Earlier today, we posted the first part of our yearly Over/Under game, guessing on various lines pertaining to the Flyers for the upcoming season. Here, we dive into the second part, making some team-level guesses on how things will go. Enjoy!
11. Last season, five Flyers had at least 20 goals — Claude Giroux (34), Sean Couturier (31), Travis Konecny (24), Wayne Simmonds (24), and Jakub Voracek (20). How does that group change? Does anyone drop from it? Anyone added to it? Over/under 5.5 Flyers with at least 20 goals.
Kelly: OVER. I think all five from last year can hit that and then we’ve got our pal JVR in the mix.
Kurt: OVER. Will guess that one of Giroux and Voracek DOESN’T get there, but Patrick does in his stead, as does JVR.
Brad: OVER. Oh neat, this kinda ties into my answer about Ghost and Provy combining for 30 goals. Giroux, Simmonds, JVR, Couturier, and Konecny all easily hit that number in my opinion, and I do think that second-half Patrick showed that he can get to 20 as well.
Steve: OVER. Giroux, JVR, Simmonds, Couturier, Konecny, and Voracek should fit the bill. Don’t sleep on Nolan Patrick here, he may be a member of this club as well, especially if he continues his play from the second half of last season.
Jake: OVER. Giroux, Voracek, Couturier, Konecny, Patrick, JVR, Simmonds all have the potential to and theoretically should hit that mark. If this team has trouble scoring this year, it’s not due to a lack of talent.
Jay: OVER. This might be the easiest over to take in this whole exercise. The addition of JVR and a full healthy season from Nolan Patrick solidify this pretty easily.
Craig: OVER. I don’t see any of the five 20-goal scorers from last season regressing enough to where they wouldn’t break 20 again this season. JVR should be clearing this bar as well, and I don’t think it’s crazy to put Patrick in this conversation as well.
Kyle: OVER. JVR’s here now, Patrick should improve, and as everyone else has said I don’t think the guys who did it last year should have any problems reaching 20 again. Give me all the goals, babby.
Mike: OVER. Oh yeah the Flyers are going to score. Thinking like seven or 8 with 20+ goals this year.
Steph: OVER. ALL OF THE GOALS FOR ALL OF THE GOOD BOYS.
Paul: OVER. What Steph said. Giroux, Konecny, Patrick, Simmonds, JVR, Voracek, Couturier. Book it.
Joe: OVER. Adding good players such as JVR and Vorobyev while subtracting bad players like Filppula will equal more offense. At least on paper this is the truth.
12. The penalty kill has been bad for a while now. Feeling lucky this year? Over/under 20.5 for the Flyers’ year-end NHL rank on the penalty kill by kill percentage (i.e. over if they rank 20th or better, under if 21st or worse).
Kelly: UNDER, because it’s still awful and they’ve done nothing to improve it. Like ... literally nothing.
Brad: OVER. Adding Vorobyev and losing Filppula is going to save the penalty kill. Well, maybe not save, but improve it enough that they’re not bottom-10.
Kurt: UNDER. Think it’ll be in the low 20s — a little better than last year mostly due to Filppula and Manning not being on it, but not markedly better. So close, but not quite there.
Steve: UNDER. In the words of Jay Sherman, “it stinks!”. That’s a reference to the cartoon The Critic from the mid-1990s. Hello, I am the old guy on BSH, how are you today? Get off my lawn!
Jake: UNDER. They should be better just from upgrading personnel, even though it wasn’t specifically addressed in the off-season. I just don’t think it’ll make a significant jump since the main problem is still here and running it.
Jay: UNDER. As Kelly said, it’s bad and they’ve done very little to convince me it will be better. They’ve done it with different players every year with the same result. There just happens to be one constant to improve it that they refuse to address.
Craig: UNDER. They replaced Filppula and Manning, and Vorobyev is a good addition, but I really don’t know if the penalty kill issues were because of personnel. They’ve changed forwards, defensemen, and goalies over the years under Lappy’s penalty kill and nothing has worked. Maybe not 29th, but I still don’t have much faith in the penalty kill.
Kyle: OVER. I know, Lappy is still the PK coach, but at some point it just has to get better right? This is probably the most optimistic prediction I’ll make.
Mike: OVER. I’m with Kyle, like it just has to accidentally get better at some point, right? Maybe, hopefully.
Steph: UNDER. Absolutely under. They did nothing to fix this thing. It’s a train wreck that will not course correct all by itself no matter how many “penalty kill specialists” they try to slap onto this team.
Paul: UNDER. They have done not a thing to fix it, so I don’t see why it would be any better. The system, from the looks of it in preseason, has remained the same. Last year it improved due to personnel changes, but that person was Matt Read and Matt Read is now gone. They kept Jori Lehtera because he’s “responsible”, so my guess is they use him on the penalty kill until Corban Knight is ready to play and then use Corban Knight on the PK, which is uh, still not good.
Joe: UNDER. Just in time for his farewell tour, Jori Lehtera will be on the Flyers PK once again. Expect all the pain, sadness and agony of the Flyers penalty kill for a brand new series of 82 games!
13. The Flyers last year were almost comically streaky. Is that going to be a thing again this year? Over/under 5.5 games for the length of their longest regular-season winning streak...
Kelly: OVER. Gonna hit ten in the other direction this year baby!
Brad: OVER. Ooooh, this is a fun one. This team is incredibly streaky, so why not?
Kurt: UNDER. I’ll guess five.
Steve: UNDER.I want this to be over so badly, but I think this is team is still going to be maddeningly inconsistent.
Jake: OVER. Seven. Seven will be the number. Trust me, I’m a doctor.
Jay: OVER. With OT wins, this should be easy to hit.
Craig: OVER. What Brad said.
Kyle: OVER. Team’s better, they’re streaky, they got this.
Mike: OVER. Always a streaky team, this should be easy.
Steph: OVER. Listen, the doctor said over so it’s over. No but really, I think this is the year the team turns the consistency corner and starts winning consistently.
Paul: OVER. This is the Flyers. They go on streaks. Both winning and losing. Strap in, it’s gonna be a bumpy ride.
Joe: OVER. A better roster, bad players gone, this should equal more wins, no? The Flyers have some stretches where they should be able to chain some wins together. In December they have a stretch of games against Buffalo, Winnipeg, Calgary, Edmonton, Vancouver and Detroit. Five of those teams picked within the top 12 of the draft last year, and while Winnipeg did make it to the conference finals, this looks to be the most winnable stretch of games for the Flyers.
14. ... and over/under 4.5 games for the length of their longest regular-season losing streak.
Kelly: Eeeehhhh I’m going to say OVER. I can see this team hitting the skids for a period and losing five or six.
Brad: OVER. Again, this team is incredibly streaky, so why not?
Kurt: UNDER. Let’s say four.
Steve: UNDER. I’m with Kurt here. Nothing too drastic, but just enough to make you sweat.
Jake: UNDER. It’s risky given the history of this team under this coach, but there SHOULD be too much talent on this team now to have a losing streak of 5 or more games.
Jay: OVER. See above, but with shootout losses.
Craig: OVER. What Brad said.
Kyle: UNDER. Going with what Kurt said as well, four sounds about right. And it’ll come after a five game winning streak, because ‘tis the way of the Flyera.
Mike: OVER. They’re gonna have a long losing streak just to piss us all off just because.
Steph: UNDER. They’re winners this year!
Paul: OVER. See: previous reasoning.
Joe: UNDER. 10 game losing streak = playoff berth? The Flyers, at least at this time, have a schedule that doesn’t look that intimidating. Sure, this comment could age terrible, but right now, at this moment, they have a very winnable game every two or three games.
15. You may have heard (I prefer to forget), but the last three Stanley Cups were all handed out to two teams in the Flyers’ own division. Last year, against those two teams, the Flyers took three out of four games against the eventual champion Capitals, and were swept in four regular-season contests against the Penguins. How do they stack up with the best of the best? Over/under 3.5 wins over the Penguins and Capitals in their eight games against those teams.
Kelly: OVER. BECAUSE I WANT IT TO BE TRUE.
Brad: UNDER. I think we get exactly three wins from the Pens and Caps, no more, no less.
Kurt: OVER. The Flyers actually played Washington pretty well in their head-to-head matchups, and the Penguins ... I don’t know, the Penguins signed Jack Johnson. Let me have this.
Steve: UNDER. The Flyers are the not ready for prime time players. They’re just not there yet.
Jake: OVER. I’m honestly not convinced that either of these teams are significantly better than the Flyers this year. I really don’t see why the Flyers couldn’t win 4-5 of these games.
Jay: UNDER. Pens are in the Flyers head and I wouldn’t be surprised to be swept again.
Craig: UNDER. I’m thinking they get two wins against Washington and one against Pittsburgh, which will be the outdoor game.
Kyle: OVER. We gotta start beating Pittsburgh at some point, right? Why not start now?
Mike: UNDER. Just need to win that outdoor game, the rest can all be losses.
Steph: OVER. I think they are better on paper than at least the Caps, and they should be able to get at least one from the Pens. So maybe 4/8.
Paul: OVER. Over, because Claude Giroux is still fuming about the Pittsburgh series. Our captain will not stand for this.
Joe: OVER. For some reason they match-up well against Washington, but on the other side of the coin the Penguins have had their number for the last couple years. If they’re able to steal a game or two from Pittsburgh, for the sake of this over/under, as well as our sanity, they should be good.
16. The Flyers had 14 OT losses last season. They seem to collect OT losses a lot. Does that continue? Over/under 10.5 OT losses this coming season.
Kelly: Hmm ... I mean ... Dave loves to play for the loser point, and it isn’t a loser point if you win in OT, so ... OVER.
Brad: OVER. With how often the Flyers stage third period comebacks themselves, and blow late game leads, we’re probably in for a lot of overtime - again. If you give them 50% of the games decided in OT, and 0% of the shootout games, (ok that’s a little dramatic, but you get the point) I think you end up with at least eleven OT/SO losses, yeah.
Kurt: OVER. In Hak’s tenure, no NHL team has played in overtime more than the Flyers. If that trend continues, and the Flyers lose about half of those games, this becomes an easy over. Guess we’ll see if it continues.
Steve: OVER. I wish I could somehow go with even. Flyers OT losses are a way of life at this point.
Jake: OVER. This is a Hakstol thing. He plays it safe and that leads to a large number of OT games. Loser points aplenty, hopefully it’s just not as much as last year.
Jay: OVER. As Kurt states above, there are just a ton of OT Flyers hockey and sometimes it just doesn’t end well.
Craig: OVER. They’ve had 10 or more OT losses in each of the last five seasons. They’ll break 11 this year.
Kyle: OVER. This always happens so expecting anything else at this point would be silly.
Steph: OVER. Conservative coach plays conservatively. Fighting for that loser point all day.
Paul: UNDER. Because everyone else chose over, and I want to be the smart one.
Joe: OVER. The Flyers have accumulated a loser point in 10+ games every season since 2012. Just going to follow the trendline here.
17. Last year, the Flyers had one awards finalist, that being Sean Couturier for the Selke Trophy. Does he get back there? Does anyone else get some pub? Over/under 0.5 Flyers named as finalists for the Hart, Calder, Norris, Vezina, Lady Byng, or Selke awards.
Kelly: OVER. Couturier will get a nod.
Brad: OVER. I agree with Kelly, Couturier will be a Selke nominee this season.
Kurt: UNDER. And I don’t like it.
Steve: OVER. Coot got on the Selke radar. You’re invisible until they notice you, and then they notice you forever, right? RIGHT???
Jake: OVER. Going bold(ish) again. This is the year Sean Couturier takes home the Selke. Not just a finalist, he’s taking the dang thing home.
Jay: OVER. I think Couturier is essentially a lock for the Selke, with Provorov/Ghost likely getting a nod as well.
Craig: OVER. Once you’re named a Selke finalist, so Couturier a Selke finalist for life. Also, #GhostForNorris.
Kyle: OVER. Basically answered this already, but Ghost or Provy gets a Norris nod, and Couturier is a virtual lock for a Selke nomination.
Steph: OVER. Couturier for Selke and Gostisbehere for Norris.
Paul: OVER. Couturier for Selke, Gostisbehere for Norris, Giroux for Hart.
Joe: OVER. In a league where good defensive center + scoring points = selke we should hope to see Couturier’s name amongst the Selke finalists again.
18. The Flyers ended last season with 98 points in the standings. The natural next step forward is cracking triple digits. Do they take it? Over/under 99.5 standings points.
Kelly: OVER I feel confident thinking that this is a 100 point team. Unless uh...things go horribly wrong.
Brad: UNDER. The goalies, you guys. The goalies. I just don’t trust them. They’ll make the playoffs but won’t be a 100-point team.
Kurt: UNDER. I think this team is better on paper than last year, but a little bit of drop-off in a couple of areas (i.e. Giroux’s scoring) will keep them from getting way more points.
Steve: OVER. This is a better team than last year in most regards. Now after we go through those 4.5 goalies in a week and we’re in the STARTER HART era...oh hell yes. No, I’m not high on Jorald’s supply. Why do you ask?
Jake: OVER. On paper, I believe this team is at least one win better than last year’s squad. Injuries and putting players in position to succeed are an obvious factor but I think 100 points is attainable.
Jay: UNDER. This team will still make the playoffs, but beyond the first defensive pairing and goalie situation, I don’t know if this team can make it over the 100 point hump.
Craig: OVER. They almost did it last year, and this year’s goalie injury carousel shouldn’t be as bad (shouldn’t be). They also added JVR to give them three really good lines.
Kyle: OVER. Optimism baby! The theme of this has been “they’re better” so there’s no reason why they can’t reach 100 points.
Mike: UNDER. By one freaking point, probably.
Steph: OVER. I have had 102 points in my head all week and I am sticking with it.
Paul: OVER. I’m with Steph, 102 sounds right. This team is going to score a ton of goals and win some games because it.
Joe: OVER. Last season the Flyers finished with 98 points; with a lineup that will hopefully be optimized they should see an improvement.
19. No playoff series wins since 2012. No home ice in a playoff series since then either. Can they change those things? Over/under 3.5 home playoff games for the Flyers this year.
Kelly: OVER. We are getting two rounds this season, fam.
Brad: UNDER. Sigh. I just don’t see it. I don’t think they get home ice advantage, so they’ll be going up against a higher seed, and likely a better team. Unless they somehow draw a round one opponent in a team like New Jersey or Carolina, I think they get bounced in round one again.
Kurt: OVER. Let’s do that optimism.
Steve: UNDER. Sadly, I’m predicting another tough first round loss this year. PROVE ME WRONG.
Jake: OVER. It may come from being the home team in the first round and losing in 7 games. It may come from actually advancing in the playoffs. Theoretically this team should be better than last year so I’m taking the over.
Jay: UNDER. I’m not feeling particularly confident in playing the Penguins/Leafs/Lightning in the first round.
Kyle: OVER. H*ck yes we’re getting two rounds, Kelly.
Craig: OVER. Sure, I’ll say over. I think this team should at least be competitive in the postseason, which we haven’t been able to say in awhile. I don’t want to think about this team losing in the first round again.
Mike: OVER. It’s happening!
Steph: OVER. Let’s make it to the second round for the love of our sanity.
Paul: OVER. We’re going to round two, baby.
Joe: OVER. Taking the Penguins to six games last season while starting the equivalent to a bantam back-up goalie in net was a feat within itself. With a (hopefully) more healthy Neuvirth, more seasoned Alex Lyon and Stolarz back, and the ever so slim possibility of seeing Carter Hart, it might, just might, give us at least one goalie who isn’t bad and can snag a playoff series.
20. Finally, let’s end on a lighter note. Over/under 0.5 games that have to be paused because of something Gritty did.
Kelly: UNDER. Gritty is a saint.
Brad: UNDER. I don’t think the Flyers will let him do anything that even has the slightest chance of impacting a game starting or stopping. The bracelet incident will make them super safe about it.
Kurt: UNDER. Prove me wrong, you beautiful orange creature.
Steve: OVER. Gritty is a menace, but he’s OUR menace. I’m J Jonah Jameson for gritty, but if Jonah supported Spider-Man being a menace. Gritty is an agent of chaos. All is going according to plan.
Jake: UNDER. Gritty is the hero this organization needs. Controlled chaos is his game.
Jay: OVER. He’s a National hero now, he’s gonna do something that delays the game and gain more notoriety.
Kyle: UNDER. He won’t do anything THAT bad.
Craig: OVER. Long live Gritty.
Mike: OVER. We will all be Gritnesses.
Steph: OVER. I love my large demon son.
Paul: OVER. Because if I didn’t pick over, Gritty said he’d fight me.
Joe: OVER. He’s Gritty. Do we really need an explanation? Oh, you’re asking for a prediction? Hmm, well ok. Picture this, it’s game 82. The Flyers need to win and they’re in the playoffs. Lauren Hart and Kate Smith finish God Bless America. The arena goes dark… a single spotlight shines at center ice. Descending from the video board is Gritty. But, his cable gets stuck. Gritty is stuck dangling there. It takes a team of six people forty minutes to get him down. Gary Bettman, who has been furious with Gritty’s antics all season long, decides he’s had enough. He forfeits the game, the Flyers lose.