When it was determined that Max Talbot would be a top-nine forward heading into the season-opening 3-1 loss to Toronto on October 2 there was an immediate problem with the Flyers.
No disrespect to Talbot, who is one of the hardest working penalty killers in the NHL, but he is not a third line left winger on a team that is desperately searching for a goal-scorer. And with no wiggle room under the salary cap the Flyers are finding out the hard way that no depth at forward is going to hurt them this season.
Failure to capitalize on special teams, scoring just one goal and dreadful puck possession time doomed the Flyers as they fell to the Phoenix Coyotes, 2-1, on a rainy Friday night in Philadelphia.
To add an insult to injury, along with the loss, Flyers forward corps sustained a large blow by losing Scott Hartnell and Vincent Lecavalier, forcing both to leave the game.
According to General Manager Paul Holmgren, both will miss at least a week, and will both have MRIs tomorrow. Call-up opportunities remain to be seen, as the Adirondack Phantoms (AHL) were playing the Hartford Wolf Pack on this night as well.
Both Flyers power play units failed to score on multiple opportunities. Phoenix's suffocating defensive style under head coach Dave Tippett frustrated the Flyers all night long resulting in the power play going 0-for-4.
(Photo: Coyotes defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larsson [right] celebrates his go-ahead goal in the 2nd period. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
The start of a new season brings with it countless questions for all 30 teams.
Some questions will be answered right away while others may take all season or even longer. In Philadelphia, the Flyers are no different.
Without further ado, here are five questions facing the Flyers this 2013-14 season.
(There will be pressure on the Flyers forwards to score this season, including a repeat performance from Jakub Voracek [front] and a break out season from Matt Read [back]. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line.)
The Philadelphia Flyers may have one of the deepest center combinations in the entire National Hockey League.
Captain Claude Giroux had a “subpar” lockout shortened year, but still registered 48 points in just as many games. Giroux is just a year removed from a career-high of 28 goals, 93 points and it would not be out of the realm of possibility that he eclipses both this season.
With more players able to play the penalty kill, it seems likely that Giroux will get less time on the PK, opening him up to doing what he does best: playmaking.
(Photo: Flyers captain Claude Giroux will man the top line again this season. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
In a freak golfing accident, Flyers captain Claude Giroux underwent successful surgery on his right index finger. His golf club shattered, tearing his extensor tendon, according to a statement by GM Paul Holmgren. No bones were broken.