I was wondering how the Flyers were doing, whether they were "accelerating" or "decelerating", and whether the Laviolette era had plateaus. I'm not sure I resolved that to my satisfaction, but I did determine to my satisfaction that the Flyers are playing as well now as they've played since the "Master of the Timeout" took over.
From a points-per-game perspective, the Flyers have been doing very well for a long time. If you look purely at points, their worst extended stretch was probably five of a possible 14 points in part of October, two of a possible six after Thanksgiving, or two of eight right before New Years. Otherwise, their run has been remarkable.
I thought, as an Excel modeling geek, it'd be fun to highlight their highs and lows, so I created a spreadsheet tracking all the Flyers W/L/OTL since 12/01/2010, including Preseason and the 2010 Playoffs.
By tracking *all* their games, it's interesting to note their peaks in points-per-game in everything from ten-game stretches to 40-game blocks and more. For example, the Flyers peak points-per-game for a ten-game stretch was nine points in ten games ending with a win against
the Senators on November 15, and their only loss in that stretch was in overtime in Washington (1.9PPG).
They'd go on to lose the next two, then win three more, then a few OTLs, then another hot streak, and hit a 22-28 PPG game peak in their December 9-30 wins averaging over 1.5 PPG.
The longer-term peaks are... NOW, as all the hard work of the Orange and Black are paying off. Since January, almost every day has seen a new long-term peak PPG high. For example, wins Jan 6/8/11 were 32-game peaks at 1.5PPG; wins Jan 11/16/18/20 were 36-game PPG peaks at 1.5; wins Feb 3/5/10 were 44-game PPG peaks; all the activity since Feb 5 has been peak activity for 47-game periods.
Conversely, looking at when the Flyers were at their worst, I see the short-term December 2010 shoot-Stevens suckage; the March 3-April 9 2010 valley where the Flyers made us all suffer; the early Boston series adding to the long-term low; and four losses to what is now half a Chicago team (will they even make the playoffs this year? the ignomy of losing to a team that might not make it this year, on a shot few saw!) all drive long-term dips.
Beyond that, all the long-term trends are good; 48-game tracks onward all show the lowest points at the beginning (March 2010). Oh, of course, per the title, their short-term peaks (10-game) are higher than long-term (40-game), as it's easier to sustain a 1.5PPG over 10 games but more sustainable to get 1.43 to 1.50 over 40.
Here's some stats after the Panthers game:
Last 10: 1.4PPG
Last 20: 1.5PPG (peak was 1.55, most recently on Jan 20)
L40/1.43 (peak was 1.50 repeatedly in late January)
L60/1.42 (peak was 1.41 in early Feb)
L70/1.37 (peak was in late Jan)
"Who could ask for anything more?" (Besides arguing over spending Snider vs. taxpayer dollars to clean up a parade?)
For a copy of my spreadsheet, E-Mail email@example.com - or build your own, or tell me how to upload a spreadsheet here and I'll happily share... (too big to post as HTML; ~150 columns x ~150 rows, ~500K).
Incidentally, I did not parse for goals, opponents, home/away, but the spreadsheet has that data available.
You could also easily rip out the Playoff/Preseason data if desired, but I decided I wanted it "just for the taste of it".