It’s approaching the fourth week of a truly weird NHL season. The Chicago Blackhawks can’t lose in regulation, the Blue Jackets have surpassed Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals and New York Rangers are struggling to remain a top tier teams.
The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t that much better as they continue struggling to remain among the top teams. They had a rough first couple of weeks, and have lost their last two out of three games. One of those losses did go into an overtime shootout period. The Flyers are pretty bad when it comes to shootouts and those second OT rounds can become any team’s win. The good thing is that at least they are playing more aggressive to get to the OT round, which is showing a change in their style of play.
Goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov has continued to impress audiences, despite the poor loss against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Monday night. He appears more quiet and reserved which we have seen has affected his game in a positive way. He just needs to stay hot.
The Flyers have some key new rookies while Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier continue to disappoint fans. Tye McGinn has proven himself worthy of playing on the line with Claude Giroux a few times and sophomore Matt Read has been pretty solid.
Read was solid last year as well but was definitely overlooked. Now that the other rookies are in their sophomore slumps, Read’s talents on the ice are shining brighter. Read actually is the point leader for the team right now having already logged five goals and four assists. Flyers fans can expect a lot more from him as the season progresses.
So the Flyers have so much potential to be Stanley Cup Contenders, but have they truly turned a corner in their game? Well when you drop a game to the Toronto Maple Leafs, some of your fans will start to lose faith in you.
The Flyers are starting to show more aggression on the puck and seem to be meshing better, which is great. The concern with such a short season is can they salvage the rest of their season and come back on top? Yes, only if they continue to be aggressive on both the power play and their penalty kill, both of which need a lot of work before they are top Stanley Cup Contenders again.
A lot of polls have been posing the question: Do the Flyers need a big trade to become Stanley Cup Contenders? One of the names that has been thrown out there is Calgary Flames’ Jarome Iginla. While Iginla is a good player, he has been playing on a mediocre team for so long that a trade for the Flyers would be a bad idea. Roberto Luongo is also still being discussed but he lost his steam two years ago and is a chronic playoff choker which is something the Flyers definitely don’t need on their team.
If, and that’s huge IF, the Flyers go for a trade this season it has to be for a big defenseman. This is the area they have struggled with for years, and it’s about time GM Paul Holmgren does something about this if he wants another chance to bring the Cup back to Philadelphia.