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Philadelphia Flyers 2014/15 Team Preview

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1 Philadelphia Flyers 2014/15 Team Preview on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:47 am

Division: Metropolitan
General Manager: Mike Sawaryn
Head Coach: Craig Berube

Last Year: The first season in the EEHL saw numbers put up that the old league never dreamed of. Numbers the new league may never see again. Alexander Ovechkin established new marks for quickest to 50 goals and single season goal scoring that have never been accomplished in the history of the game. The mid season acquisition of David Backes seemed to augment Ovechkin’s play and pushed this team to a level few others could hope to attain. Before the season was done, they’d also add elite offensive defenceman Erik Karlsson and as a group, they entered the playoffs on fire. Two series victories later they ran into the undoing of their season in the Detroit Red Wings. Still, hard to say too much wrong about an Eastern Finals berth where they’d lose to the eventual Stanley Cup Champions.

This Year: Most thought the Flyers might tweak a few spots, then enter the season looking to pick up where they left off last season. I guess if you call P.K. Subban a tweak, then you’d be right, but most would consider adding him a major coup for this club. Like Detroit, the Flyers now have a top 4 on D that can log over 50 minutes a night and feature two huge offensive threats. It may have cost Philly a bit of their depth up front, but that won’t be noticed any time soon as they had so much of it and are in such a good cap situation that they’re unlikely to lose any of their major talent in the next few years. This team isn’t just going to challenge Detroit for tops in the East, they’ve launched the first blow in that battle this season.

Projected Depth Chart
Ovechkin - Backes - Bowman
Gallagher - Galchenyuk - Stalberg
Forsberg - Laughton - Bjugstad
Calvert - Neilsen - J. Staal

Subban - J. Schultz
Karlsson - Oleksiak
Weircioch - DeKeyser

Lehtonen - Campbell

Prospect Watch
Robert Hagg (19): A solid all around D, Hagg is already 6'2, 205 pounds. More of a finesse player at this point, Hagg has an accurate shot and skates well. Uses his stick well to break up the play and makes a solid pass to start the rush.

Petr Straka (22): A dynamic winger who will likely play a major role in the AHL this season, he has a very good shot and skates well for his size. Not a physical player, he'll make a defender look silly with a deke much more often than he'll win a battle in the corner.

Nick Cousins (21): A sneaky playmaking center who can pick the corners. Cousins won't wow you with his physical play but if you give him room to shoot or leave a cross ice option open, he'll make you pay.

The Upside: Hard to see any problems for this team entering the season. They’ve added a top end defenseman and brought back all their major contributors from last season. A full year of Backes in the middle bodes well for Ovechkin though I don’t think anybody can expect him to repeat his magic of last year. We can all certainly hope for it though.

The Downside: Not as physical as Detroit or Montreal, they’ll have to find a way to dictate the style of play if and when they meet those teams in the playoffs. Only an injury to Ovechkin could take this team off the rails and he tends to hand those out much more often than succumb to them.

Our Prediction: 1st in the Metropolitan, 2nd in the East

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2 Re: Philadelphia Flyers 2014/15 Team Preview on Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:50 am

That's part 3 of our 7 part preview. Part 4 tomorrow.

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3 Re: Philadelphia Flyers 2014/15 Team Preview on Sat Feb 01, 2014 11:25 am

Wow. I am impressed with the hockey news coverage. Makes me want to get a subscription

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