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BSH Over-Under Game 2016-17: Revisiting our (bad) preseason predictions

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Back before the season began, we here at BSH made some predictions about this season. They didn’t go very well!

Kate Frese / SB Nation

Remember October? Back when we were all naive and thought that this Flyers season would be good rather than miserable? The good old days, as you may know them.

Well! Back then, right before the season began, we here at BSH took our chances at guessing over or under on 20 Flyers-related questions as they pertained to this season. The reasons for our answers at the time can be found here and here. Anywho, with the season over, it’s now time for us to go back and see just how we did.

You may be shocked to hear that, since we were all pretty optimistic about a season that did not go well, we didn’t do a great job on these! Still, follow along to see how we fared.

***

1. Claude Giroux posted 67 points in 78 games last year. Let's hope he's got a nice season in him this year. Over/under on Giroux tallying 69.5 points this season?

Who took the over: Everyone
Who took the under: No one
The outcome: Under. Giroux ended the year with 58 points in 82 games.

It's hard to deny that Claude Giroux just wasn't at the level this year that Flyers fans grew used to during the prime of his career, and his struggles scoring at even strength were particularly alarming. Giroux was excellent on the power play as he always is, but even with that bump, he missed this mark by double-digits despite playing in all 82 games. If you're an optimist, you can write some of that dip in production off to his recovering from offseason hip surgery, but in any case, it's tough to know what the Flyers can expect from their No. 1 center next year.

2. Shayne Gostisbehere's extremely good rookie year saw him tally 46 points (in 64 games). How does he do with a full season of games? Over/under on Gostisbehere collecting 48.5 points.

Who took the over: Andrew, Brent, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Al, Allison, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Kurt
The outcome: Under. Gostisbehere finished the season with 39 points in 76 games.

A year after it seemed like everything he touched turned to gold, Shayne Gostisbehere found himself on the far opposite end of the spectrum this year when it came to luck on the ice. A late run made his overall numbers look decent, but early-season struggles of sorts put this one out of reach by around the halfway mark of the season. There was still a lot to like about Ghost's year, though, and there's reason to think things will go well for him next year.

3. Sean Couturier missed 18 games last year but still tied a career-high with 39 points. That would've been a 50-point pace over 82 games, so let's start there: over/under Couturier reaching 49.5 points this season?

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Kurt, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Brent
The outcome: Under. Couturier finished with 34 points in 66 games, which would have been a 42-point pace in 82 games.

For the second straight year, the injury bug hit the Flyers' nominal second-line center, as a leg injury in November took Couturier out for a month and essentially pulled this one all the way out of reach for him. On top of that, Couturier's per-game scoring rates did take a bit of a hit this year — even playing a full season, he'd have fallen a few points short of that 50-point mark unless he'd picked up the pace a bit. The big culprit here (beyond injuries) was Couturier's relative uselessness on the power play; his 5-on-5 scoring numbers were downright respectable (good, even!), but his totally ineffectual performance with the man-advantage took this out of reach for him. With the reinforcements the Flyers have coming next year, you wonder if the team should just take him off of the power play entirely in order to save his minutes for even strength and the penalty kill, where he excels most.

4. A scalding-hot second half of the season led Brayden Schenn to a career-high 59 points in 2015-16. Over/under 52.5 points for Schenn this year? (Remember, Schenn is suspended for the first three games in 2016-17.)

Who took the over: Andrew, Brent, Charlie, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Al, Allison, Joe, Kelly, Kurt
The outcome: Over. Schenn had 55 points this year, playing in every game after his suspension.

In a lot of ways, Schenn was more or less the same player this season that he had been in 2015-16. His overall 5-on-5 performance wasn't particularly inspiring (though it improved significantly as the year went on), but in the high slot on the to power play unit, Schenn was as effective as ever, scoring a league-leading — you read that correctly! — 17 power-play goals this year. Reasonable minds can quibble about what Schenn's role should be on the team and how impactful he is on the whole, but it's impossible to deny that the 25-year old has produced for the Flyers in recent years.

5. Ivan Provorov is on the Flyers! By the time this season has ended, will Provorov have averaged over or under 21:00 of total ice time per game? For some context, last year two Flyers defensemen had an average greater than this: Michael Del Zotto, at 23:24 per game, and Mark Streit, at 21:52 per game.

Who took the over: Allison, Andrew, Joe, Kelly, Kurt, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Al, Brent, Charlie
The outcome: Over. Provorov finished the year with 21:59 of ice time per game.

You can at least in part thank the down-year by Gostisbehere and the lack of game-changing talent elsewhere on defense for this one, but it became fairly clear by around Thanksgiving that Ivan Provorov was the most talented defenseman on the Flyers' roster, and Dave Hakstol played him as such. 19/20-year-old rookies rarely play as much as Provorov did this year, and you would think he'll be playing at least that much going forward even as the Flyers bolster their defense corps in the coming seasons. He's good at this whole hockey thing, is what I'm getting at here. Enjoy it.

6. Still talking about Ivan Provorov! Will Provorov's on-ice Corsi-For percentage this season be over or under 50 percent? (We'll measure this using corsica.hockey's numbers.)

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Kurt, Travis
Who took the under: Brent, Kyle
The outcome: Under. Provorov’s season-ending Corsi For % on corsica.hockey was 49.23 percent.

And yet, despite Ivan Provorov being good at this whole hockey thing, there's essentially one reason why the over didn't hit on this one, and it ... hold that thought.

7. We all remember Andrew MacDonald's 2015-16 season — in the minors, then suddenly an important piece of the Flyers' blue line down the stretch. Will Andrew MacDonald play over or under 41.5 NHL games with the Flyers this year? (Perhaps not coincidentally, that's how many games he'd need to play in order to fulfill the Flyers' obligation to expose a player with NHL experience in next summer's expansion draft.)

Who took the over: Allison, Andrew, Brent, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Al, Kurt
The outcome: Over. MacDonald played in 73 games this year.

That's the one! A year after being buried in the AHL for two-thirds of the season, Andrew MacDonald was one of Dave Hakstol's most trusted defenseman from mid-November on, only getting healthy-scratched a few times in October and November and otherwise being a lineup mainstay. It seems pretty clear that the Flyers saw something different in MacDonald this year than they had in 2014-15 and in early 2015-16, and the fact that they paired him with Provorov (again, the team's best defenseman) shows the belief they had in him. Now, whether or not the Flyers should have that kind of confidence in the Nova Scotia native ... well, we've got a whole summer to talk about that.

8. Will Steve Mason play in over or under 49.5 games this year? Note that this includes starts AND relief appearances. Last year, in the regular season, Mason played in 54 games.

Who took the over: Al, Brent, Kelly, Kurt, Kyle
Who took the under: Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Joe, Travis
The outcome: Over. Mason played in 58 games this year, 54 of which were starts.

Despite his having a markedly worse season than he did last year (and in every other year he's played in a Flyers uniform), Mason ended the year having played more games than he did in 2015-16, clearing the 50-game bar that we set for him. Mason's season was a disappointment by any measure, and the fact that the team signed Michal Neuvirth and not him at the trade deadline (coupled with some of Mason's comments after the season ended) make it seem fairly likely that he won't be back with the Flyers next year. Yet, despite that, Hakstol wasn't afraid to lean on him this season. Makes you think, doesn't it?

9. Wayne Simmonds is one of the NHL's best power-play scorers, averaging 13.2 power play goals per 82 games during his Flyers career. Over or under Wayne Simmonds tallying 13.5 power play goals this season?

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Brent, Joe, Kelly, Kurt, Travis
Who took the under: Andrew, Charlie, Kyle
The outcome: Over. Simmonds had 16 power play goals this season.

Not only did Simmonds beat his career average, he set a career-high in power play goals this season. And every one of them was as greasy as a cheesesteak at Steve's. Wayne Simmonds is truly the light in so many of our lives.

10. The Flyers have a few young defensemen that we're still waiting to see make their NHL debut. Over or under on Travis Sanheim and Samuel Morin having played in 0.5 NHL games combined by January 1, 2017? (In other words, "over" if you think either of them will make their NHL debut before January 1, "under" if you do not.)

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Brent, Joe, Kelly, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Andrew, Charlie, Kurt
The outcome: Under. Sanheim didn’t play at all with the Flyers this season, while Morin didn’t make it up until April 4.

Despite some preseason hype, as well as a lot of in-season noise for both of them, neither Morin nor Sanheim got an extended look with the big club this season, and neither one had a chance to make an impact early in the year. It seems likely that they'll both have a realistic chance of making the big club next year, but there will definitely be competition for the two spots on the team's blue line that figure to be up for grabs.

11. 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.

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Travis
Who took the under: Brent, Kurt, Kyle
The outcome: Under. The Flyers’ season-ending score-adjusted Fenwick percentage was 50.97 percent, just missing the mark.

By the skin of their teeth (incredibly, this would have swung the other way if the Flyers had picked up two more shots and allowed two fewer), the Flyers managed to just miss out on the benchmark we set for them here, after spending a good part of the season above it. It seemed like later on in the season, the Flyers were trading shot quantity for shot quality, in a tactical change that was probably for the best even if it hurt this particular number. Personnel is obviously crucial to what you can do systemically, but it should be interesting to see what kind of a style the Flyers try to play in the offensive zone next year — and how they fare defensively with what should be new players.

12. 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?

Who took the over: Everyone
Who took the under: No one
The outcome: Under. The Flyers’ PP ended the year at 19.49% and the PK at 79.76%, for a combined percentage of 99.25% on the season.

The Flyers’ power play slightly improved from last season, while the penalty kill dropped off a bit. By most measures, though, it was an underwhelming season for the Flyers’ special teams, which matters on a team like this that can be lacking in 5-on-5 offense a bit. Some day we’ll have a second power play unit that’s capable of doing things. Some day...

13. 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.

Who took the over: Allison, Andrew, Brent, Charlie, Kelly, Kyle
Who took the under: Al, Joe, Kurt, Travis
The outcome: Under. The Flyers’ team-level save percentage this season was .905, which is not good (for reference, league-average save percentage this year was .913).

We should've just known it, right? That the moment we were confident and excited about our team's goaltending situation, the team's two NHL goalies would both turn in a clunker of a season? We're Flyers fans. This is what happens to us. Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth were both varying degrees of below-average for the vast majority of this season, and you could pretty reasonably argue that that's among the biggest reasons the Flyers are watching hockey right now instead of playing it.

14. 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.

Who took the over: Brent, Joe, Kyle
Who took the under: Al, Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Kelly, Kurt, Travis
The outcome: Under. Flyers defensemen finished the season with 35 goals.

They came reasonably close here, with five different defensemen picking up at least five goals. But Gostisbehere's cold streak and generally underwhelming performances by a number of other guys put the team just a bit short here. Given the talent coming up, though, it wouldn't be surprising to see this be the last year for a while in which the Flyers are under this mark.

15. 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?

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Joe, Kelly, Kurt, Travis
Who took the under: Andrew, Brent, Charlie, Kyle
The outcome: Under. Four points against the Pens, three against the Capitals. (That’s seven!)

See this one sucks because the Flyers actually played the Penguins really well this year! Even in their two losses — one at home in October, one in the Stadium Series game — the Flyers played a pretty strong all-around game and came home empty-handed largely because of a couple of untimely breakdowns, bad goaltending, and bad luck. And if one of those losses is a win, we're looking at a different outcome here. Blah. (Washington is really good, though. Flyers seemed pretty regularly outclassed by them.)

16. 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.

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Brent, Joe, Kelly, Kyle
Who took the under: Andrew, Charlie, Kurt, Travis
The outcome: Under. The Flyers had a record of 7-5 this year in shootouts.

In some ways, it makes complete sense that in a season where nearly everything that could go wrong did go wrong, the Flyers finally have a year in which they finish with a winning record in shootouts. In fact, the Flyers had the second-most shootout wins of any team in the league this year. The most interesting part here is that you can mostly thank the goalies for this turnaround — because they'd had brutal career shootout records before this year, only to perform well in the skills competition this season. This is probably not a big sign of things to come, given how random shootouts really are, but who the hell knows.

17. 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?

Who took the over: Brent, Charlie, Kurt, Travis
Who took the under: Al, Allison, Andrew, Joe, Kelly, Kyle
The outcome: Over. “But wait,” you say. “Didn’t the Flyers only have one trade this season?” WRONG! Ron Hextall traded Petr Straka to the Devils back in November. Backdoor cover!

I really should have just said "1.5 NHL trades", because I feel like the fact that the Straka trade put this over the top is a little unfair. Oh well, I don't make the rules. (This is a lie; I actually did make the rules for this competition, but I will stick to the exact wording of the question.) On a more serious level, should Hextall have made more than one meaningful trade this season? Should they have tried to sell another piece? Tried to make a big move for a possible core piece? In his time with the Flyers, Hextall has been pretty conservative in the trade market outside of his moves to sell off salary. We'll see if that changes as the Flyers (hopefully) get better and some of their good young players develop into exciting pieces.

18. 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.)

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Andrew, Charlie, Joe, Kelly, Kurt
Who took the under: Brent, Kyle, Travis
The outcome: Over. As you know, Michal Neuvirth signed a new contract on the day of the trade deadline.

No, I can't explain why Michal Neuvirth only started three games in the time between his contract extension and his season-ending injury against New Jersey. No, I can't explain how and why the Flyers are so willing to lean on Steve Mason as the season unfolds, only to show limited interest in bringing him back. Everything about this situation confuses me. I have a lot of questions. But yes, the Flyers did re-sign a goalie. The only question that remains is what exactly his role is expected to be next year. (And don't you dare tell me it's "to play for the Vegas Golden Knights".)

19. 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.

Who took the over: Al, Allison, Andrew, Brent, Joe, Kelly, Kyle, Travis
Who took the under: Charlie, Kurt
The outcome: Under. Did you hear? The Flyers missed the playoffs.

Remember when we were all optimistic about the Flyers and stuff?

20. 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.

Who took the over: Everyone
Who took the under: No one
The outcome: Under. The Flyers finished the season with 88 points.

Fuck this season, man.

***

With that, your winner is ...

BSH Over-Under Game 2016-17

Line Detail Outcome Al Allison Andrew Brent Charlie Joe Kelly Kurt Kyle Travis
Line Detail Outcome Al Allison Andrew Brent Charlie Joe Kelly Kurt Kyle Travis
Giroux 69.5 points 57 U O O O O O O O O O O
Ghost 48.5 points 39 U U U O O U U U U O O
Coots 49.5 points 34 U O O O U O O O O O O
Schenn 52.5 points 55 O U U O O O U U U O O
Provorov 21:00 ATOI 21:59 O U O O U U O O O O O
Provorov 50% CF 49.23 U O O O U O O O O U O
AMac 41.5 NHL games Too many O U O O O O O O U O O
Mason 49.5 games 58 O O U U O U U O O O U
Simmonds 13.5 PPG 16 O O O U O U O O O U O
Sanheim/Morin debut Nope U O O U O U O O U O O
Flyers 51% S-A FF 50.97 U O O O U O O O U U O
PP + PK @ 100.7% 99.3 U O O O O O O O O O O
Goalies @ .918 SV% Bad U U O O O O U O U O U
40.5 goals from D-men 35 U U U U O U O U U O U
8.5 points vs. PIT/WAS 7 U O O U U U O O O U O
6.5 SO losses 5 U O O U O U O O U O U
1.5 trades 2 O U U U O O U U O U O
Mase/Neuvy extended Neuvirth O O O O U O O O O U U
3.5 home playoff games :( U O O O O U O O U O O
95.5 points 88 U O O O O O O O O O O
Total Score: 6 6 8 9 10 6 7 12 7 8

... oh hey it’s me! Wow! Some other notes:

  • For the second straight year, every time our staff unanimously agreed on a question, we ended up being wrong.
  • We as a writing staff averaged 7.9 correct answers out of a possible 20. Thank you for reading and listening to our hockey opinions for some reason.

Thanks for reading. We’ll try and do better next year. You try and do the same, the Flyers.