The Phliadelphia Flyers, despite where they are now; are moving in the right direction. I have crunched the numbers evaluated the on-ice performance of the orange and black and have come up with a list of evaluations and expectations for the up coming year. Search for your favorite Flyers or else see what has to be done in order for commissioner Gary Bettman to hand the cup to Captain Rchards next June.
When starting a list of Philadelphia Flyers players, it's only appropiate to start with the captain. During the regular season Richards boasted a point per game average, scoring 30 goals and 80 points in 79 games. During the playoffs, while facing the eventual Stanley Cup champions, Richards had five points in six games.
However, Mike was -4. That could be because he was either matched up against Sidney Crosby or Evgeni Malkin. Furthermore, Richards was playing through a host of injuries, so his numbers were not where he wanted them to be either. As a Selke finalist Richards scored an amazing seven shorthanded goals, three of which were on two-man disadvantages.
Is it to much to ask Richards to score 35 or even 40 goals in '09-10?
Richards matches up against the league's best night in and night out and should maintain 30 goals, but no more than that. Maintaining a respectable plus/minus such as last season's +22 is fine. Mike should lead the Flyers into battle as their captain and shouldn't shy away from sending a message to top opponents.
To be the best captain he can be, Richards should watch some Bobby Clarke videos from the past and bring that style into his game. The champion stuff.
He can hit guys if he wants, but shouldn't go crazy; we don't want him to dislocate a shoulder or anything.
At one time, Gagne was thought to be the next Philadelphia Flyers' captain to bring the city to the promised land. There was even whispers of Gagne representing the 'C' on his Team Canada jersey. While those days might be behind us now, it's no surprise "Gagne" is French for win. This guy has all the making of a true champion. So deadly and so lethal when given time and space. Good on the power-play, even better on the penalty kill.
Scored 34 last year, second only to Carter, was plus-21, had 12 powerplay goals and four shorthanded.
Is asking for 35 next year too much?
I certainly don't think so
Gagne still has it forsure. It may have taken him time to get his legs back after missing most of the '07-08 season, but his 34 was no fluke and despite the depth at goal scoring forwards on the roster, Gagne has proven he is capable of notching 40 in a season.
In the playoffs he had one PP goal and one PK goal.
The main expectation for Gagne is to just stay healthy.
He does not have to be the-go-to-guy; all he has to do is contribute on a nightly basis.
Likely earning top line honors again next year, look for him to develop even more chemistry with Richards and Knuble.
Even though this is a slide show primarily focused on offense, I had to include Kimmo Timonen. What an athlete. I think Richards, Gagne and the other Flyers are really great, but there is no other that I trust more when he has the puck on his stick than number 44. Always reading the play and making the pass that has to be made, quater-backing the power play and defending for his team, he really is one of the premiere defensemen in the league.
Jeff Carter who?
He was no where to be found in the playoffs.
Sorry about that one Jeff, you're actually one of my favorite Flyers, but one goal in six games? Carcillo did that.
However, a team high in points (84), goals (46) and plus/minus (23) during the regular season makes him one Flyer on the rise.
Forty-six goals in 08/09 makes him second only to sniper Alex Ovechkin during the regular season. It is exceptional and if he was to repeat that standard, that would be okay, too.
But wouldnt it be nice if Carter could notch 50?
To his credit, Philly boasts enough scoring talent that a 50-goal guy isn't needed, but it sure would look good after being bounced by the Penguins in the first round last spring.
Carter lead the team in power-play goals and look for that to continue into next year unless Claude Giroux leaps ahead of where he should be.
I agree with Homer for the most part; Philly is set at the forward position. However when Briere's name comes up in trade talks, I see that as an oppurtunity for the team due to the fact that they would still have Giroux.
Claude plays Briere's game to the tee, but at a much better price tag. Giroux played in 42 games and scored nine goals. Should he make the team and play a full year, he'll without a doubt reach 20. In six games against the Penguins, Giroux was arguably the best Flyer. Two goals, three assists for five points, and a plus-two rating.
Joffrey Lupul is often involved in trade talks and blamed for inconsistency. Truth be told, the only inconsistency in Lupul's game is in his inconsistency.
In '03-04, Lupul scored 13 goals for 34 points. Lupul comes back after the lockout with the Ducks to score 28 goals for 53 points.
In '06-07, Lupul scored 16 goals for 28 points.
Then there are his Flyers days; 45 goals and 96 points in his two years, including 50 points in '08-09.
Heres the rub; Lupul as a Flyer is a plus-3, with other teams he is a minus-48. He's only getting better. Mr. Clutch, in my mind, I cannot get over game seven against Washington in the '07-08 playoffs.
Not Bad at 35 years old. For the last six years Knuble has scored at least 20, including two 30-goal seasons (and one 29, too). At 6'3", 230 lbs, Knuble is a physical body in front of the opposing net on the powerplay. He is in contract talks with Homer.
What's this I hear about Hatcher joining the circus? Do they have room for Scottie?
I'm only kidding of course. Hartnell's a great guy and a good teammate from what I hear. At 6'2", 210 lbs Hartnell is the big guy on power play. He scored 30 and set up 30 for 60 points. Hartnell should keep his gloves on in '09-10. No need throwing them down or at opposing superstars. Hartnell's most effective on the ice, not in the box.
Daniel Briere has probably given Flyers fans more headaches then any other team in the NHL both as a teammate and as an opponent. When he's healthy he hovers just below a point per game average and when he's hurt he eats up valuable cap space. The Flyers have a solid groud of top six forwards with or without Briere, but his chemistry with rookie Claude Giroux gives some sense of optimism moving forward.
It's hard to dance around the issues; one goal and one assist in five playoff games and a team high plus-3 to ice it, this guy isn't too bad. He wasn't a scratch in the playoff game he missed, he was suspended for an incident at the faceoff.
He is a good hockey player and I think he should be more physical without fighting. Instead of beating a guy in the head, he should make sure guys keep their heads up while there playing The Flyers. Gretzky once said Carcillo was one of his favorite guys to coach, but that he took selfish penalties. I think Carcillo can have a vital role on a team that will demand respect from their opponents in the upcoming season. Gloves on or off, Carcillo will excel in the role Coach Stevens gives him.
He only had eleven points in 60 games, not exactly youngstars material. Then there's his three points in six playoff games, which is pretty good considering he was a rookie. Perhaps a depth guy, I like his physical nature and the Crosby sandwhich he served up with Richards was simply incredible.
If looks could kill...Asham's a tough customer and there's a reason why his penalty minute totals for the regular season is a multiple of five at 155. He goes to the penalty box but he usually brings an opponent with him; what I call intelligent penalties.