Do you remember before the regular season had began, and the fans and analysts were all predicting the upcoming NHL season?
They were projecting the Toronto Maple Leafs to make the postseason (ha-ha).
They were projecting Montreal to not fair so well this season.
They were projecting Philadelphia to be one of the top teams in the league.
And why wouldn't they? Looking at the Flyers roster, they are a very well rounded team. They have a great deal of talent and depth up front with Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, and James Van Reimsdyk, all highlighting their scary offense.
That's only thee of many guns they have up front.
Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Dan Carcillo, Aaron Asham, Simon Gagne, and Daniel Briere are all flooding three scary lines that can all produce in their own specific areas.
In the regular season, the Flyers' first 41 games (which is half a regular season), they posted a 20-18-3 record 43 points. In the second half of the season, they registered a 21-17-3 record for 45 points which added up to a total of 88 points.
Not exactly what most people expected, but Philadelphia just squeezed into the postseason, when they defeated the New York Rangers on the last day of the season in a game that went to a shoot-out.
However, yet again, Philadelphia has proven that the regular season means hardly anything and that once the post-season starts, all 16 teams have a chance at winning the cup.
The only thing that even matters a little bit is the home ice advantage, and even that doesn't mean to much.
Why do I anticipate that the Philadelphia Flyers will win the Stanley Cup this season?
Well, much like I said earlier, they have a significant amount of depth on offense, defense, and in net.
Richards, the 'Broad Street Bullies' captain, executes the path for the remainder of the roster and proceeded, and provided in the regular season by establishing a solid 62 points and 31 goals, while being healthy for the entire campaign, playing in all of the 82 games.
Jeff Carter, who recorded 46 goals last season, tallied 33 this season, and put up 61 points.
However, it's not all just points that makes Carter such an effective player when on the ice—his size, speed, and strength will come in handy should the Flyers make it to the Cup finals (which they will).
The Flyers had a very solid group of guys this season who produced a fair amount, having a total of six forwards registering over 40 points.
On the blue line, they have a respectable amount of deepness there as well.
Kimo Timonen, Matt Carle, and Braydon Coburn all highlight the Flyers' defensive core. But who can forget their key acquisition last summer, defenseman Chris Pronger, who had an outstanding season registering 10 goals and 55 points, while maintaining an excellent plus-22 rating.
And yes, Michael Leighton is a good goaltender, who fell under the radar all these years but now that he has gotten a chance he is proving that he can be a legitimate goaltender, as he posted an excellent 17-9-2 record with a 2.83 GAA, and a .905 save percentage.
In the postseason, players have been shining in Philly, especially Leighton, who has recorded a perfect 3-0-0 record with a 1.12 GAA, and a .959 save percentage, plus a shutout to go with it.
Briere, Richards, and Giroux have a combined 47 points over 13 games so far in the postseason.
After watching game one between Montreal and Philadelphia, I feel like Philly has finally lived up to their expectations of being a top team.
Those predictions everyone made at the beginning of the season, is finally starting to show, and it's showing at the best time possible.