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)
There have been a few rock-bottom moments for the Flyers this season.
Chalk Sunday afternoon as another one of those moments.
The Flyers spoiled a six-point effort from its top line, including a three-point game for Michael Raffl. Not only did they allow Washington to force overtime and get a point in the division, they surrendered the second point, losing 5-4 in a shootout to Washington.
(Photo: The Capitals celebrate as Alex Ovechkin scores in the final minute to tie the game. Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images)
A tremendous 6-0-1 stretch seems so far behind in the rear view mirror after a substandard sojourn in the Sunshine State. The Tampa Bay Lightning defeated the Philadelphia Flyers 4-2 on Wednesday night.
In the process, former Lightning captain Vincent Lecavalier's homecoming was ruined with the loss, along with former Lightning wingers Steve Downie and Adam Hall.
A seven-game point streak offers plenty for a hockey team.
It provides hope for the fans, confidence for the players and in Craig Berube’s case, a pat on the back.
The stretch also makes things shinier than they were before. Bright lipstick is applied. When removed like it was in the Philadelphia Flyers’ 3-1 loss at Florida on Monday, it’s clear to see the pig that still remains.
(Photo: Tim Thomas made 38 saves for the Panthers in their 3-1 win over the Flyers. Photo by Joel Auerbach/Getty Images)
The New York Islanders return home to host the Philadelphia Flyers after playing the Pittsburgh Penguins on the road last night, which resulted in a 4-3 win.
The Flyers arrival on Coliseum ice tonight also means the return of former Islanders captain Mark Streit. The puck-moving defenseman was let go over the summer and signed with the Flyers as an unrestricted free agent. He currently has two assists and is a -4 on a struggling Flyers team that is 2-7-0, sitting in last place for the entire league.
On the other hand, the Islanders have continued to find ways to earn points and win hockey games, currently holding a 4-3-3 record on the year. They sit 7th in the Eastern Conference and are in second place in the Metropolitan Division.
The Islanders began the first 39 minutes of the game against their divison foe Carolina Hurricanes, by playing weak, uninspired and just plain bad hockey. They ended up finishing the contest with some fight, but it ended up being too little too late as they fell to the 'Canes by a final of 4-3 in front of 13,008 fans at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
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.