Welcome to part thirteen of the Flyers in FHM series. Last where we left off, the Flyers were flying high, cruising into first place in the Metropolitan division virtually unchallenged. Alex Ovechkin was scoring for fun, Claude Giroux was dishing to him, and Cam York cemented himself as an NHL regular.
I asked in a poll last episode whether or not you would like to see a trade in this season, and quite overwhelmingly 76% of you told me to stay put, seeing as we’re already doing quite well.
Today, we’ll be playing up to and beyond the trade deadline, so let’s go:
Claude Giroux missed a few games with an injury to his leg, so I shifted the LW depth chart up and put Yegor Serdyuk on the fourth line.
Otherwise, the lineup remained the same since I have absolutely no reason to change it, since we’re performing so brilliantly.
We went 9-3-0 in the month of December to bring our total record to 30-8-1, as we sit six point above the Penguins in the Metro division. No particular game stood out to me here, but what proved noteworthy is the fact that Alex Ovechkin received five first star honors for being the best player in the game, which in FHM is pretty rare. He’s really having a remarkable season.
Normally here I would give a rundown of stats, however, I’m going to wait until the end of the article to go through that this time around.
However, before I move on to January, some bigs news happened towards the end of the month in that the Leafs’ Mitch Marner would be out effectively for the rest of the season with a fracture in his knee, taking 5 months to recover.
The injury bug hit us hard, as both Travis Sanheim and Joel Farabee would miss a few weeks each. Therefore, Tyler Toffoli and Yegor Zamula got some NHL playing time. They performed adamantly, and you can’t blame the month we had on them. Truthfully, we just showed some exhaustion.
We went 5-3-3, bringing our overall record to 35-12-4, which still leaves us in first place in the division, but the Penguins are inching closer, coming in five points behind. It’s important now that we keep sharp and don’t become complacent, because two losses and two Pittsburgh wins puts them only a point behind us.
Meanwhile, there’s a tie atop the Atlantic division with the Leafs and Senators both at 68 points. Taylor Hall, who signed with Ottawa last season, and Brady Tkachuk, are carrying them pretty heavily, so I’d predict they fall off eventually.
The standout game, for me, was a come from behind win against Edmonton away from home, as Filip Forsberg completed a hat trick to give us the lead with only two minutes left in regulation. Carter Hart also continues to shine as he has emerged as the top goaltender in the NHL. All hail the king.
Though we gained Farabee and Sanheim back, Sean Couturier would be lost for two weeks right at the beginning of February, as Dylan Larkin was shifted to the top line. I’m hoping that all these injuries happening now will prevent them from coming around for playoff time.
Additionally, the trade deadline came and went with only one real major deal of note taking place. The Canadiens sent Carey Price to the Golden Knights, with Montreal getting 21 year old winger Pavel Dorofeyev, a youngster with four star potential. Las Vegas now have a goaltending duo of Price and Marc-Andre Fleury, though Fleury at 37 years old has shown his age (2.5 stars now, though still rocks a 0.913% save percentage).
Despite our injury issues, we bounced back very well in February, going 11-1, including a nine game winning streak! This leaves us overall at 46-13-4, a whole twelve points clear of the Penguins.
In terms of stats, Alex Ovechkin continues to lead the way, and is almost certainly going to hit 50 goals. He now sits in third place in NHL history in goals, 10 away from taking over second place from Gordie Howe. The trio of Forsberg, Giroux, and DeBrincat are all above or at a point per game pace, with Dylan Larkin and Torey Krug close to that.
Once again, all of our skaters are above break even in Corsi-For, though with Couturier out injured, Filip Forsberg has overtaken for the team lead.
Anyways, that will do it for today. Next up, I’ll sim through the rest of the regular season up to the playoffs!
To leave you, I’ll propose a hypothetical scenario. I’ve seen some comments that because we’ve managed to do so well, that the series is losing its sense of realism. I understand that, and perhaps, to keep things fresh, I’m considering shaking things up a bit, since I get how it can become more repetitive. I’ve contemplated perhaps taking over another team, perhaps one that is at the bottom of the league, however, I’d have to change the “Flyers in FHM title”! Regardless, I’ll get to that at the end of this season and playoffs, and weigh my choices. If you have any ideas, please do let me know.
I’m very much looking forward to where this series can go!