Philadelphia Flyers are hot heading into 2017
The Philadelphia Flyers have been playing excellent hockey all the way through the roster, which helped them to catapult up into the standings of what might be the most difficult division in by far most difficult conference. Many people can argue that the top teams are in the West, headlined by Chicago, Minnesota and San Jose, but there is an abundance of quality contenders sitting in the East.
For the Flyers to go on a 10-game heater and only be able to claim a secondary wild card spot is an honest depiction of how difficult this conference really is.
What is the key to this Flyers success as of late? Very simple. It’s a combination of Simmons’ ability to put pucks in the net, rookies and young guns stepping up playing NHL caliber hockey, and excellent goaltending. Wayne Simmons is currently sitting at number six on the list of top scorers in the NHL with 16 goals in 36 games. In my, quite personal opinion, Simmons is the spark that the Flyers needed to finally be a true contender again.
Yes, Giroux and Voracek are always going to be sitting near the top of the league in points, however it’s the intangibles in Simmons that makes him the catalyst for this team. He is highly capable of scoring, as referenced by his 16 goals and 13 assists, but the physicality that he brings to the game is something of the Broad Street Bullies back in the day. He grinds, he hits HARD, and he is willing to drop his gloves to help get the team sparked and ready to go when the time calls for it. He is the absolute total package in a hockey player. He is the hockey player that Philly has been looking for, for quite a long time.
Now with that being said, a team will not get to the playoffs by being carried by just one player. This is why the energy and electricity that is within the youth of Philly, is such an important and instrumental piece of their team. Ivan Provorov is 19-years old. Let that sink in. He is a 19-year old who is one of the teams best defenseman, and becoming an integral part of that blue line group in Philly while Mark Streit continues to miss time cause of an injury. Having a 19 year old with enough poise and intelligence is a sign of great things to come, not only for the rest of this season, but for the future as well.
Also at a mere age of 19, Travis Konechy is another shining light at the end of the tunnel for a team who has been battling mediocrity since making it to the Cup Finals back in 2010. Having 16 points in 36 games as a rookie is nothing to pass by. Yes, we’re currently in a world of 18 and 19 year old phenoms like McDavid, Domi, Matthews and so on, but the guys like Konechy are the ones who make a difference for a team like the Flyers.
All of these little tiny pieces of the puzzle that Flyers’ great, Ron Hextall, has been putting together is starting to finally unfold. The age old “Curse of the Crease” (Yes, I’d like to coin that phrase) since his departure has seemingly been lifted as Mason, Neuvirth and rookie Stolarz have been playing well.
Stolarz, who is (you guessed it) one of the Flyer’s rookies at only 22, has played extremely well in the 2 starts he has been given. Standing at 6’6” the 22 year old tender has a shut out, while boasting a GAA under 2 and a save % above .930 which gives Hextall and Hakstol, which sounds like a cartoon duo, a lot to think about in the upcoming years.
All in all, the Flyers are outright impressive right now, and it is all in part to an entire team effort, from the pipes out. They are a scary team to have to face, and the thought of playing them on a given night should concern opposing teams. Look for them to make that mid season push to propel them into a divisional playoff spot very soon.
Flyers tickets for 2017 are available via TicketIQ.com, as well as Philadelphia parking from ParkWhiz.com. For each remaining game this season, Wells Fargo Center parking is available for as little as $10.
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