Thursday, September 6, 2007

2007-08 Preseason Foreplay: Philadelphia Flyers

Quick hits
  • Citizens of Philadelphia are losing sleep over the anticipation of the return of the Dancing Orange Shirted Fat Guy.
  • The team lost Mike York to the Coyotes via free agency. That's probably the best value that they could have expected to get in return.
  • James Van Riemsdyk is pimp.
  • You probably knew this already, but the 56 points that the Flyers earned last season was the lowest total in franchise history. Keep in mind that in 1967-68 they only played 74 games.
  • What you might not have known is that 56 points is the lowest total for any NHL team since Atlanta put up 54 in the 2001-02 season.
  • Relive the magic of the Flyers' first ever win.
Super sweet marketing disaster caught on tape

The Flyers are using the Dancing Guy in their marketing. Obviously, the marketing department took the summer off.

Odds for the folks at gambler's

12 to 1: As usual, the Flyers choke in the playoffs.

27 to 1: The Philadelphia Phantoms win more games this year than the Flyers.

2 to 1: You can already tell that I don't like the Flyers and that this post is an example of biased reporting.

Obligatory serious analysis

The New York Islanders made a historic turnaround during the 2001-02 season by recording 96 points, annihilating the mark of 52 points that they had set the previous season. It was one of the biggest turnarounds in hockey history, and I believe that it's safe to say the Flyers will see a similar turnaround this season.

Last season, the Flyers finished dead last in the NHL and put up the fewest amount of points that the league has seen since 2001. Throw it out the window. After this summer's acquisitions, the sky is the limit for these new look Flyers. The team has added Daniel Briere, who put up 95 points last season, former Edmonton Oiler captain and defensive stalwart Jason Smith, All-Star Kimmo Timonen and obtained a stud net minder by the name of Martin Biron at the trade deadline. That's not all folks. Additionally, Scott Hartnell and enigma Joffrey Lupul were brought in. If the Flyers can return Lupul to the form he had in Anaheim (53 points in 81 games), they could be a serious contender for the conference in the spring. With the notable exception of Joni Pitkanen, the only players that the Flyers have lost has been almost entirely dead weight (Mike York, Todd Fedoruk, Geoff Sanderson).

I don't think I have to go much further in proving to you that the Flyers will be a playoff team this season. Just how far they go still remains to be seen. It's been the thinking in this 'new' NHL that teams are going to have to build less from free agency and more from the draft and home grown stars. The Flyers are going to be the best guinea pig that we may see for a while. If you look at their lineup, their top two defenders are new along with the starting net minder and number one forward. Briere should fit in perfectly one a top line with Gagne, if the Flyers choose to pair them, but if they can't bring back Peter Forsberg and solve the Lupul mystery, their offense will hurt their place in the standings. Although Timonen is an offensive defenseman, Briere will essentially be the only serious new scoring threat in the lineup for a team that scored the fewest goals in the Eastern Conference. Their defense should be stellar, but it will be interesting to see how the offense comes along. The Flyers may not contend for the conference title this season, but they will be in the playoffs and it will be interesting to see just how far they can push the envelope in what will be a completely revamped Atlantic division.

Prediction: The Flyers will stay competitive for the division title in the Atlantic, but there are going to be too many strong teams (see: Rangers, Penguins) for them to take the crown. They'll find their niche, though and take home the 7th spot in the East.

The best looking ice girls in Philadelphia
It's the Delta Dental Flyers' Ice Team!

Previous Editions of Preseason Foreplay

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