Right before the 2015-16 season got underway, we here at Broad Street Hockey took some guesses on twenty different over/under lines that we set for the Flyers on the season -- ten focusing on an individual level, ten focusing on a team level. We checked back in on our progress at the All-Star break, and now that things are all wrapped up it's time to take a final look at our guesses.
How did we do? Not that well! But let's jump right on in anyways, making a final ruling on each over/under that we set and adding in some quick thoughts on each one. (Note that these lines and any numbers given are for the regular season only.)
1. Last season, Michael Raffl scored 21 goals. Over/under on Raffl scoring 23.5 goals this season:
Ruling: Under. Raffl scored 13 goals this season.
Thoughts: Raffl had a solid season as a middle-six forward, playing his usual strong two-way possession game no matter what line he was on. But the mark of 24 goals -- three above the career-high he set in 2014-15 -- proved to be a bit lofty for Raffl. The potential of him getting top power play unit time as well as time on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek was enticing, but neither of those lasted very long into the season, making this a long shot before it really even got going.
2. Last season, Brayden Schenn had 47 points. Over/under on B. Schenn scoring 45.5 points this year:
Ruling: Over. Schenn had a career-high 59 points.
Thoughts: An iffy first couple of months of the season had this one in doubt for a while, but a torrid stretch by Schenn once the calendar flipped over to 2016 allowed Schenn to reach this mark with almost a month left in the season (he scored his 46th point of the season on March 11). It was the best season of his career by a substantial margin, and it's set the Flyers up for a very interesting contract negotiation this summer with the 24-year old.
3. Last season, Sean Couturier scored 37 points. Over/under on 42.5 points scored by Couturier this year:
Ruling: Under. Couturier just missed out on the mark, finishing the year with 39 points.
Thoughts: We all missed this one by just a hair, and it was an especially tough one to miss out on when you consider that Couturier -- a model of good health for most of his young NHL career -- missed 18 games with various injuries. It was still an excellent season for Couturier, who is locked up into the next decade, and if he stays healthy next year and plays like this again he very well could crack the 50-point mark.
4. Last season, Scott Laughton played in 31 NHL games and scored six points. Over/under on 23.5 points scored by Scott Laughton this year:
Ruling: Under. Laughton finished with 21 points.
Thoughts: Laughton fell just a bit short of this mark in his first full NHL season, as a solid stretch of play on the wing in the second half of the season wasn't quite enough to get him there. Still, things trended the right way for the speedy young forward after a pretty poor start to the year, and he'll be fighting for a top-9 spot in the lineup next year.
5. Over/under on 71.5 points scored by Jakub Voracek, after putting up 81 last year:
Ruling: Under. Voracek ended the year with 55 points.
Thoughts: Voracek's slow start and injury-plagued finish to the season made this one all but impossible to hit. A solid middle three months of the season, though (35 points in 36 games from December 1 through his injury in February), can leave fans optimistic that, with a summer to heal his injured foot, Voracek can get back to the levels he was at from 2012-15 when he was one of the top-scoring wingers in the NHL.
6. Last year, R.J. Umberger had 15 points (though, that's with a number of games missed). Will Umberger be over or under 27.5 points this year?
Ruling: Under. R.J. Umberger ended the year with 11 points in what will likely be his last season with the Flyers.
Thoughts: Uh ... how you doing over there, Travis? (But really, Umberger was largely ineffective for the first part of the season and then was a healthy scratch for almost every game after the All-Star break.)
7. Vincent Lecavalier played in 57 NHL games last year. Over or under on Lecavalier playing in 40.5 NHL games this year?
Ruling: Over. Lecavalier played in 49 regular season games.
Thoughts: Of course, only seven of those games were with the Flyers. What, like we were supposed to expect that someone was actually going to trade for Vincent Lecavalier? Good for Ron Hextall on making something happen here, though.
8. Shayne Gostisbehere played in just two NHL games last year and then got injured, but put on another great preseason this year. Will Gostisbehere be over or under 29.5 NHL games played?
Ruling: Over. Gostisbehere played in 64 games.
Thoughts: The only regret here is that it wasn't 82 games.
9. Will Evgeny Medvedev's average ice time per game be over or under 21:00? Last season, this would have been the third-highest average TOI number of any Flyers defenseman, after Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto.
Ruling: Under. Medvedev received 18:50 per game when he played.
Thoughts: Sadly, the Medvedev acquisition didn't quite work out the way the Flyers were clearly hoping it would. The veteran Russian fell out of Dave Hakstol's favor as the season went on and could never quite establish himself as a key guy in the eyes of the coach and front office.
10. Will Michal Neuvirth play in 28.5 games this year? (This includes starts AND relief appearances.) Last season, Steve Mason played in 51 games, Ray Emery played in 31 games, and Rob Zepp played in 10.
Ruling: Over. Neuvirth played in 32 games, including 29 starts.
Thoughts: The fact that Neuvirth was trusted enough by the coaching staff to get this many games despite the amount of time he spent dealing with injury throughout the season speaks to just how well he played in his first year with the Flyers.
11. Fancystats! Last season, the Flyers' score-adjusted Fenwick (via war-on-ice.com) was 48.6 percent. Will they be over or under that number this year?
Ruling: Over. The Flyers ended the year at 50.1% score-adjusted Fenwick via war-on-ice.
Thoughts: Philadelphia got out to a bad start on the possession front and they were just below the mark when we checked in at the half-way mark. But a very strong post-All Star break run in possession pushed them not only above this mark, but above the 50 percent break-even point. Dave Hakstol's system setting in and in-season development from the guys on the roster should leave fans hopeful that this team will be able to skate with most teams once the roster improves. I'll happily take the L on this one.
12. Slightly less fancy stats! After tallying the third-best power play in the NHL last year, with a 23.4% conversion rate, will the Flyers' PP this year convert on over or under 23.0% of its chances?
Ruling: Under. The Flyers were 11th in the NHL with a conversion rate of 18.9%.
Thoughts: The power play had its ups and downs, but a 23.0% power play would have been second in the entire NHL this year. Gostisbehere's presence made that group better, but they weren't nearly good enough to reach that level.
13. The penalty kill, meanwhile, was bad (not good) last year. At 77.1%, it was the fourth-worst in the NHL. Last year, the NHL's 15th-best penalty-killing team (in other words, roughly NHL-average) killed off 81.0% of its penalties. Will the Flyers be over or under that mark?
Ruling: Under. The Flyers would end up at 80.5% on the PK, good for 20th in the league.
Thoughts: A brutal start to the year for the penalty kill made this one tough to reach, even with an impressive stretch of penalty killing post-All Star break. Still, it was the second straight year that ended up being pretty disappointing for the penalty kill, and with a horrendous effort in the first three games of the Flyers' series against the Capitals, it wouldn't be surprising to see the penalty kill be a key point of focus for the team in some way (be it coaching work, coaching changes, or player acquisition) this offseason.
14. As a team, will the Flyers' save percentage this year be over or under .915? This includes any possible goalies forced into action, not just Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth. For reference, though, [in 2014-15] Mason [.928] and Neuvirth [.912] would have combined for a .921 on 2,557 total shots against.
Ruling: Over. Mason [.918] and Neuvirth [.924] teamed up to post a .920 save percentage this season.
Thoughts: The Flyers' goaltending was one of the biggest reasons that they managed to make the playoffs, as both of them managed to safely clear the roughly-league-average bar we set for them on this one.
15. As we well know by now, the Flyers, despite not being very good for a few years now, are near-incapable of losing to the Pittsburgh Penguins. Last season, the Flyers got eight out of eight possible points in games against their cross-state rivals. This year, will the Flyers pick up over or under 4.5 standings points across their four games against the Penguins?
Ruling: Under. The Flyers got just two points out of a possible eight against the Penguins.
Thoughts: I want to die.
16. Will Flyers players be handed over or under 3.5 games' worth of suspensions by the Department of Player Safety this year? Last year they had eight, all of course belonging to the since-departed Zac Rinaldo. The average NHL team, meanwhile, had 2.7 games' worth of suspensions given to them.
Ruling: Over. During the regular-season, Radko Gudas and Chris VandeVelde received suspensions that totaled up to five games.
Thoughts: The Flyers -- a team with no shortage of guys willing to play physical hockey -- certainly had their fair share of plays that were "on the edge" of legality this year. They got dinged by the Department of Player Safety on two of them in the regular season, which was enough to put them over this mark. (This does not include the suspensions that Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Brayden Schenn took during the playoffs.)
17. 3-on-3 play is new and fun this year! Will the Flyers' winning percentage in games that end in 3-on-3 play (i.e. after regulation but before the shootout) be over or under 48 percent?
Ruling: Over. The Flyers went 10-7 in 3-on-3 play, good for a winning percentage of 58.8%.
Thoughts: Seriously, y'all, how fun was Shayne Gostisbehere?
18. The Flyers began this week with eight defensemen on the NHL roster -- Streit, Schultz, Del Zotto, Medvedev, MacDonald, L. Schenn, Gudas, and Manning. By the time 3:00 p.m. on February 29 -- the trade deadline -- has come and gone, will over or under 1.5 of those eight defensemen have been traded?
Ruling: Under. Luke Schenn was traded, but that was it.
Thoughts: We'll never know to what extent Ron Hextall tried to deal any more of his defensemen at or around the trade deadline, but it seemed he was content with the one in-season move that he made. With a number of these guys left on the book for at least another season and with young guys such as Ivan Provorov knocking on the door, one can expect that the Flyers will continue to try and make room this summer.
19. More trade speculation! As you may or may not know, the Flyers have two players with the last name of "Schenn" on their roster. (Sources tell me that the two of them may actually be related to one another. Wow.) Over or under 1.5 Schenns still being on the roster after the trade deadline has passed?
Ruling: Under. The Flyers' volume of Schenns was cut in half in January as Luke was sent to Los Angeles.
Thoughts: The Flyers are probably thankful that only one Schenn was dealt, as the one that they kept managed to have the best season of his NHL career. But Luke was indeed dealt after years of trade speculation, giving this one to the under crowd.
20. Finally! Good old fashioned wins and losses. After they won 33 games last year, Vegas' line for Flyers wins this year is 37.5 -- will they end up over or under that number?
Ruling: Over. The Flyers would end their season at actual-.500, with an even 41 wins and 41 losses.
Thoughts: Their strong second half pushed the Flyers from right on the edge of this one to a few games over it. Oh, and they made the playoffs, too. Not a bad year, I say.
Here's how everyone did:
|23.5 goals for Raffl||Under||Over||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over|
|45.5 points for Schenn||Over||Under||Under||Over||Under||Under||Over||Over||Over||Under|
|42.5 points for Couturier||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over|
|23.5 points for Laughton||Under||Under||Under||Under||Over||Under||Over||Under||Under||Under|
|71.5 points for Voracek||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over|
|27.5 points for Umberger||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||Under||Over|
|40.5 games for Lecavalier||Over||Under||Over||Under||Under||Over||Under||Under||Under||Over|
|29.5 games for Gostisbehere||Over||Under||Under||Under||Over||Over||Under||Under||Over||Over|
|21:00 TOI per game for Medvedev||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Under||Under||Over||Over||Over|
|28.5 appearances for Neuvirth||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over||Under|
|48.6 score-adjusted Fenwick||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over|
|23.0% power play conversion||Under||Under||Over||Under||Under||Over||Over||Under||Over||Under|
|81.0% penalty kill conversion||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Under||Over||Under||Over||Over|
|.915 save percentage||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Under||Over||Over||Over|
|4.5 points vs. Penguins||Under||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over||Over|
|3.5 games of suspensions||Over||Under||Under||Under||Over||Under||Over||Under||Under||Under|
|48% wins in 3-on-3 play||Over||Over||Under||Over||Under||Over||Under||Under||Under||Over|
|1.5 defensemen traded||Under||Over||Under||Over||Over||Under||Under||Over||Over||Over|
|1.5 Schenns on team at year-end||Under||Under||Over||Over||Under||Under||Over||Under||Under||Under|
A few quick observations here:
- Congrats to Kelly, who was the clear winner here as her 12 correct answers were two more than anyone else had.
- Congrats to me, for finishing in last, because as we all know you save the best for last or something like that.
- Collectively, the nine of us averaged 8.9 correct answers out of a possible 20, meaning we were more likely to get each one wrong than right. This is the kind of expertise you can only find here on Broad Street Hockey dot com.
- Finally, there were three lines (Couturier scoring, Voracek scoring, and points vs. Pittsburgh) where each one of us agreed on the answer. It should come as no surprise that we got all three of them wrong. Again, thanks for reading.