Flyers Week in Review: Week 5 – The More Things Change…

Philadelphia Flyers 2015-16 season:

Games – 14/Wins – 5/Losses – 6/OT Losses – 3/Points – 13

It was another tough week for the Flyers as they went 1-3-1 on their sojourn through Western Canada. They lost to Vancouver, Edmonton and Calgary before finally defeating the Winnipeg Jets by a 3-0 score. The Flyers now sit at 5-6-3 with 13 points. They are in 6th place in the Metropolitan Division, 12th place in the Eastern Conference, and 22nd overall, almost exactly where they finished last year. That stands to reason because they have almost the same exact team as they did last year. So without further adieu, here is another painful look at the week that was once was for the Flyers.

The Positives

The Flyers are getting outstanding goaltending from new back up goaltender Michal Neuvirth. He posted his league-leading third shutout against the Winnipeg Jets on Saturday night. Neuvirth made a key save on Mathieu Perreault that helped the Flyers settle down after another shaky start. Neuvirth now has a 3-2-1 record with a goals against average of 1.81, a .945 save percentage, and three shutouts. Neuvirth has proven to be a huge upgrade over previous back up goaltender Ray Emery.

The Flyers power play came to life against the Jets tallying twice on goals by Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds. This could be crucial to the Flyers success as they are still struggling to score at 5 on 5.

Secondary scoring was a big concern for the Flyers entering the 2015-16 season. They are getting a decent amount of that with Brayden Schenn now leading the team with five goals and Matt Read netting his third goal of the season against Winnipeg.

The Negatives

The Flyers top line still isn’t clicking on all cylinders. Jake Voracek still hasn’t found the back of the net this year and Michael Raffl only has one goal. This is a huge reason why the Flyers offensive numbers are even worse than they were last year.  If the Flyers are to have any chance of competing for a playoff spot, it’s imperative that the top line start producing.

Vinny Lecavalier has shown that he is completely shot as a player. After being inserted back in to the line up as a result of injuries, Lecavalier has been a complete non-factor. Coach Dave Hakstol  has shown that he doesn’t trust Lecavalier in the least bit. He benched him for the entire third period against the Calgary Flames in a 1-1 game. And to make matters worse, the Flyers are saddled with Lecavalier’s contract for another three years. The Lecavalier signing will go down as one of the worst signings in team history. Lecavalier really does need to give some serious thought to retiring. Is being a healthy scratch on most nights and only playing five to seven minutes a game when he does play really the way he wants to end his career?

The Flyers are still playing down to the level of their competition. They lost to Edmonton and Calgary, two teams that are a combined eight games under .500 and beat the Winnipeg Jets who are three games over. Again, if the Flyers are to compete for a playoff spot, they need to start beating the teams they should beat.

What’s up Next

The Flyers return home for the first time in two weeks for games against Colorado and Washington before going back on the road to play the Carolina Hurricanes.

About Michael Appel 52 Articles
Grew up in the Philadelphia Suburb of Glenside. Became a Philadelphia Sports fan during the Golden Era of Philadelphia Sports when I attended my first Phillies game in the Spring of 1978 and I've been hooked ever since. The Philles were my first love but the Flyers have been my passion. Came to love the game of hockey by listening to the passion of Gene Hart calling a game and have followed the Flyers religiously ever since.

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