Philadelphia Flyers Awards for the 1st Half of the 2013-14 Season

Garrett BakerSenior Analyst IDecember 30, 2013

Philadelphia Flyers Awards for the 1st Half of the 2013-14 Season

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    The Philadelphia Flyers' early-season struggles have been well-documented, but their turnaround has been remarkable and really makes giving these first-half awards difficult.

    A bunch of players contributed to both their putrid start and impressive rebound, so there's bound to be a lot of discussion surrounding these picks.

    But without further ado, here are Philadelphia Flyers awards for the first half of the 2013-14 season.

Most Underrated Player: Matt Read

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    Read has probably been the Flyers' most underrated forward for the past two seasons, and he's certainly been the most underrated player this year.

    His being tied for second on the team with 10 goals while playing on the third line is impressive, but his increased role on the power play makes him so underrated. He's also averaging over three minutes per game on the penalty kill, fourth most on Philadelphia.

Most Overrated Player: Scott Hartnell

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    For a guy making $4.75 million through 2019, Hartnell's numbers sure are underwhelming. He has just seven goals this year in 34 games.

    Two years removed from a 39-goal season, Hartnell struggles to make an impact at even strength and often hurts the Flyers with penalties and turnovers as often as he actually puts the puck in the net.

Most Improved Player: Erik Gustafsson

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    Raise your hand if you knew that Gustafsson leads the Flyers in plus/minus this season.

    Gus is a plus-four and has seven points in 20 games this season, and he has played with a lot more confidence and intelligence than he did last year. He's locked himself into a top-six role at this point.

Most Disappointing Player: Luke Schenn

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    Schenn was pretty decent last season, his first as a Flyer after being traded for James van Riemsdyk. 

    But this year, he's been a healthy scratch on multiple occasions, is a minus-five, doesn't take good care of the puck and has only one assist in 35 games.

Breakout Player: Sean Couturier

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    Other than his huge series against Pittsburgh two years ago as a rookie, Couturier hadn't wowed fans much, and therefore received an unfair amount of criticism.

    But Couturier excels at some of the less exciting facets of the game, and this season, he finally got a chance to consistently play with some talented wingers like Steve Downie and Matt Read.

    As a result, he's playing with confidence and has 17 points while also being the Flyers' best penalty-killer. His advanced metrics are exceptional as well, as he's maintained a positive Corsi rating while playing against the best competition and taking only 43.1 percent of offensive faceoffs.

Most Valuable Player: Steve Mason

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    Mason has been the Flyers' most valuable player so far this season not just because of his stats, which have been solid, but because he's finally brought a little stability to a position that has haunted Philadelphia for over a decade now.

    Mason is sixth in the league in goals against average and fourth in save percentage among goalies with at least 28 starts. He helped keep the Flyers afloat over those tumultuous first weeks of the year and has single-handedly won them multiple games. 

    He may need to maintain this level of play for longer to justify a big extension, but he's been Philadelphia's most valuable player through the first half of this season.