After being probably the most busy team in the off-season, making a major overhaul of players complemented with some good new up and comers, the Philadelphia Flyers are supposed to have a new look and feel. Unfortunately, the preseason warmup games (so far 2W and 2L; 4 to go) do not reveal much other than the need to find team chemistry. And the captaincy [likely to be Simon Gagne] will have all its importance in that context. On the winning and losing ends of a shut-out puts the focus on the goaltending…again. Perhaps you can never interpret the preseason games as harbingers of the real season. Nonetheless, it would seem anything but exciting at this point. Unlikely that they will repeat last season’s “bottom of the barrel” performance. With Daniel Briere, Kimmo Timonen, Jason Smith, Scott Hartnell, Joffrey Lupul and Martin Biron, one can hope for a playoff berth. But, with Rathje and Hatcher still on the books, words such as heavy, slow and expensive come to mind and that doesn’t spell effective. Other than that, a bit of ho-hum.
First game of the regular season is October 4th, with a swing through Oh Canada. With 16/23 players on the Flyers roster from up north, they should at least feel a little at home. And, in a quirky stat, I point out that the Flyers have more Finns (4) than Americans (3). Hum!