Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Midseason Check Up: Orange and Black

Back on Track

      Since the firing of former head coach Peter Laviolette after an 0-3 start to the season, the Flyers and new head coach have worked through early season struggles.  They now find themselves with a winning record at 21-17-4, good for second place, only to the Penguins (BOO), in the Metropolitan Division , and 7th place in the Eastern Conference.  Just recently the Flyers ended and started the New Year out west, where they went 4-1 collecting 8 of a possible 10 points, huge.  Tomorrow in Newark, NJ the Flyers finish up their 6 game road streak with a nationally televised game on NBCSN.  A win could catapult them to 5th place in the Eastern Conference.  What has been most noticeable about the Flyers since their putrid start is their never dieing spirit to battle to the end of the game.  We have seen that spirit before in Flyers teams, especially during the improbable Stanley Cup run in the 2011 Playoffs.  This kind of desire to win is fueling the Flyers ascendance up the Eastern Conference Standings as we enter the second half of the NHL season.   

Who's Hot

Wayne Simmons: The Wayne Train has 13 points in his last 9 games, continuing his usual gritty and all out effort, the points our now starting to rack up for number 17.

Claude Giroux: G is starting to heat up, as he also has 13 points in his last 9 games, including one game where he tallied 4 points.

Mark Streit: Announced to the Swiss hockey team for the Winter Olympics next month, Streit has really picked up his play lately.  He has started to fulfill the role that he was brought in here to do, which was blast away from the point on the second power play unit, make nice passes to exit the defensive zone, all while keeping his own on the defensive side.  In the last 10 games Streit has 8 points and has a +7 rating.


Michael Raffl: In his first season in the NHL, Raffl found himself on the top line with Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek.  He now finds himself a part of Team Austria in the 2014 Winter Olympics:

Mark Striet: Team Switzerland

Jakub Voracek:  Czech Republic

Nicklas Grossman: Sweden

Kimmo Timonen: Finland, this is most likely Kimo's last appearance in the Olympics for a total of 5. He has been playing hockey for a long time.

Andrej Meszaros: Team Slovakia

Claude Giroux: The Flyers captain is not a lock for Team Canada but is expected to be on the team. Their final roster will be announced Tuesday, January 7. 

2015 Winter Classic Rumors

   With the Washington Capitals set to host the 2015 Winter Classic, location TBD, it appears that the Flyers are the favorites to be the road team for the NHL's premier outdoor game.  This would mark the 3rd classic for the Orange and Black since 2010.  Despite not being one of the better teams in the NHL record wise, the Flyers find themselves representing the NHL on NBC/NBCSN frequently.  More than a fourth of their games have been or are scheduled to air on these networks.  Perhaps we are favored a bit by NBC, now owned by Philadelphia based company Comcast.  Or perhaps the Flyers are truly that much fun to watch, what's not to like with scoring goals, yapping on the ice frequently, big hits in the tiny form of Zac Rinaldo, and half the team or more will drop the gloves when necessary. Having lost their first two Winter Classics against the Bruins and Rangers, the Flyers if awarded the game will look to beat another close rival to avoid going 0-3 in the game. 

* As mentioned before the Flyers are on NBCSN tomorrow against the NJ Devils.

** Wednesday, one day after taking on the Devils, the Flyers return home from their 6 game road trip for a game against the Montreal Canadians. 


Cole Miller, from Haddonfield, NJ, is currently a sophomore Sport Management major at Drexel. Over the summer, Cole volunteered for the 43rd SABR convention, a large convention with many speakers and other events for baseball fans who enjoy the new age statistics being brought to baseball such as WAR (wins above replacement ).   Cole is a huge fan of baseball, specifically the Phillies.

You can connect on Cole on LinkedIn here. 

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