Philadelphia Flyers Start the Season 3-0, What's Different This Year?

Mark DiCiccoContributor IOctober 7, 2009

PHILADELPHIA - OCTOBER 06: Mike Richards #18 (L) of the Phildelphia Flyers is hugged by Chris Pronger #20 (R) after his second period goal against the Washington Capitals at the Wachovia Center on October 6, 2009 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Thanks Rory, I was trying to avoid writing about the season so far, God forbid I jinx it somehow. The Flyers are 3-0 in this young season, and have won games in all kinds of ways. Defense, which we expected. Offense, a shootout with the Caps—really? And most importantly, goaltending!

When was the last time you could say that? OK, in all fairness, Marty Biron did a really good job, but we're looking for the x-factor, the amazing save, and Emery can bring that. He had an aura about him before he played a game.

You would have liked to see a better outing against the Caps, but we're talking about Ovie and a cast of puck-handling bandits here, I can excuse last night to nerves for the home opener, and the skill of the opposition.

All in all, the Flyers are off to a hot start. Every point is going to count come playoff time, and the Flyers may finally realize that. My initial thoughts are good. I see a team that is able to adapt to the situation, make adjustments on the fly. This was a problem last season for Coach Stevens. I believe he can coach, I just felt like the players we not all in.

This year, I already see the new vets leading the charge, Blair Betts and Ian Laperriere have bought into the system, and set examples on every shift. Laperriere even dropped Matt Bradley of the Caps in a small donnybrook to protect a fellow Flyer. Stevens has the forecheck as the center piece of this winning streak, and it has produced results.

You're getting strong play from the guys you expect, namely captain Mike Richards, and JVR looks like an NHL player. I hope they find Claude Giroux some space, because he can be a point-per-game type player.

Chris Pronger was the attention grabber this summer, and he's been steady. He brings a presence that you can feel through the TV. He knows the game, and it's been a long time since we had a D-man who can change the face of a game with a bone-chilling hit. Pronger is that guy, just ask Mike Green's shoulder.

It's early folks, so enjoy the ride. Tough matchup with the defending champs on Thursday, and the Pens will help us shape this team even further. We've seen so many slow starts for the Flyers; this is a welcome change.