It’s no longer a surprise when a rookie has a big game for the Philadelphia Flyers.
With the season already at the halfway mark, the Flyers rookies have played a prominent role in the team’s success.
Prior to the start of the year, the team went through one of the most aggressive makeovers in team history, which made way for younger players to step up. That makeover included the trading of their captain Mike Richards and leading scorer Jeff Carter in exchange for role players, prospects and draft picks.
Part of the compensation in the Carter deal was the eighth overall selection in this past year’s entry draft, which ultimately became Sean Couturier.
Ok, I'm convinced. It's a curse. The Islanders simply cannot beat the Philadelphia Flyers! If losing 23 of the last 24 games against the Flyers is not saying some sort of voodoo is going on, I don't know what will. Well...not exactly voodoo, but you catch my drift...right?
The Islanders started Evgeni Nabokov against the Flyers tonight. Nabokov was looking for career win number 300 but Nabokov hasn't had a rest in a while, so I definitely thought that Poulin would get the start.
When the Flyers decided the direction of the franchise was one that wasn’t going to be influenced by Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, outcry and uproar ensued.
The core of the team that made it within two games of hoisting the Stanley Cup and a second-place finish in the Eastern Conference the next year was sent packing.
Obviously, Carter and Richards were the biggest shoes to drop. The captain and his close friend were supposed to be the faces of the team for years to come. Not so much.
Ville Leino wasn’t re-signed and few had issue with it. Most could see that his deal in Buffalo was baseless and far too big.
Blair Betts and Darroll Powe were waived and traded respectively, and that was a sticking point with some. The two soldier-like penalty killers were given away and some feared the franchise couldn’t find anyone to replace their strong play.
Kris Versteeg? Traded. Dan Carcillo? See ya. Nikolay Zherdev? Of course he was free to go.
With so much emphasis placed on the production of the first line, it often gets lost at how talented the Flyers subsequent lines are. Although the first line will most likely continue to be the team’s most productive line, it doesn’t mean that the other lines won’t sprinkle in production when need to be.