Friday, October 2, 2009

Flyers Preview

Last season: 44-27-11 (99 points), third place in the Atlantic Division, fifth place at the Eastern Conference and ninth in the overall standings.

Newcomers: D Chris Pronger (Anaheim), G Ray Emery (Europe), D Ole-Kristian Tollefsen (Philadelphia), RW Ian Laperriere (Colorado) and G Brian Boucher (San Jose).

Gone: G Martin Biron (N.Y. Islanders), RW Joffrey Lupul (Anaheim), D Luca Sbisa (Anaheim), D Andrew Alberts(notes) (Carolina), G Antero Niittymaki (Tampa Bay), RW Mike Knuble (Washington) and D Derian Hatcher (retired).

Captain: Mike Richards

Offense: Jeff Carter had a breakout year with 46 goals and 38 assists and Mike Richards added 30 and 50. Two others, Hartnell and Gagne also scored 30+. This team should not have trouble scoring goals. Can Briere live up to his contract or at least stay on the ice? He leads the team in goals this preseason. Can Giroux develop into an impact player? What can be expected from rookie JVR? If there are positive anwers to these questions – it could be a good year at the Wachovia Center. Well, at least on the ice – the hardwood might be a different story.

Defense: Newcomer Chris Pronger looks like he has been paired with Matt Carle during camp, and they seem to be meshing well. Timonen and Coburn should continue to be one of the top units in the league. It seems that these two units were put together with the Crosby and Malkin lines in mind. Highly touted Ryan Parent, Ole-Kristian Tollefsen, and Danny Svyret will be among those who fill the rest of the spots.

Goalie: Ray Emery returns to the NHL after being banished to Europe for a season - I think the reason was, that he was absolutely nuts. Emery was 33-16-6 a couple of years ago for Ottawa, leading them to the Stanley Cup Finals. After several meltdowns, and poor play, he was released. Emery put up good numbers - a 22-8 record with a 2.12 goals-against average in the wider Russian rinks before he lost his mind again. Goalie will once again be the deciding factor on how far the Flyers go.

The Flyers have some of the most loyal fans in all of sports and this team has the “potential” to be elite. Yet I am not feeling an overwhelming anticipation for Friday's opener. Let's get some Flyers talk going!

The O/U for comments is set at 1, based on previous hockey posts.

Go Flyers

No comments:

Post a Comment