The Philadelphia Flyers were a very disappointing team to watch last season. The same deficiencies that seem to trouble them year after year were prevalent again: health, goaltending and defense. The Flyers finished 10th in the Eastern Conference last year with a record of 23-22-3 (49 points) in the lockout shortened season.
General manager Paul Holmgren is certainly not a fan of missing out on the playoffs so he did what he pretty much seems to do every offseason: spend, spend, spend. In order to spend Holmgren orchestrated the buyout of much maligned goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov and fan favorite but injury prone Danny Briere.
To patchwork fix the goaltending situation this time around, the Flyers are going to go with the duo of Steve Mason and Ray Emery. They have also brought in Vincent Lecavalier to fill the void left by Briere and Mark Streit to anchor the blue line.
Compared to last year I see this team being slightly better. I expect more out of guys like Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell and I think they will deliver. They have a great young group up front that are only getting better including guys like Jakub Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Sean Couturier. Other than that, they have an aging roster and questions in net, the same problems that have plagued them every year since they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2010.
This team will go as far as their goaltending takes them, and if the past few years are any evidence, that won’t be all the way. Final Prediction: 43-34-5 (91 points), good for one of the two Wild Card spots in the new conference realignment.