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)
Five games ago, Flyers winger Wayne Simmonds scored just five goals along with ten assists.
Not bad totals by any stretch, but not spectacular for a productive winger known for hard work, physical play, and most importantly, timely scoring.
Since going goalless for 10 straight games dating from Nov. 27 until Dec. 17, Simmonds has scored five goals and two assists, doubling his goal total, and giving a team that looked hopeless in terms of secondary scoring months ago a chance to be lethal in that department.
It was not as if "Wayne Train" wasn't capable. He scored 28 goals two seasons ago, and if a lockout-shortened 2013 season spanned 82 games, Simmonds could have replicated that goal total again, scoring 15 goals in 45 games.
(Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line; October 24, 2013)
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)
Ranked towards the bottom of the league in scoring, the Flyers were able to utilize a rare offensive outburst Wednesday night in Detroit en route to a 6-3 win.
Coming into Wednesday's game against the Red Wings, the Flyers averaged just 2.07 goals per game, which places them second to last in the league, just ahead of the Buffalo Sabres at 1.61.
Behind a career night from Sean Couturier and a strong four-goal third period, the Flyers were able to almost triple their average.
In fact, it was Couturier’s first career four-point night (at least in the regular season), as he finished the game with 2 goals and 2 assists. He now has five goals and five assists in nine games since breaking his scoring drought on Nov. 19 against Ottawa.
(Photo: The Flyers celebrate a 6-3 win over the Detroit Red Wings. Photo by Dave Reginek/Getty Images)
If there was a game to define what Steve Mason has been doing for the Flyers this season, Saturday night in the Music City was the night.
Mason stopped 34 shots, including two great saves in the shootout as the Flyers came back to beat the Nashville Predators, 3-2. The win started the Flyers' six-game road trip out on the right foot.
It was Mason's best effort of the season.
Mason's effort was coupled with Sean Couturier's late game-tying goal that forced overtime. His tally with 6 minutes, 54 seconds remaining gave Mason the chance to steal a second point from the Predators.
(Photo: Steve Mason covers the puck as Gabriel Bourque contends with Luke Schenn. Photo by John Russell/NHLI via Getty Images)
The Flyers penalty kill unit was on its best all season it seemed.
Despite bad penalties surrendering six power opportunities for the Winnipeg Jets, the penalty kill unit came through big all six times. The unit even tallied a goal as the defensive effort led the Flyers a 2-1 win over Winnipeg.
"(The Jets) power play shoots a lot of pucks," Sean Couturier, who had a short-handed goal, said. "They've got good shots back there and we just wanted to keep pressure on and not give them time to set up their shots. We did a good job putting on that pressure to not let them set up."
The win also snapped a short two-game skid that followed a seven-game point streak. The win couldn't have come at a better time as the Flyers embark on a six-game road trip that starts in Nashville on Saturday.
(Photo: Winnipeg's Michael Frolik battles with Matt Read for a loose puck. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
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)