The Flyers have been playing on a different level as of late. They're 12-5-1 through 18 games, not too shabby. With a 3-0 start, spirits were high, until they faced the Pens for the first time. They hit a little rut after that but have been playing basically lights-out hockey for the past 2+ weeks. Beating some top-notch teams and handling the inferior teams with ease. The rut at the beginning of the season was due to new additions and new positions.
The addition of a new netminder is always going to take some time to get used to. Every goalie is a little insane in their own respect, and it takes time for the position players to get used to their new goaltenders extent and type of insanity.
When a team adds a top-tier D-man like Chris Pronger, it takes time to get acquainted to him as well. He is in a way, like the quarterback of the team and when you get a new leader of your defense and powerplay, chemistry doesn't just happen overnight.
But the Flyers are running at full throttle now and players that weren't seen last year are making a huge impact. James vanRiemsdyk is second among NHL rookies in scoring and leads the team with 4 game-winning goals. Defenseman Matt Carle is playing out of this world right now alongside Pronger. I guess playing with a future hall of famer is going to improve anyones game. The Flyers are 10-1 with faceoff machine Blair Betts in the lineup, which just goes to show that when you win faceoffs, you aren't forced to play back on your heels. Also can't forget Ray Emery. He's been playing phenomenal between the pipes so far and shows no signs it's going to stop.
The biggest liabilities on the beginning of the year were surprisingly, Kimmo Timonen and Braydon Coburn. Kimmo was consistently the best and most reliable defenseman for the Flyers since he's been here, and it was just a matter of time before he got back on track. It was sort of the same thing with Coburn. We had grown accustomed to his good play and seeing him struggle was sort of shocking. But not that they're both on track it must look like trying to get through a brick wall when it comes to scoring on this team.
Here's to a good west coast trip! Let's go Flyers!