Sharks Swim Circles Around Falling Flyers in Slushy Mess
The Flyers are in San Jose to take on the West-leading San Jose Sharks. Puck drop is at 10 PM Eastern.
Philadelphia is currently tied for last place in the Atlantic, but that’s highly misleading, both because they’ve played four games less than three of their rivals and because by one measure, the Flyers have been the best team in the entire NHL: Philadelphia leads the league at 1.13 goal difference per game, a portent of even better results to come. The Flyers boast two of the biggest stories of the young season: the wildly successful return from the KHL by controversial netminder Ray Emery (7.0 GVT) ––who is in the top 10 in wins, GAA and save percentage––and the Norris Trophy caliber play of offseason acquisition Chris Pronger (5.7 GVT), who is being given credit for the improved play of 25 year old Matt Carle (4.5 GVT) – Carle and Pronger are tops among all skaters at plus-17 and plus-13. Rookie James van Riemsdyk (3.9 GVT) has provided a welcome boost to Philly’s offense, offsetting the long term loss of Simon Gagne (0.7 GVT). The Flyers of 2008-09 were known for their prolific offense; Paul Holmgren’s moves to acquire Emery and Pronger have now built the nucleus of a championship defense.