Let's face it... Flyers fans are in for an awkward season.
There is no way around describing what this 2014-15 Philadelphia Flyers team is. You can say they're a team in transition.
The word transition is not something that owners like to use or that fans like to hear. But it truly is the perfect way to explain this Flyers team.
It is not shocking at all either that the Flyers would end up this way. Ron Hextall was promoted to general just this spring, so he himself is still trying to make the team his own. He was left tied up with a few mistakes made by previous GM Paul Holmgren, and has been unable to reverse moves that were made prior to his promotion.
PHILADELPHIA -- The Flyers looked bad defensively as a whole.
Maybe it's the absence of Kimmo Timonen finally setting in, or maybe it was the bit of bad news the team received prior to its home opener with the New Jersey Devils. Either way, problems persisted and the reality of the Flyers defensive situation may have finally set in.
The Flyers lost an agonizing game 6-4 to the Devils on Thursday. Twice poor defense erased game-tying goals by the Flyers. Twice, the blame was pitted on Luke Schenn, who had arguably the worst game of his career.
The future for the defense of the Philadelphia Flyers is extremely bright.
Players such as Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg, along with Shayne Gostisbehere are not far from being NHL ready. And the expectations are very high for when they are ready.
Until then, the Flyers have a bit of an issue on the back end. Veteran defenseman Kimmo Timonen’s future in professional hockey is in question as he is out indefinitely due to blood clots in his lungs and right calf. The loss of Timonen will likely expose some of the issues that the Flyers have on the blue line.
By virtue of finishing third place in the Metropolitan Division, the Flyers have drawn the Rangers in the first round of the playoffs. The Flyers and Rangers split their season series, with both teams winning twice on home ice.
The Philadelphia Flyers couldn't have ended the 2013 portion of their season any better.
The Flyers defeated the Calgary Flames, 4-1, and head into 2014 winners of four straight and six of their last seven. At 20-16-4, they sit one point behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metro with both teams having played 40 games.
Ray Emery got the start for the Flyers, stopping 23 shots for the win. He didn't need to be overly impressive as the Flames didn't provide much pressure, but he came up with key saves late in the game to preserve the lead the Flyers built.
Just four minutes into the hockey game, it already seemed as if Ilya Bryzgalov was on his way to exacting revenge on his former team.
But there were 56 more minutes of hockey, and the Flyers didn't allow that to happen. Sparked by Wayne Simmonds' two-goal night, the Flyers came back to win in a shootout, 4-3, over Edmonton Saturday night.
Simmonds now leads the Flyers with 12 goals. Just three games ago, he had only half of that total.
(Photo: Michael Raffl scores the winning shootout goal on Ilya Bryzgalov. Photo by Marko Ditkun/NHLI via Getty Images)
Claude Giroux didn't even know how the puck went into the net.
He'll be watching replays of it for sure. Not only because it was the game-winning goal, but because it was the 100th goal he's scored in his career.
It came just under three minutes after his 99th career goal tied the game up. His two tallies earned the Flyers a 5-4 comeback win over the Columbus Blue Jackets Thursday night.
“To be honest I haven’t seen the replay or anything so I don’t know what happened," Giroux said. "I was just trying to get it on net, and it was at the end of the shift so I was a little tired, so I was just trying to get it on net.”
(Photo: Columbus' R.J. Umberger and David Savard skate away as the Flyers celebrate Claude Giroux's game-winning goal in the third period. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Behind another strong performance by Steve Mason and an offensive outburst, the Flyers were able to extend their point streak to five games and have now collected 12 of 16 possible points in their last eight games.
In fact, since the disastrous 7-0 loss at the hands of the Washington Capitals on Nov. 1, the Flyers have gone 5-1-2 and now sit just two points back from what would have them in playoff positioning.
(Photo: The Flyers celebrate Kimmo Timonen's first goal of the season, which proved to be the game-winner in the third period. Drew Hallowell/Getty Images)