With just hours until the puck drops on the 2022-23 season, the BSH staff thought it was a good idea to make some predictions about the upcoming season. Mostly so that we can roast each other about being wrong later. Without further ado...
Which Flyer do you expect to be surprised by (and why)?
Jay: Travis Konecny...now hear me out. I think we see TK bounce back and become more of a shoot-first threat in the offensive zone. He’ll lead the team in goals by the deadline.
Thomas: I think we’ll be surprised what Noah Cates can do during a full season and how entertaining he will be to watch.
Steve: Morgan Frost. Yeah, I’m probably setting myself up for disappointment, but that’s the Flyer way. This is the make or break year for Frosty and it would be nice not to see him melt.
Matt: Wade Allison. He plays 82 games and is among the Flyers’ top five in points.
Kurt: How can you be surprised by something you expect? Checkmate, dorks. Anyways. I’ll go Owen Tippett. What we have seen from him so far has been good, just need some bounces, and with enough time those come around.
Jeff: For the sake of fun and trust in young players, I’m going to go with Ronnie Attard. After getting a few games of experience last season, in which he played fairly well, I’m expecting him to play very well in 2022-23. It may take a bit for him to fully prove himself and show that he is a full-time NHLer, but by the end of the season I’m hopeful that he can be one.
Mike: Travis Sanheim takes another leap forward, steals away top pair minutes from Ivan Provorov, who gets traded in the offseason.
Ryan Q: I’m gonna agree with Kurt, who’s almost always wrong (owned) [ed. note: I’m not owned] and go with Owen Tippett. Tippett’s shown some encouraging flashes since joining the team last season, so maybe this year he’ll take a step forward and become a legitimate point producer in the top six.
Kelly: I’m putting my answers last because I have poor time management which means everyone already took my answers BUT just so you all know, I definitely thought of them first. Anyhoo, after watching the way Torts was pushing Tippett in-game in the last episode of The Standard, I think we’re going to see him really turn a page. Seems like it might be the perfect marriage of coach and player here.
Which Flyer do you expect to be disappointed in (and why)?
Jay: Ivan Provorov. This is going to be the season where he loses the fanbase. He will be saddled with carrying TDA who will be “unleashed” which will lead to a lot of frustration in the defensive zone. He will sink to new career-lows on the stat-sheet.
Thomas: Can I be disappointed when I assume I know who the bad players will be? Anyways, it’s probably Carter Hart because he might just end up sucking for another year.
Steve: Rasmus Ristolainen. I just want this dude to clear the crease. Please clear the crease. Carter Hart’s crops are dying.
Matt: James van Riemsdyk. I’ve always been a JVR fan and more recently a JVR defender, but I’m predicting that he ends his Flyers career with this season and it’s far from his best.
Kurt: I am on record as believing Travis Konecny is a good player on-balance who looks very good when he’s on a line with good players and does not when he is not. Not sure if you’ve noticed, but there are not many good players in this forward corps. So I think he ends up on record for another “disappointing” year, even though he’s probably still, like ... the second-most-talented player in this forward group? I dunno. Like Thomas kind of said, to be disappointed you have to have expectations that a guy is good, and he’s one of the only guys on this lineup that you can reasonably expect something from.
Jeff: I’m with Steve on this one. At this point, I find it hard to believe that Ristolainen can make himself worth the contract that he signed. Being physical is good, but if he can’t use that to play effective defense, that’s pretty disappointing, and I’m expecting that to happen again this season.
Mike: 2022-23 could end up being make or break in Philadelphia for Provorov, and I’m leaning towards break.
Ryan Q: I’d say Ristolainen, but he’s already disappointed me, so I’m gonna go with Morgan Frost instead. It’s a very important year for Frost, and he’ll need to really perform in order to earn a long-term role on this team. Unfortunately, I just don’t have a ton of confidence in him right now. And frankly, I’d love nothing more than to be proved wrong.
Kelly: I’m going off-board here and saying Tony Meatballs. Sticking To Hockey, he was so good in Carolina. And it’s so hard not to hope that he’ll also be that good here. But Ivan Provorov is not Jacob Slavin. So... yeah. I think the Meatball will not be spicy.
Give us one bold prediction for the Flyers this season.
Jay: The coaching staff will let “The Kids” grow and make mistakes without resigning them to the tired tribulations of learning from the pressbox.
Thomas: Another dog will take a big massive dump at center ice this season.
Steve: Kevin Hayes will step up and have a career year. Hayes has never broken 50 points (his high is 49 in 2016-17) but with all of the ice time that he will likely be getting and his role as one of the leaders on this team, I think Hayes will put up a fair share of points this season. After all, someone has to score, right?
Matt: Chuck Fletcher will make a mid-season hockey trade well before the deadline that everyone agrees actively makes the current Flyers roster better (and it does).
Kurt: Carter Hart finishes the season with exactly a .908 save percentage — right around what league-average was last year, and just in the area where we continue to be not entirely sure what he is as a goalie.
Jeff: It’s bold, but I’m going to predict that Cam Atkinson scores 30 goals. He has only reached the mark twice, and I don’t expect to be right on this one, but hey, what’s the fun in being reserved on something like this?
Mike: James van Riemsdyk leads the Flyers in goal scoring…until being traded during before the trade deadline.
Ryan Q: Travis Konecny leads the team in just about every major statistical category. He led the team in points last season, and I’m expecting his shooting percentage to increase a fair amount. A big season from TK would make this season somewhat bearable.
Kelly: I think we are going to agree with John Tortorella way, way more than we disagree with him. Which, for a Flyers coach, is pretty bold.
Speaking of bold predictions, give us yours for the Flyers’ record after 82 games.
Jay: it’s gonna be bad, folks! No idea on a W/L, but I’ll say 58 points.
Thomas: Let’s see...John Tortorella will be annoying to so many teams and produce overtime losses for this team like nothing, so let’s go with 19-48-15.
Steve: Last in the Metro, that is all I know.
Matt: 27-46-9. Better than last year, but still bad.
Kurt: 28-37-17. 73 points. Exactly the right amount to leave absolutely no one happy.
Jeff: 26-40-16. 68 points which is better than last season (call it the “I don’t want John Tortorella to yell at me” effect) but still not good.
Mike: 24-39-19. 69 points…nice?
Ryan Q: Definitely finishing with 69 points.
Kelly: Let’s go 22-41-19 which is like way too many loser points which is why I know it’ll happen.
Which team in the Metro scares you the most?
Jay: They all do! Canes are probably the best team in the division and the Rangers are going to be stupid good to the annoyance of everyone but New York.
Steve: You can’t be scared if you’re already dead.
Matt: The Philadelphia Flyers.
Kurt: Definitely the Flyers.
Jeff: Realistically, the New York Rangers or Hurricanes. But really, it’s the Flyers.
Mike: Considering we’ve got to watch the Flyers 82 times, absolutely the Flyers.
Ryan Q: The Rangers and Hurricanes scare me because they’re good. The Flyers scare me because they are absolutely not good.
Kelly: Shit when I wrote this question it didn’t occur to me that so many of you clever bastards would say the Flyers, lmfao.
How do you think the Metro shakes out as a whole?
Jay: The same four teams make the playoffs again, Canes, Rangers, Pens, and Caps.
Thomas: The Hurricanes at the top, Rangers will be next, and then there is an ugly battle between the Penguins, Capitals, and Blue Jackets for that final spot, since the Atlantic is too good to not have five teams going to the playoffs.
Steve: I think Carolina is winning the old Metro this season. Rangers have a good shot though, with their stars and presence in net. The Penguins will likely be up there as well, as their elderly stars continue to be good. That’s where it gets interesting though. Do the Caps start to fall off? Does Johnny Hockey help the Blue Jackets rise up in the standings? Do the Islanders and Devils...no, no, they stink. I think the Caps continue to hang tough at the top as long as they continue to get that Ovi magic.
Matt: In this order: Rangers, Canes, Caps, Blue Jackets, Penguins, Islanders, Devils, Flyers. Columbus finishes fourth but both Wild Card teams come from the Atlantic.
Kurt: ‘Canes, Capitals, Rangers, Pens (WC), Blue Jackets, Devils, Islanders, Flyers. I cannot bring myself to pick against anyone in that top four until I actually see them die a slow, painful death. (A hockey death, of course.)
Jeff: I think it ends up with the Rangers taking the division title in a close race with the Hurricanes. Following them up are the Penguins and the Capitals with the Devils and Blue Jackets missing out on the wild-card spots by five points or less. Bold, but very possible. The Islanders and Flyers will be at the bottom.
Mike: Canes, Rangers, Penguins, Blue Jackets, Capitals, Islanders, Devils, a rock, another rock, Flyers.
Ryan Q: Rangers, Hurricanes, Penguins, Capitals, Devils (!), Islanders, Blue Jackets, Flyers. I don’t see the Flyers being better than any team in the division.
Kelly: I’m gonna go Canes, Rangers, Capitals, Penguins, Devils, the Beej, Islanders, Flyers. Hopefully?