Flyers–Canadian | Will the Flyers hold on?

Few teams have had a season as eventful as the Philadelphia Flyers, a rebuilding club that no one expected to make the playoffs, but which is still clinging to its chances of getting there. Five things to know about the Canadian’s next opponent.

It’s hot, it’s hot…


Ryan Poehling (25) has 10 goals and 25 points this season.

With nine games remaining on their schedule, the Flyers have more than an 80% chance of making the playoffs, according to various projections. That’s probably 80% more than was expected from them at the start of the season, but it’s still precarious regardless. Sitting in third place in the Metropolitan Division for months, they now feel the Washington Capitals breathing down their necks. If they slip among the drafted teams, they would then face a close battle with the Detroit Red Wings. In short, nothing is certain yet. That being said, the mere fact that they are still in the race is an achievement, even more so when we know that director Daniel Brière, anxious to respect his reconstruction plan, traded defender Sean Walker at the trade deadline. transactions.

Tortorella, again


Head coach John Tortorella was recently suspended following a spat with an official during a game between the Flyers and the Tampa Bay Lightning.

If the Flyers hold on until the playoffs, John Tortorella will immediately become a candidate for the title of head coach of the year. Although no one can take away the merit of having succeeded in making his troops win, his methods and his attitude have not stopped making people talk. His relationship with media representatives remains as tumultuous as ever. Earlier this season, he stopped answering questions from a podcast host who wrongly claimed that young Cutter Gauthier had requested a trade because of the influence of ex-Flyer Kevin Hayes. Last week, he abruptly left the podium without answering a question about backup goalie Felix Sandstrom’s performance – he later apologized. His greatest feat, however, remains having excluded his captain Sean Couturier from his training for two matches, a decision which caused scandal throughout the league and which provoked a deluge of criticism against Tortorella. We suspect it: the latter remained frozen.

Speaking of Couturier…


Sean Couturier was named captain of the Philadelphia Flyers in mid-February.

However, let’s talk about Sean Couturier. In the first half of the campaign, we could only be moved by his comeback, after two back operations which had required a season and a half of convalescence. By mid-January, after 41 games, he had amassed 30 points, spent an average of 20 minutes on the ice (a record among club forwards) and had a +12 differential. His coach had nothing but good words for him and even named him captain in February. However, things have gotten worse since then, and not just a little. Couturier, suddenly, is no longer a shadow of himself: six points, including just one goal, in his last 26 games. His -20 rating during this stretch is the worst on his team. His ice time has also melted – he rarely exceeds the 15-minute threshold anymore. If, once again, the Flyers aspire to play spring hockey, this former Selke Trophy winner will necessarily have to get his act together.

Ersson with all the sauces


Samuel Ersson has started 22 of the Phialdelphia Flyers’ 27 games since January 21.

During the first months of the season, the Flyers were pleased to have a dynamic duo of young goaltenders made up of Carter Hart and the surprising Samuel Ersson. The two shared the net and got along like thieves at a fair. That came to a screeching halt for Hart, however, when he left the team in January, just before he was accused of taking part in a group sexual assault with Junior Team Canada teammates in 2018. then put the destiny of the team in the hands of Ersson, 24 years old. Since January 21, he has started 22 of the Flyers’ 27 games, making him the busiest goaltender in the league. It must be said that the options are slim in relief, with Felix Sandstrom and Cal Petersen who are essentially goalkeepers from the American League. Ersson, nonetheless, kept his head above water. His statistics are impressive (3.23 GAA and .880 save percentage), but he has nevertheless maintained a 9-9-4 record since he has been the only man in the situation.

Defense decimated


Cam York (8) and Travis Sanheim (6) act as the anchors of the Philadelphia Flyers defensive unit.

When we wonder if the Flyers will be able to hang on to their place in the playoffs, we implicitly ask another question: will their defense be able to resist for much longer? In the absence of Rasmus Ristolainen, Jamie Drysdale and Nick Seeler, all injured, and since the departure of Sean Walker, the team’s success now rests on the shoulders of Travis Sanheim and Cam York, the latter having also experienced a great hatching this season. Behind them, it’s less glorious. Two rookies, Adam Ginning and Ronnie Attard, are playing their first games in the NHL. Another young player, Egor Zemula, is having a good season with 20 points in 60 games, but he seems to be being protected from difficult confrontations. Veteran Erik Johnson completes the portrait, he who is more appreciated for his human qualities than on the ice – he has managed to accumulate a differential of -7 in 9 games since the Flyers acquired him. Drysdale and Seeler, apparently, have started skating again and are nearing a return. That’s good, their team needs them.

source site-60