The end has come at last. Eighty-two games have now been played, wrapping up the 2018-19 season for the non-playoff bound Philadelphia Flyers.
On this season finale episode of the postgame show, I take a look back at the season, try to take away a few positives (Carter Hart, Oskar Lindblom, Sean Couturier) and look towards the upcoming offseason- the most important for this franchise in over a decade, at least (please bring me Joel Quenneville and Erik Karlsson, Chucky).
And oh hey, Mark Friedman made his NHL debut in this actual game against the Carolina Hurricanes, who locked up the “not Tampa” first round matchup with their 4-3 win at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday night.
The 24-year-old 2014 third-round pick (86th overall) logged 12:33 of ice time in his first game with the big club, actually besting Robert Hagg’s 8:14 in the seven-man rotation. Friedman’s debut makes him the fourth member of Ron Hextall’s inaugural draft class to suit up for the Flyers this season.
Travis Sanheim (R1/17) played all 82 games and took home the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as the team’s most improved player. Nicolas Aube-Kubel (R2/48) dressed for nine games this year, and will presumably battle for a bottom-six role in next season’s training camp. And Oskar Lindblom (R5/138) capped off an impressive rookie-plus season by scoring his 17th goal in the final game.
The 23-year-old Swede put up 33 points and finished the year strong, scoring four goals in the final five games. Having only played 23 games last year (the cutoff is 25) Lindblom qualified as a rookie this season, and since January ninth, no rookie has scored more goals than Lindblom’s 13. No idea what the January 9 threshold is all about, but that seems like an encouraging statistic.
Ok, that’s enough typing. Listen to me talking now.