So, last year's team was a pretty fun bunch to watch. With this being the second year for this core group of players, it's time for them to take a step forward and build upon their successful last season. It's pretty amazing what this young group of guys were able to accomplish in just one year together. If they play to their potentials, the sky is the limit.
There is a real chance that any team that's in the mix this year can come out of this shortened season hoisting Lord Stanley's Cup. If they peak at the right time, the Flyers could be that team. A lot will depend on how their young players will responded to the 48-game schedule.
In the Battle of Pennsylvania, Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier showed how dynamic and dominating their games can be against established superstars, Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. If they can continue that success, the Flyers offense will surely be fortified up the middle for many years to come.
The size they added along the wings last offseason has paid off and it seems Jake Voracek can finally begin to live up to the expectations that came along with his seventh overall selection in the 2007 NHL entry draft. His unique blend of speed and grit will allow his scoring ability to flourish in his second season under Laviollete's up tempo offensive scheme. Only so much can be said about how surprising Wayne Simmonds' was in his first go around in Orange and Black. He is a prototypical Flyer that can hit hard and mix things up.
The defense at first glance, looks worse off now that Matt Carle has departed for Tampa. His under-rated puck moving ability will be missed. The the current defense has be bolstered with toughness and size with the additions of Luke Schenn and Kurtis Foster. Both are right handed shots and could see some quality time on the power-play.
Ilya Bryzgalov seems to be the key to this teams success or failure. During last year's up and down season he still managed to post a stunning 2.48 GAA. If he could at least replicate that, it could position the Flyers for another nice playoff run. What he'll have to do is study the way his game was last March. He was down right dominant, and showed us what his true potential could be.
A lot of things will have to go right for this team to get past teams like the Rangers, Bruins and Penguins. If there was ever a team that could do it, it's this one. Only time will tell. And now on the eve of our shortened season, it's time to sit back and enjoy the ride.