“It was really a little disappointing when [the season pause] happened because the team was playing so well, “the defender Ivan Provorov said. “We finally started playing and we were playing our best hockey since I joined the League, probably the best hockey we have played in four seasons since I have been here.”
Philadelphia allowed 28.7 shots on goal per game, the least in the NHL. The depth in the center is also essential for the Flyers, led by Sean Couturier, who finished second in Philadelphia with 59 points (22 goals, 37 assists) and could be a finalist in the Selke Trophy for best defensive striker in the NHL. Second line center Kevin Hayes scored 23 goals and tied for the NHL with four shorthanded goals and crosses Derek Grant (Anaheim Ducks) et Nate Thompson (Montreal Canadiens) were acquired in transactions on February 24 to solidify the third and fourth lines.
Player to watch
Claude Giroux finished fourth in the Flyers with 53 points (21 goals, 32 assists) in 69 games. His 0.77-point-per-game average was his third lowest in a full NHL season, and the striker was sometimes eclipsed offensively by Couturier, Hayes and the forwards. Travis Konecny and Jakub Voracek. Giroux set the tone for Philadelphia in terms of intensity and work ethic during his eight seasons as captain, but the Flyers will need him to produce more offensively.
Video: BUF @ PHI: Giroux films the backhander from the threshold
The biggest question
Can Carter Hart win high pressure matches? The 21-year-old was the youngest goalkeeper to have played at least 20 NHL games this season, and finished eighth with a goals-against-average of 2.42 (minimum 20 games played) and tied for ninth with 24 victories (24-13-3). He had a stop percentage of 0.869 on the road and 0.949 at home.
Video: NJD @ PHI: Hart makes 25 saves and wins his first shutout
Nolan Patrick, C – Has not played this season due to a migraine disorder. His status is unknown.
Oskar Lindblom, F — Received a diagnosis of Ewing’s sarcoma, a form of bone cancer, on December 13 and will no longer play this season.
James van Riemsdyk, F — In good health after missing the last three games before the break due to a broken right index finger suffered on March 4.
Nate Thompson, C – Healthy after a sprained knee on March 10.
Philippe Myers, RE – In good health after missing the last game, a 2-0 loss to the Bruins on March 11 due to a fractured knee joint suffered on March 7.
Video: NYR @ PHI: van Riemsdyk buries the long rebound of Aube-Kubel
Morgan Frost had a solid first professional season, scoring 29 points (13 goals, 16 assists) in 41 games with the American Hockey League’s Lehigh Valley. The center played 20 games with the Flyers, all but two in November and December. He scored in each of his first two games, but had four assists in his next 18 games and ended the regular season in the AHL. If the 21-year-old can better manage the physical play of the NHL, a good training camp could make him a contender for a spot in the bottom six if Philadelphia needs an additional attacking punch.
Video: PHI @ CAR: Frost buries a puck drop for SHG
Tell the statistic
Since Giroux made his NHL playoff debut in 2009, he has scored 65 points (24 goals, 41 assists) in 69 playoff games. His average of 0.94 points per game is tied for sixth among active players with at least 60 playoff games behind the Pittsburgh Penguins’ centers Sidney Crosby (1.13) and Evgeni Malkin (1.04), Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (0.98), Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Kane (0.97), and the center of the ducks Ryan Getzlaf (0,96).
They said it
“At the end of the season, they had a really good boost. Our team is so good together. I can’t wait to see them again and I can’t wait to be with them and start practicing with them. They have a great chance of pushing for a good playoff race here. ” – l’attquant Oskar Lindblom
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Derek Grant – Tyler Pitlick
Michael Raffl – Nate Thompson – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Ivan Provorov – Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim – Philippe Myers
Robert Hagg – Justin Braun