Previous entries in the series
Welcome back, after a bit of a short break, to the FHM series. Last where we left off, the Flyers sat only one point, with one game in hand, back of the Columbus Blue Jackets for 1st place in the Metropolitan division. The final months of February and March await us as the trade deadline inches closely forward. Speaking of which, I asked you what I should do at the deadline, and by a slight majority of only two votes, you said I should do....nothing! So we will do nothing, and stay just the same for the final stretch of the season.
Additionally, before we kick on here, I wrote in the comments asking that if anyone wanted to know how any particular player was faring in this game save, that I’d pop a comment on it. Someone asked for the Flyers players I traded, and I summarized it as such:
Jake Voracek (DET) – has 34 pts in 50 games so far playing in Detroit, though they didn’t make the playoffs last year and probably won’t this year. He’s playing on the top line with Joe Veleno and Victor Olofsson (who they got from Buffalo in exchange for 4.5 star potential prospect Brendan Brisson).
James van Riemsdyk (NJD) – Also has 34 points on the season, funny enough, with 20 goals. Playing on the top line with Nico Hischier and John Hayden. The Devils are in last place in the Metro.
Scott Laughton (MIN) – Playing 4th line in Minnesota. He already has 24 points so far, so truthfully he’s better than a 4th liner. Regardless, the Wild are bad.
Michael Raffl (LAK) – Played 2019-20 with the Kings, but this season, is in the AHL with the Ontario Reign. Has 19 points in 37 games in the AHL.
Again, if there’s any player you want to find out more about, just pop a comment below or ask my via twitter @DrewMeyerHockey.
And now, let’s go:
The Flyers got off to a torrid start, thrashing the Oilers 7-0! Carter Hart shutout Connor McDavid and company as both Tomas Hertl and Dylan Larkin scored two goals.
However after that, they would go 5-6 as it was a case of hot and cold.
That little three game losing streak really stung me, even if it doesn’t really impact the standings much. We still sit in second place divisionally, though the Hurricanes have jumped ahead, with the Blue Jackets trailing in third.
I also cursed myself as the Penguins have crawled back to make it an interesting race for the wild card spots.
Adrian Kempe drew back into the team for a while as Morgan Frost was suspended three games for what FHM called an “on ice incident”, i.e. a bad hit that was suspendible. Come on Morgan, you know better.
Claude Giroux leads the team in points and is 5th in the NHL in points with 84, already eclipsing his 2019-20 season total. Otherwise, Dylan Larkin and Filip Forsberg are also above a point-per-game, with DeBrincat and Krug close behind.
Again, predictably, Sean Couturier continues to lead the Flyers and NHL in Corsi-for. I’m very happy that the system I have set up seems to be working wonders in terms of keeping possession. Really, the only flaw that I’ve seen so far is that the defense could be better, but that would have to be something I address later in the offseason.
There were a couple of interesting trades that were made by AI teams before the trade deadline.
- The Capitals sent Lars Eller to St Louis for Jake Allen.
- The Blue Jackets traded Ryan Kessler and Nathan Gerbe to Arizona for an unknown AHLer in Michael Bunting. Kessler was already part of an offseason trade as he was traded by the Ducks along with Sonny Milano in the previous offseason. Milano rejoins the Blue Jackets after signing with Anaheim as a free agent (oof).
- Winnipeg traded Dmytro Timashov to St Louis for Sami Blais.
- The Canadiens sent Sean Kuraly to Columbus for Brandon Dubinsky.
- Radko Gudas goes to San Jose as Tampa get Joel Kellman back.
- Mattias Ekholm joins the Canadiens as the Predators get back a three-star prospect, Joni Ikonen
- The biggest one no doubt was that Max Domi was traded to the Devils along with a 7th round pick, for essentially a bunch of nothing prospects.
What started off as another hot and cold month turned into a ten game winning streak by game 82!
The Flyers couldn’t pick a more opportune time to become red hot, to the tune of winning the Presidents Trophy! That’s right, the Flyers had the best record in the NHL!
Obviously then, we topped the division, though it was closer that you may have thought.
Though the Penguins made a late surge, they were unable to make the playoffs. You just hate to see it.
Our final season stats show that, as expected, Claude Giroux led the team in points with 94. That was good enough for 6th best in the NHL. Filip Forsberg and Dylan Larkin also racked up the points, as Alex DeBrincat really broke out. He’s now considered a first line talent by my scouts.
Corsi-wise, it’s same old same old as Sean Couturier runs away with it.
And finally, here is your 2020-21 playoff bracket!
The Capitals once again stand in our way. It was a tough series last year, and it will likely be another tough series this year.
As I did a few episodes back, the next one up will be solely dedicated to the ‘yoffs, regardless of how many paragraphs I have to write to summarize it!