Monday, September 24, 2018

Philadelphia Flyers 2018-19 season preview



            In a surprise season that saw Claude Giroux regain his identity, the Philadelphia Flyers made it to the playoffs, only to be eliminated by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 1st round. They followed that by signing the second best free agent out there in James van Riemsdyk. Before we look at their roster, here's some fast facts for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Head Coach: Dave Hakstol
General Manager: Ron Hextall
Arena: Wells Fargo Center
AHL Affiliate: Lehigh Valley Phantoms
2017-18 record: 42-26-14 (98 points)
2017-18 placement: 3rd
Division: Metropolitan
2017-18 goals leader: Claude Giroux (34)
2017-18 assists leader: Claude Giroux (68)
2017-18 points leader: Claude Giroux (102)
2017-18 points leader (defenseman): Shayne Gostisbehere (65)
Captain: Claude Giroux
Assistant Captains: Wayne Simmonds, Andrew MacDonald
2018 first round pick: Joel Farabee, Jay O'Brien

Offseason additions: James van Riemsdyk, Christian Folin

Offseason subtractions: Valtteri Filppula, Petr Mrazek, Brandon Manning, Matt Read, Johnny Oduya

Forwards: After great seasons from Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, this is a good offense. Adding James van Riemsdyk helps a lot too. Wayne Simmonds can score another 35 goals when healthy. Nolan Patrick moves into the top six, but Travis Konecny is still really good for the third line. Morgan Frost and German Rubtsov are coming, but are still a year away. Oskar Lindblom is another name to look out for.

Forward lines:

Claude Giroux - Sean Couturier - Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk - Nolan Patrick - Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom - Jordan Weal -Wayne Simmonds
Michael Raffl - Scott Laughton - Dale Weise
Other: Jori Lehtera

Defensemen: Shayne Gostisbehere finished fourth in defensive points in a comeback season. Ivan Provorov took big strides as well, with 17 goals. Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim will get a full year this year, as Phillipe Myers and Sam Morin look towards 2019-20. Radko Gudas and Andrew MacDonald are the vets of the group.

Defensive pairs:

Shayne Gostisbehere - Ivan Provorov
Robert Hagg - Radko Gudas
Travis Sanheim - Andrew MacDonald
Other: Christian Folin

Goalies: Michal Neuvirth and Brian Elliott are both coming off surgery, and in a contract year. This will probably be their last year in Philly, as Carter Hart and Alex Lyon are knocking on the door for 2019-20.

Goalie alignment:

Brian Elliott
Michal Neuvirth
Other: Carter Hart, Alex Lyon

Predictions:

Top five scorers:

Claude Giroux
Jakub Voracek
Sean Couturier
James van Riemsdyk
Shayne Gostisbehere/Wayne Simmonds

Playoffs: Yes
Division: 4th
I think the Philadelphia Flyers will be eliminated in the second round of the playoffs.

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