Locked in a scoreless tie midway through the opening period Tuesday night against the Carolina Hurricanes, Mason denied a shorthanded two-on-one between Nathan Gerbe and Jordan Staal by flexing out his blocker and turning away Staal's one-timer from the right circle.
Staal and the Hurricanes would have the last laugh with a 2-1 overtime victory, but Mason's sparkling save was one of 36 denials the 25-year-old netminder made during the course of the evening.
Mason has been Philly's best player so far, compiling a 2.37 goals-against average coupled with a .925 save percentage despite struggling through a 3-7-1 overall record.
Claude Giroux Sets Up Vincent Lecavalier's One-Time PPG, October 29, 2013
Claude Giroux has had a terribly tough start to the 2013-14 season.
The team's leading scorer in each of the last three seasons has managed just seven points through the club's first 14 games and is still in search of his first goal of the season.
Still, the Hearst, Ontario native remains one of the most gifted players in the game and has shown those flashes of brilliance despite the difficult start.
Vincent Lecavalier may be the goal scorer in this power-play conversion against the Anaheim Ducks, but the play was made by Giroux.
Few players in the game today could have executed the brilliant tape-to-tape pass through a pair of opposing sticks that produced this goal. Giroux is one of those players.
Brayden Schenn Scores Flyers' First Goal of 2013-14, October 2, 2013
The Flyers may be the lowest scoring team in the league now, but that would have been awfully difficult to predict based on the team's opening conversion of the season.
Philly was hoping for a breakout campaign from Brayden Schenn, and sure enough, it was the third-year native of Saskatoon who opened the season scoring for the Orange and Black. Schenn showed solid offensive instincts going to the front of the net and had to execute a quick one-timer amidst the Toronto defense.
Even more encouraging was what transpired to set up the goal.
Lecavalier won a battle along the wall to secure the puck and dangled around a Maple Leaf blueliner before curling behind the Toronto net and delivering a perfect backhand feed to Schenn atop the goal crease.
Both Schenn and Lecavalier will need to be key cogs if Philly is to find success this season, and at least on this play, that was certainly the case.
Vincent Lecavalier Nets a Hat Trick, October 26, 2013
While Mason has been Philadelphia's best overall player so far, Lecavalier has been the Flyers' top forward to date.
The 33-year-old center leads the Orange and Black with five goals and is tied for the team lead with seven points, despite only playing in 10 of the team's 14 games.
Three of those five conversions came during a late-October showdown on Long Island where Lecavalier displayed not only his goalscoring prowess but his offensive versatility as well.
His first conversion was a picture-perfect power-play marker where Lecavalier unleashed his trusted slap shot from the top of the right faceoff circle.
His second conversion displayed Lecavalier's incredible hand-eye coordination, while his third and final tally was only a result of the tenacious effort that preceded the conversion.
Philadelphia's Line Brawl vs. Washington Capitals, November 1, 2013
It didn't have any impact on the final score in Philadelphia's embarrassing 7-0 drubbing at home courtesy of Washington, but the team's line brawl with the Capitals at least gave the fans something to cheer about.
The Orange and Black were completely listless through much of their worst setback of the season but chose to wake up at least for a few minutes once the Capitals had added the extra point to their touchdown's worth of offense.
Wayne Simmonds ignited things with a few solid body checks and the wheels officially came off when Ray Emery charged down the ice and forced Washington goaltender Braden Holtby into a confrontation. Both Schenn and Lecavalier eventually found dance partners with the entire incident resulting in a combined 114 penalty minutes.