2011-2012 Preview: The Philadelphia Flyers

Posted: September 21, 2011 by cujorulesdtown9 in Philadelphia Flyers, Season Preview
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Review of 2010-2011: 47-23-12, 106 Points, 2nd In Eastern Conference, Lost In Eastern Conference Semifinals  4-0 vs. Boston

Additions Via Free Agency: Jaromir Jagr, Andreas Lilja, Maxime Talbot, Jason Bacashihua

Additions Via Trade: Ilya Bryzgalov, Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn

Subtractions:Nick Boynton, Sean O’Donnell, Brian Boucher, Ville Leino, Dan Carcillo, Danny Syvret, Matt Clackson, Jeff Carter, Mike Richards, John-Michael Liles, Darroll Powe, Kris Versteeg

Jaromir Jagr (Photo: Getty Images)

Offense: A season of change in Philly is well underway. Cornerstones Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were both dealt, and coming in on the offensive side from those trades are Wayne Simmonds,Brayden Schenn, and Jakub Voracek. Schenn, a highly touted prospect, is hoping to show his abilities in his first full pro season in the NHL. (He only played 9 games over 2 seasons in LA) Wayne Simmonds brings his multi purpose offensive ability to the Flyers, he can shoot, and he can pass.  He’ll look to get another 30-40 point season this year. Jakub Voracek, a high flying right winger formerly of The Columbus Blue Jackets, has the ability to put up 50-60 points this year if he gets put with the right linemates.  Through free agency The Flyers picked up Jaromir Jagr, a former NHLer who still has some gas in the tank, and the drive to try to win one more Cup. While the years have gotten to Jagr’s speed, he still has the hands that made him famous, he can still pass with precision, and make deking look like child’s play.  He’ll look to add some punch to The Flyers 19th ranked powerplay, which should see improvement this year. The Flyers also added Maxime Talbot who will strengthen the 3rd or 4th line, not to mention, a mouth to replace Dan Carcillo’s.

Defense: The Flyers made a decent depth move in grabbing Andreas Lilja off of the free agent market this offseason. He may not be the best defender, but he can eat some minutes while the better defensive lines get a rest.  The headlinders are still Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen, who’s overall game makes Philadelphia a hard team to face night in and out.  It should be another great year for Matt Carle, who may very well hit the 50 point mark this year, especially if he starts shooting a few more pucks on the net.  And nobody can forget Braydon Coburn, a shot blocking and hitting machine, who can take anyone off the puck stopping the offensive chance for the other team dead in its tracks. The biggest issue among the defense is the ability to actually score goals. Most defensive points have been assists,  with nobody breaking the 10 goal mark. More shots need to be put in from the blue line.

Goaltender: The biggest improvement by a mile in Philadelphia came inbetween the pipes, Ilya Bryzgalov signed on with Philadelphia for the long haul, 9 years. They have their number one goalie now, which is better than the goalie go round they had last year. While this is absolutely huge for Philadelphia, it doesn’t come without its questions. What will become of Sergei Bobrovsky? Will he be worked into the starter role after a few years?Or is he going to be knocked into the backup role until his time with Philadelphia is over? Bobrovsky went 28-13-8 last year, he is capable of starting, so this is what is intriguing. The one certainty, Bryzgalov makes this Philadelphia team dangerous, and other teams should take note.

Prediction: 2nd In Atlantic Division, 4th In Eastern Conference

Philadelphia should have a decent season, but unlike last year, Pittsburgh should be able to get 1st in the Atlantic. Losing Carter and Richards is going to hurt their offensive production, on the upside, with a #1 goalie in Bryzgalov, and a couple new offensive and defensive pieces, it should still be an extremely successful season overall.

James van Riemsdyk (Photo:AP)

Standout Player: James van Riemsdyk

In his 2 years in the NHL, he has been terrific, do not look for that to change this year, when he gets into the near 70 point range. It should be a  huge year for him, and his team.

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Comments
  1. Dan MacNeal says:

    Personally I am really excited about all the changes. Fresh start, good players. Should be a good year.

  2. Frank P. says:

    Claude giroux man

  3. John Russo says:

    My player to watch (not star) would be Wayne Simmonds. He’s going to be all over the ice this season, making things happen. With him and Hartnell on two different lines, the Flyers scoring could actually be maintained.

    The reason Harts’ lines have been so successful has been the fact he’s been paired with good scorers. His all-out play creates turnovers and got his scorers the puck. Simmonds can definitely do that, especially if paired with his LA teammate Bradyen Schenn and Max Talbot.

  4. Dan MacNeal says:

    Simmonds is going to be good, but he’s going to be a PK/3rd line guy. 20 goals will be nice but I think he’ll be more counted on for defensive play and physical play.

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