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Philadelphia Flyers 2016-17 Over/Under Game, Part 2: Team Numbers

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Let’s make some guesses on how (and what) the Flyers, as a team, will do in certain areas this coming season.

Can the Flyers do better against the Penguins this year than they did last year?
Derik Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, we posed 10 over/under questions to our writers about the Flyers’ upcoming season and asked them to pick a side. Today, we’ll do the same thing, focusing mostly on team-level numbers and front office moves. Enjoy, and feel free to give us your thoughts and answers in the comments.

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Will the Flyers' score-adjusted Fenwick percentage this year be over or under 51 percent? We'll measure this using the numbers on corsica.hockey. Last year, Corsica had the Flyers as a 49.94% score-adjusted Fenwick team.

Al: OVER. The Flyers exceeded expectations last year, but by the end they sure as hell looked like a real deal hockey team. I have no doubt that they've gotten better this offseason, and that should show up here.

Allison: OVER. Started from the bottom now we’re almost passing.

Andrew: OVER. But just barely. Numbers in the 51-52% range put the Flyers in a competitive tier with teams like Washington, Dallas, & St. Louis. It's a feasible leap given how well this team played for stretches of last season and the young talent bubbling up to the NHL roster.

Brent: UNDER, but not by much. They still have some young talent that will be getting up to speed as the season goes along, so I could see this number increasing as the season wears on.

Charlie: OVER. My guess is that the Flyers aren't quite as good of an even strength play-driving team as they looked during the final two months of 2015-16, but they're definitely above a break-even team. If Provorov and Konecny both prove to be above-average NHL players from the start, that should be enough of a push to get them over 51%.

Joe: OVER.

Kelly: OVER. Call me crazy folks but I think this year’s Flyers team is better than last year’s Flyers team.

Kurt: UNDER, but I think they’re north of 50%. Also, I think this can change quickly if the right guys are in place on the bottom-6 if/when everyone gets healthy/off suspension.

Kyle: UNDER.

Travis: OVER. I think they are the team we saw in the latter half of the 2015-16 season, or at least closer to that than the team we saw in the first half.

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Last season, the Flyers' penalty kill success rate was 80.5 percent, while the power play's was 18.9 percent. Together, the two added up to 99.4 percent. This season, will the Flyers' power play and penalty kill numbers add up to a number over or under 100.7 percent?

Al: OVER. It freaking better be.

Allison: OVER. I think the power play will stay at the same level, but I think the penalty kill will improve slightly.

Andrew: OVER. It's hard not to be optimistic about the potential Travis Konecny brings to the Flyers powerplay as the main distributor on the 2nd unit. And it looks like the coaching staff has committed to more aggressive penalty killing tactics at the other end of the ice. Both things bode well for special teams.

Brent: OVER. Both units were a bit unlucky last year, and if the PK is aggressive, they could be way over. Add in an improved second power play unit, and they could have elite special teams play this year.

Charlie: OVER. I'm expecting both the power play and (especially) the penalty kill to be much improved this season. The PP should get better just by Jakub Voracek getting some semblance of puck luck this year. As for the PK, the Flyers spent a large portion of the summer focusing on ways to fix their issues in this area, and more aggressive tactics were apparent in the preseason. They might not have the personnel to be elite, but they should be better than last year.

Joe: OVER. PK will be vastly improved, as will the PP with additions of TK and Provorov for the 2nd unit. No more Ryan White powerplay, woo!

Kelly: OVER. Not sure about the PK but I think the PP will tick up a couple of points this season. Looking at you, Konecny.

Kurt: Let’s say OVER. It seemed like almost everything went wrong for the Flyers’ PK last year; given that, a 1.3% rise doesn’t look like too much to ask for.

Kyle: OVER. Both units should improve, especially the PK.

Travis: OVER, because the penalty kill is going to be significantly better.

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Do the Flyers' goalies this year (ANY goalie who suits up in orange and black, not just Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth) have an overall combined save percentage this year over or under .918? Last season, Mason and Neuvirth combined to post a .920 in net, and were the only two goalies to play at all for the Flyers last year.

Al: UNDER. The goaltending was simply too good last year to be repeated. After all, this is Philadelphia...

Allison: OVER. Oh my god. I’m being too positive. Like I said previously though, Flyers goaltending is our greatest strength. What a strange phrase.

Andrew: OVER. The Flyers has one of the best goaltending duos in the league last year and I see no reason for a significant drop off.

Brent: OVER. Mason and Neuvy are good goalies, and if they get hurt Stolarz should be an adequate fill-in. Assuming Schultz or AMac get displaced on the blue line they should be facing easier shots. I've got it at .921.

Charlie: OVER. The great thing about having two above-average goalies is that it gives your team a high floor at a volatile position. If one of Mason or Neuvirth falters, the other will begin grabbing all the starts. That should help team save percentage stay above 0.918.

Joe: UNDER.

Kelly: OVER. To pick under would assume a performance worse than last year, and I see no reason to think that either Mason or Neuvy will be worse this year than last.

Kurt: UNDER. Saying this solely because I guessed under on this question last year and was wrong about it then, so let’s hope lightning strikes twice.

Kyle: OVER. The .920-.925 range seems like a fair prediction. I think the goaltending will remain strong this year.

Travis: Nah, UNDER. Not by a lot, but under.

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The Flyers got 41 goals from their defensemen last season. Will they match that this year? Over or under 40.5 goals from Flyers' defensemen this year.

Al: UNDER. Given that I think Gostisbehere's point production will drop off, I just don't see the rest of these schmohawks (yeah, I said it) on the defense to fill in the void.

Allison: I need to instill some kind of pessimism into my answers. UNDER. Life is hard. The world is cruel sometimes.

Andrew: UNDER.

Brent: OVER. Ghost, Streit and Del Zotto could get this by themselves. Chip in some random goals from the other guys and they could be north of 50.

Charlie: UNDER. Gostisbehere's goal totals will most likely regress a bit, but the wild card here is Michael Del Zotto. If his scoring bounces back to 2014-15 levels (once he's healthy), the Flyers could roar past this one. But I'll go the conservative route here -- after all, the rest of the defense aside from Ghost probably isn't providing much in terms of goal scoring.

Joe: OVER. Full year of Ghost and MDZ with the addition of Provorov is going to help boost this number a good bit.

Kelly: UNDER. Since I don’t think Ghost scores as many as he did last year, I don’t see the D being as productive as they were last year.

Kurt: UNDER. Counting on Ghost to hit 18 goals again is tough, counting on Gudas to hit five goals again may even be a stretch, and at least one of Streit/AMac is going to lose PP time to Provorov, who’s a 19-year old rookie. (And then there are offensive dynamos Nick Schultz and Brandon Manning, and Michael Del Zotto, who was playing his best last year in a more defensive role.) This one may hinge on Provorov being a really strong scorer right out the gate, and I think that’ll take some time. Which is fine! But I’ll go under in the meantime.

Kyle: OVER. The addition of Provorov and the return of Del Zotto, when he gets healthy, should spark the blue line as should Streit if he can carry over his play from the preseason.

Travis: Ghost will score a little less (I could see him having more points than last year but fewer or the same amount of goals over 82 games), and I don't think Provorov is going to be a dominant scorer in his first year, and with MDZ out a month ... UNDER.

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Pittsburgh and Washington are more or less unanimously agreed to be the two best teams in the Metropolitan Division. The Flyers will play each four times, with 16 possible points at stake. Over or under 8.5 standings points for the Flyers in the eight games they play against the Capitals and Penguins?

Al: OVER. I feel like the Flyers snap back into dominating the Penguins this year, winning 3 of four games. With that, a regulation win and overtime loss against the Capitals seems doable, putting them at 9 points.

Allison: You know what? I think the Capitals are gonna suck. You know why? Because I want it to happen. Because I have a feeling in my gut. And the Pens? Who cares. I’m not even going to discuss them. I’m going OVER based on feeling and raw emotion.

Andrew: UNDER. The Capitals are a beatable team and I could easily see a series split there. But the Pittsburgh Penguins seemed to utterly confound the Flyers (and really the entire league) after their coaching change last season. I'm not so confident that the PHI-PIT series ends favorably for the Flyers.

Brent: UNDER. Our time at the top is coming. Their time is now. The Flyers will dominate those guys later, but for this year they're still a cut above them.

Charlie: UNDER. The Flyers could skate with the Caps last year, but the Penguins ran them out of the building every time the two teams were both playing in a meaningful game. I say they split the series with Washington and take one game from Pittsburgh, coming up just short of nine points.

Joe: OVER. The team always comes out to play in these huge games. Expect them to drop all of their games against Columbus and Arizona, though.

Kelly: OVER. I think the Flyers win five of these eight games.

Kurt: OVER, and it will inevitably lead to us having high expectations come playoff time.

Kyle: UNDER. The Flyers are better, but I still think there’s a notable difference between them and the upper echelon.

Travis: It is a fact that the Flyers have never lost a hockey game to Pittsburgh or Washington. [Ed. note: This was Travis’ answer to this question, in its entirety, so I’m going to assume it’s an OVER.]

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The shootout. You know and hate it. Over or under 6.5 shootout losses for the Flyers this season? For context, the Flyers lost eight shootout games last year, and lost 11, 8, and 7 in the three previous 82-game NHL seasons.

Al: OVER. Shootouts are bad. The Flyers make me mad during shootouts. We hold these truths to be self-evident.

Allison: OVER. For sure. Knowing the Flyers, they will Flyers whenever possible, and that means losing as many shootouts as possible. God bless this league, but I hate it and it’s trash.

Andrew: UNDER. See Travis Konecny.

Brent: OVER. Fewer games will get decided in OT, meaning more shootouts, which means more shootout losses.

Charlie: UNDER. Screw it, I'll be the optimist. Travis Konecny should bring more skill to the shootout lineup, and there are enough other forwards (Giroux, Cousins) who have shown flashes of shootout usefulness in recent years. Luck finally starts breaking the Flyers' way.

Joe: OVER. The shootout is the kryptonite to the Flyers. After losing Sam "One true legend" Gagner, there isn't many outside of Giroux that'll dangle your socks off. Also the Flyers have really won about 1 shootout ever, and that was in 2010.

Kelly: OVER. Losing shootouts is what the Flyers DO.

Kurt: UNDER. I feel like Charlie Brown going to kick the football here, but this is the year that the Flyers don’t totally blow at the shootout. This is the year. (Either that, or they’ll make efforts to go harder in 3-on-3 to end the game before the shootout.)

Kyle: OVER. Always and forever their Achilles’ heel.

Travis: UNDER. The Flyers are going to be a good shootout team this year. I don't know why I am saying this.

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Ron Hextall made one in-season NHL trade last year, when he sent Luke Schenn and Vincent Lecavalier to L.A. Over/under 1.5 trades made by Hextall during the season this year?

Al: UNDER. This is kind of an admission that I think the Flyers will be playoff contenders this year. No one really sticks out as someone that could and should be moved outside of a deadline situation, so I doubt a trade happens at all this season.

Allison: UNDER. Ron Hextall is a known snake in the grass. This is typically thought of as a bad thing because it’s synonymous with treachery and deceit. These are good qualities in business, and Ron Hextall is the best at it. He’s gonna wait until his time comes and then he will strike with a vengeance known by no man. How many GMs have programmed a snake emoji after his name in their phones? Over/under set at 20.

Andrew: UNDER. The Flyers have numerous veterans on expiring contracts that make tempting trade bait, but if they are legitimately competing for playoff contention , they may see no good reason to sell mid-season. And Hextall is a reluctant buyer if it costs him picks or valuable building blocks.

Brent: OVER. There's a logjam or two on this roster. Look for Hextall to move a piece or two somewhat early in the season, then work a deadline deal.

Charlie: OVER. This is going to be a very interesting trade deadline, as not only will playoff teams be trying to improve and cellar dwellers looking to sell, but every team will be scrambling to prepare their rosters for the coming expansion draft. It's the perfect time for a shrewd GM like Hextall to swoop in and either add or dump some players. I think he'll be surprisingly active.

Joe: UNDER. Expecting a quiet deadline again by Hextall. No imminent moves are needed.

Kelly: UNDER. I think Hextall holds to his patient approach to team building and keeps things quiet this season, particularly with the expansion draft looming.

Kurt: OVER. Theory time! Before MDZ’s injury, Hextall made it clear he didn’t want to use LTIR. Sure, having actual cap space is a good thing in general, but what if he really wanted to bank as much space as he could in order to get ready for the trade deadline and/or any other moves? Let’s go with it.

Kyle: UNDER. This will be a quiet season on the trade front.

Travis: I think Ron Hextall hates trades. But the Flyers will be clearly contending at the deadline, and therefore he'll make at least two trades. OVER.

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The Flyers' goalie situation is an intriguing one, with two solid-to-great goalies fighting for time at the NHL level while both are looking for a new contract this offseason. Will one of them receive a contract extension during the season this year? Over or under on 0.5 new contracts given out to Steve Mason or Michal Neuvirth by the last day of the Flyers' season, (In other words: over if you think there WILL be an in-season extension for either one; under if you think there WILL NOT be an extension before the end of the year.)

Al: OVER. Come on -- you have two good goaltenders. You have to keep one on the books before the season is up, right?

Allison: OVER. The Flyers will reward at least one half of their tandem with an extension, even though I hope it’s both and that they are best friends forever and that they carry us to glory and the land of Eteranl Best Friends. It’ll probably be Mason, though. I’m sad.

Andrew: OVER. Neuvirth gets a contract.

Brent: UNDER, but one of them gets signed in the offseason. With Stolarz and Lyon in the system, one could get traded with the other one staying as the starter. Having too many good goalies is a good problem to have.

Charlie: OVER. Hextall strikes me as a GM who will not want to go into the offseason with the scenario of losing both of his goaltenders looming as a legitimate possibility. I suspect by February or March, we'll have a pretty good handle on which of Mason or Neuvirth has run away with the job, and Hextall will lock that guy up.

Joe: OVER. 50% chance of getting this one correct, right?

Kelly: OVER. I think Mason is extended before the end of the season.

Kurt: OVER. In yesterday’s section, I said that I guessed Mason would end up with the majority of the starts, so let’s guess that he gets a contract somewhere along the way to go with those starts.

Kyle: UNDER. I think they’ll let this situation play out the entire way. May the best man win!

Travis: Neither goalie will be extended until June. UNDER.

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Last season the Flyers hosted 3 playoff games. Can they do one (or more) better this year? Over or under 3.5 home playoff games for the Flyers this year.

Al: OVER. This is purely the homer in me speaking, but something tells me the Flyers make it to the second round this year. I don't really know why, but it just feels right.

Allison: OVER. Think this is the year the Flyers break the first round and someone finally takes me to a playoff game.

Andrew: OVER. All board the hype train!!!!

Brent: OVER. What's an offseason without unbridled optimism about the upcoming season? They pull a first-round upset and at least put a scare in their next opponent too.

Charlie: UNDER. Basically, this is asking if you think the Flyers will win a playoff round. If they were in the Atlantic Division, I'd take the over without hesitation. But if they make the playoffs, they'll most likely face one of Washington or Pittsburgh in round one, and I question whether they have the horses to spring the upset against those two juggernauts.

Joe: OVER. The team is largely better then last season. A 2nd round series hopefully will be in the cards come April.

Kelly: OVER. We are going at least two rounds this season baby!

Kurt: UNDER. God, it pains me, but at this point in time I can’t see this team beating Pittsburgh, Washington, or Tampa Bay in a seven-game series, which is basically what this question requires.

Kyle: OVER. They’ll win a playoff series.

Travis: OVER.

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Finally, the standings. Currently, on Bovada, you can bet on the Flyers finishing with over or under 92.5 standings points. [Ed. note: this was true at the time these questions were sent out; since then, said line has jumped to 93.5 points. Flyers hockey! Catch the fever!] Since we're all homers, let's add a few more to that and guess it ourselves. Over or under 95.5 standings points for the Flyers? The Flyers had 96 points last year.

Al: OVER. Like I said before, I think that last year's performance is a floor expectation for the Flyers. I don't necessarily think they'll be the best team in the league, but I definitely think they improve.

Allison: OVER, motherfucker! Pitter patter, let’s get at ‘er.

Andrew: OVER. An improved roster combined and a dash of better luck in shootouts pushes the Flyers past the 96 point threshold.

Brent: OVER. There's no adjustment to Hakstol's system, Konecny, Provorov and Weise are all upgrades over the people they are replacing, Jake will have a better season this year. All these things offset regression elsewhere. They'll be 45-26-11, good for third in the division.

Charlie: OVER. Third in the Metro. A solid step forward for Hextall, Hakstol and company.

Joe: OVER. Presidents’ Trophy or bust.

Kelly: OVER. Overall, this is a better team than last year. And they’ll perform better. It’s going to be fun.

Kurt: OVER. Optimism. It’s a thing now.

Kyle: OVER. I think 96-98 points is quite possible as long as the special teams improves (it should) and the team gets off to a better start (it should in Hakstol’s second year).

Travis: OVER. In fact, I am going to Vegas to put money down on this, bye.

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