Flyers’ Success: Real or Just a Holiday Mirage?

For the last 10 years or so, the Flyers have struggled. There has been no real direction. Sometimes they’ve been decent, but not good enough to make a difference. Other times, they’ve been fairly bad, occasionally really bad, but never purposely aiming for a top pick to build around. They’ve just gone back and forth, unable to find an exit on either side that would indicate a plan or destination. The Flyers have just muddled along. The odd thing is that the Flyers are now fun to watch, playing well, and are a surprise team in the NHL, but it still may not be for the best. Nonetheless, we’ll get to that. Anyway, Cold Ones. The Flyers are currently second in the Metro Division, the fifth-best points-percentage in the East, in a season where they were widely predicted to be mediocre. They even hired John Tortorella, which doesn’t exactly scream a team looking to win a lot of hockey games. And yet, they are. It would be easy to credit Carter Hart, who has finally started living up to expectations. Hart, who is still only 25, has a .917 save-percentage, the best of his career. However, Hart has only saved 2.3 goals above expected, indicating that the Flyers’ defense has also been quite good. They’re fifth in the league in expected goals-against at even-strength, and they’re second on the penalty kill. Getting Sean Couturier back has also been a massive boost, as Couturier has been a key player. Furthermore, players like Travis Sanheim and Cam York are showing promise. However, despite the current success, it’s hard to see the Flyers making much noise come playoff time. They will have to wait for their younger players to develop before they become true contenders. They can’t afford to make any drastic changes at the trade deadline now that they are in the playoff picture. As always, with the Flyers, you never know what’ll happen next. Analysis of the Flyers From Their Unexpected Place at the Top of the Metro DivisionFull article:(