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.
John Russo and Jordan Kuhns made their picks for midseason report card awards. On some categories they agreed rather civilly. But on others, the disagreement couldn't have been any more clear.
That is why they had to put their differences aside and work together to bring to you some of the Flyers' studs, duds, and surprises among other things through the first 41 games of the 2013-14 season.
At 20-17-4, and second place in the Metro Division with 44 points, there were certainly a lot to choose from.
(Photo: Steve Mason has been the Flyers best player in the first half. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
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.
The Flyers allowed a season-high 44 shots, all while taking just 27.
With numbers like that, it's hard to fathom them being able to steal one point, let alone two. Steve Mason did just that.
Mason stopped a season-high 41 shots and the Flyers came back to force overtime before winning in a shootout, 4-3, in Vancouver. It's their fifth win in the last six games, and they now sit three points behind the Washington Capitals for second place in the Metro.
(Photo: Steve Mason makes a save on David Booth. Photo by Jeff Vinnick/NHLI via Getty Images)