The Flyers fortunately—or unfortunately—are at the hardest part of their schedule
Taking a closer look at the Flyers end of the calendar year schedule.
The Philadelphia Flyers season is off to a better start than most fans expected, minus the current four game losing streak. Carter Hart is playing like the star goaltender he was drafted to be. The top pairing of Ivan Provorov and Tony DeAngelo seem to be building some chemistry. Guys like Travis Konecny and Kevin Hayes are off to great starts and overall the team really seems to be buying into the things John Tortorella is teaching.
With that being said, there is obviously still a lot that needs to be corrected. Slow starts, unforced turnovers, and overall sloppy play have hindered them. Unfortunately, there is no time for the Flyers to take a breathe a figure things out, as they will start what is no doubt the toughest part of their schedule.
The Flyers play 20 games from now until the end of the calendar year, with 14 of those games coming against teams with a win percentage above .500. In that stretch the Flyers will play the top three teams in the league three times, as well as two games against the defending champs, the Colorado Avalanche. The Flyers will also play ten of those games against division opponents in this six-week marathon.
The bad news about this is obvious, in that once again we could see another Flyers season ending before they even play half their games. The Flyers are playing highly skilled teams that will take any mistake you make and turn it into a quality chance. All the sloppy turnovers, missed passes, and failed clearing attempts will come back to haunt them against this caliber of teams.
The good news is that if somehow the Flyers can keep their head above water and get into next year still in the mix, things get a little easier in the following months. Therefore we could see the Flyers playing meaningful games in the last few months of the season, which has not been the case for a long time. Additionally, the Flyers will hopefully be getting some key guys back in the lineup, such as Sean Couturier, Wade Allison, James van Riemsdyk, and maybe Cam Atkinson.
The whole start of the season has been this back and forth argument of whether the Flyers have been lucky and consistently get bailed out by their net-minder, and are playing way above their heads. Or whether John Tortorella’s system has played a role in the early season success, and whether guys like Konecny and Hayes are taking that next step and becoming point per game players. Whatever side you’re on, one thing is for sure, that the true Flyers will be revealed in the coming weeks.