Welcome to the BSH Weekly Power Rankings—a definitive list of what was good and what was bad in the BSH-verse this week.
1. Connor Bedard
Bedard absolutely tore up the World Juniors, scoring 23 points in 8 games en route to a gold medal for Canada. Of course, Bedard is playing against teenagers, but, still, he looks like he could be the best player on the Flyers right this instant. This tournament felt like the last jewel in his pre-draft crown before he goes on to change the fortunes of an entire franchise.
2. Kevin Hayes
Hayes had 1 goal and 4 assists in the Flyers 2 games this week, but it’s actually the announcement of Hayes as a 2023 NHL All-Star that solidifies his place on this list. As Flyers fans—the people who watch this team game in and game out—we’d all probably pick at least two names from the current lineup who we’d place ahead of Hayes as worthy of All-Star status, but somehow the veteran who’s been demoted from center to wing and has been scratched more than once this season will be representing the great city of Philadelphia next month in Sunrise.
3. Travis Konecny
Konecny just so happens to be one of those guys Flyers fans’d probably pick as their All-Star representative. Like Hayes and also Morgan Frost, Konecny had 5 points this week, but he scored a goal in each game and brought his season totals to 20 goals and 20 assists in 33 games. He’s already got more goals than he’s scored in either of the last two seasons. It kind of feels like the Konecny we all thought we might see develop pre-pandemic is finally here, just a few seasons late.
4. Mars One / Marte Um (dir. Gabriel Martins, 2022)
This Brazilian family drama hit Netflix this week without much fanfare or even a boost into the streaming service’s maybe-rigged, maybe-just-made-up top 10, but deserves your eye and earballs anyway. It tenderly follows a working class family in Brazil in the wake of the election of Jair Bolsonaro and jumped right to the top of my definitely-rigged list of 2022. Mars One was Brazil’s submission for Best International Feature at the 95th Academy Awards, but was not on the shortlist announced in late December.
5. The Phillies bullpen
Just this week the defending National League champs acquired All-Star reliever Gregory Soto and veteran lefty Craig Kimbrel. While the bullpen was strong for stretches last season, Phillie brass has added a lot of depth to the crew, as Soto and Kimbrel join Seranthony Dominguez, Jose Alvarado, and other new addition Matt Strahm.
Honorable mentions to: Morgan Frost against the Coyotes; congressional chaos; The Menu (dir. Mark Mylod, 2022); Mitch Marner; and this Buffalo Sabres tribute to Damar Hamlin.
1. The tank, accidental or otherwise
There are some very exciting players who project to go at the top of the 2023 NHL Entry Draft. The Flyers have just won four games in a row, three of them over teams vying for some of those top spots in said draft, and two of them this week. As our new friend Nick and our old friend Charlie both wrote this week: the Flyers are too good to have a shot at a top pick and not good enough to even consider not being too good.
2. Originality at the box office
Nearly every movie released at the end of 2022 that wasn’t based on existing intellectual property underperformed, moneywise. As the dust settles in the first week of 2023, we’ve seen Babylon, The Fabelmans, The Whale, Strange World, The Banshees of Inisherin all disappoint in some way in terms of moviegoers, losing out to things like Avatar: The Way of Water, Black Panther: Wakanda Forever, and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish. Now, while that subtitle gang might be full of good movies, too, it’s never a good thing when the unique and weird voices get drowned because each time it makes it less likely that those with control of the microphones will give them back to the weirdos ever again.
3. Nic Deslauriers
Now, yes, Nic D. didn’t score any points this week and was a -1 despite the fact that the Flyers outscored their opponents by 7 goals this week; and yes, he’s got the worst Corsi For percentage of any Philly regular with just 44.01 percent of shot attempts going the Flyers way during his 5-on-5 ice time; but that’s not what the BSH Power Rankings voters are measuring him against. Where are the fights recently?! That’s what the voters want to know. Deslauriers still leads the league with 8 fighting majors, but it’s been almost a month since his last scrap and a few people are gaining on him. Meanwhile, he’s been overtaken for the league lead in PIMs! The less fights he gets in, the more he’s on the ice—almost 12 minutes both games this week, 2 minutes above his season average—which is not why Chuck Fletcher brought him here.
4. “Welcome to Fishtown”
This mural, we learned this week, will soon be gone as the lot next door will be developed into more apartment buildings. The cats at the neighborhood entrance have been there for almost six years, but will welcome northbound travelers on Frankford Ave. no more. At least it will live on in the Jason Segel AMC show Dispatches From Elsewhere, seen at around 30 seconds into this video:
5. Age curves
It was confirmed this week that the 37-year-old Rafal Nadal would be playing in 2023’s first major tournament, the Australian Open. The Spaniard is the current world no. 2 and the reigning champ at this tournament, but his 2022 ended in injury. He has somehow defied any kind of age curve that was projected of him, and he’s looking to add to his all-time lead in Grand Slam tournament singles wins.
Honorable mentions to: Chuck Fletcher; Good Karma Cafe; John Tortorella’s answers to basic lineup questions from reporters; and selfish parkers.