When things are going right offensively for the Flyers, their depth in the front nine really shows.
Matt Read, Sean Couturier and Steve Downie - The Checking Line - provided some much needed fire power at the end of the second period to give the Flyers a boost en route to a 4-1 win over the Sabres on Thursday.
Read scored two goals in the span of 1 minute, 40 seconds, and Steve Downie and Sean Couturier had the primary and secondary assists respectively on both goals. The goals came in the final six minutes of the second, erasing a 1-0 Buffalo lead.
(Photo: Matt Read [middle celebrates with [left to right] Steve Downie, Sean Couturier, Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen after Read's second goal late in the second period. Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Back when Flyers centers Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were dealt to Los Angeles, it was to clear an overabundance at the center position to bring in true, talented wingers.
Those trades hauled in two very important wingers in Jakub Voracek and Wayne Simmonds, setting the stage towards finding legitimate, true wingers.
While there may not be a significant amount of transition from last year to this year in terms of wingers, losing veteran returners Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble to free agency opened two spots for the Flyers' youth to earn.
Many of the incumbent wingers will be wearing orange and black for the next several seasons.
(Photo: Flyers RW Jakub Voracek has a lot to smile about heading into this season, including being a top-line winger on a high-scoring team. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
The Philadelphia Flyers announced that Matt Read has signed a multi-year contract extension believed to be a four years in length totaling $14.5 million. The annual average value (AAV) stands at a shade over $3.6 million per season.
On Tuesday, the rumor mill concerning the Philadelphia Flyers blew up.
Not only was it confirmed by ESPN's Pierre LeBrun that forward Danny Briere would be bought out, but conflicting reports about goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov's security with the team surfaced, as well as trade rumors involving Anaheim's Bobby Ryan and Los Angeles' Jonathan Bernier also came to the forefront.
Talk about a crazy day.
All of this coming on the heels of a reported deal struck with the New York Islanders to acquire their former captain Mark Streit. Streit signed a bloated four year pact worth a grand total of $22 million. Following that deal, it signaled change. There is writing on the wall...but for whom?
If, for example, both Briere and Bryzgalov are bought out, that unlocks about $12 million in cap space. The Flyers are currently above the new cap ceiling of $64 million by $7 million. These moves would not afford a ton of room, but it would at least be something.
Flyers fans will always remember where they were on June 23, 2011 when two of the biggest trades in team history took place.
In some ways it feels like an eternity ago, while in other ways it feels like just yesterday. But forget who and what left Philadelphia that Thursday afternoon two years ago.
The only thing that still matters most today is the acquisition of the 1st round draft pick that became Sean Couturier and the acquisition of 21 year old Brayden Schenn.
The trades changed the face of the franchise, and suddenly the Flyers became a team of youth with not only two but three of the best rookies in the NHL during the 2011-12 season thanks to those trades and the slick signing of college free agent Matt Read almost exactly three months prior.
That trio of rookie forwards shined in Philadelphia throughout the 2011-12 season, and the future was looking bright. But unfortunately what happens to even the best players in the NHL after a stellar rookie season is the dreaded sophomore slump.
(Sean Couturier. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
For most of the 2013 season it seemed the bounces just weren't go the Flyers' way.
Bad bounces led to opponents' goals while they stayed out of the nets when the Flyers were on the offensive. Along with a complicated mixture of other factors, it kept the Flyers out of the post season for just the second time in the last 18 years.
That luck would finally change for the Flyers when it didn't really matter, but it felt good anyway.
In a 60-minute game for the Flyers, a minuscule seven-second window produced two goals which lead to the Flyers' eventual 5-2 win over the Bruins.
(Pictured: Matt Read during warm-ups before his game against the Bruins. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
Teams destined to miss the playoffs put on 60 minutes of hockey devoid of defense and chock full of a dominant performance by winger Wayne Simmonds in a 5-3 victory over the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday night.
18 shots in the first period for the Flyers proved the insignificant defensive pressure by the Hurricanes. In fact, Jakub Voracek almost scored within the first 10 seconds of the game forcing starter Justin Peters had to make a desperate save to keep the puck from crossing the goal line.