(Gene J. Puskar/AP)
28 games into the 2014-15 season, there are already many burning questions about the Flyers. Yesterday, I asked my followers on Twitter to provide me with the most important questions and comments on the current state of our hockey club. The responses were both shocking and encouraging! Lets take a look.
Great question, Mr. President! It is fairly puzzling why the rotating group of defensemen who have been scratched hasn’t included Nicklas Grossmann. At this point, it seems fairly clear that Berube sees Grossmann as a concrete part of this team’s top 4. Not the end of the world, but Berube’s evaluation of defensemen is certainly troubling. I wouldn’t expect him to be scratched any time soon.
Another great question, Claude! As one of the best penalty killers in hockey, it seems like it would make sense to employ you in more shorthanded situations, especially considering that the Flyers have the 2nd worst penalty kill in hockey!
I am actually feeling somewhat optimistic about this team’s chances for a successful rebuild. I’d say it is likely that at least 2 of our defensive prospects are playing quality hockey at the NHL level within 3 years. Our core of forwards is still fairly young and will certainly still be effective at that time.
I worry a lot less than many people do about ‘wasting’ Giroux and Voracek’s primes. Yes, they are both in their prime right now while the team is not good. In 3 years, at ages 29 and 28 respectively, they will still be extremely productive players. Tulsky found that forwards retain about 90% of their peak scoring rate at age 29. By that time, Couturier, Laughton and Schenn will be reaching their primes as well.
The team is set up for a successful rebuild if they can develop their group of defensive prospects properly.
Wow, Jake. Thank you for this comment. This is very concerning and hopefully it will be a wake up call to the front office. Is Hextall really willing to lose an elite player like Voracek in order to keep Andrew MacDonald? I sure hope not! Do the right thing here, Ron.
Very difficult question, Estebomb. MacDonald definitely has some things in common with sandwiches. A sandwich would break up a very similar number of attempted zone entries. A sandwich would also have a similar or slightly better Corsi Rel %.
There are also some distinct differences between MacDonald and sandwiches. A good sandwich costs 9 dollars while MacDonald costs 30 million. Sandwiches also tend to make people happy and full, whereas Andrew MacDonald typically makes people feel depressed and empty inside.
ANSWER: If you put MacDonald in a hot dog roll, he is a sandwich.
Great question, Rachael. MacTavish took a big step towards a return to the ice yesterday when he decided to take over coaching duties for the Oilers on a temporary basis. One can only think that the next logical step is for him to continue this process and be back on the ice before season’s end. At age 56, signing him to a 5 or 6 year deal would add a nice veteran presence to the Flyers blueline to help mentor our prospects as they develop. The Flyers will also sign Dallas Eakins as head coach this offseason… Imagine when he is coaching his former boss Craig MacTavish at the NHL level!
Good question, Kelly. They probably haven’t changed it yet because nobody has ever suggested any other options.
THANK YOU Daniel for asking this. I have been saying for a long time that the Flyers need to stop flip-flopping the goalies! Teams should have only one goalie on the roster and he should start every single game! Every time Emery starts, Berube is just pouring gasoline on the roaring fire that is our goalie controversy in Philadelphia!
Wow, thank you for clearing this up, the Pope. This debate has been going on for a long time. Glad to have it finally settled! Make sure to have good opinions about it if you intend on going to heaven, people!
Thank you to everyone who participated in this productive mailbag! We will do another one in the near future!