Philadelphia Flyers Season Recap

Philadelphia Flyers Season Recap

by May 28, 2021 0 comments

The Philadelphia Flyers looked set to roll through the 2020-21 season to the playoffs, especially after making it to Round 2 in the 2019-20 season. However, they finished with a disappointing 25-23-8 record and a sixth-place finish in the East Division. Many times they found themselves playing from behind and trying to catch up. That is never a good sign if you’re looking for a win. If you combine that with players not having the most remarkable season of their careers, it was a recipe for disappointment.

Make sure to check out all of our other NHL Team Season Recaps.

By the Numbers

Record: 25-23-8
Power Play: 19.2 percent (17th in the league)
Penalty Kill: 73.0 percent (30th in the league)
Goals For: 163
Goals Against: 201

Best Player

Despite the disappointment, the player who stood out among the rest would be Claude Giroux. He was the best all-around player on the team with 43 points in 54 games, a 59.6 face-off win percentage, and played as hard as anyone else. During the season, he reached third in all-time points scored for the franchise. Giroux also passed Bobby Clarke for the most games played as a captain in franchise history.

Biggest Disappointment

The defense, special teams, and goaltending. None of it was on par with the skill level the team has. Despite the offensive showing they had, they were the league-worst with 3.52 goals allowed per game, and the Flyers ranked 27th in short-handed goals allowed. Both Brian Elliott and Carter Hart had not-so-great seasons. Elliott had a .889 save percentage (SV%) and 3.06 goals against average (GAA), while Hart fared no better with a .877 SV% and 3.67 GAA.

Behind the Bench (Coaching) Analysis

Alain Vigneault cannot be faulted for too much; however, some blame for the poor season does lie with him. He didn’t seem to handle the struggles Hart faced at times as well as he could have. On the other hand, his work in getting the players to find the higher-quality shots was paying off, although it can be seen as a negative because players take fewer shots at the goal. Fewer shots equate to fewer opportunities to score. Overall, Vigneault did the best he could with what the players were giving him.

Front Office Analysis (GM)

It could be argued that Chuck Fletcher should have done more to replace Matt Niskanen when he retired before the beginning of the season. By not making significant moves before the season began, he took a risk that the team he had would continue to flourish like it did the previous season. It didn’t go that way this time. It’s wise to plan and prepare for the worst, but he neglected to do that, and the Flyers had the season they did.

2021 NHL Entry Draft Picks/Prognosis

The Flyers are going into the draft with seven picks, and they have a 1.8 perceent chance of landing the top overall pick in the NHL draft lottery. There might be several forwards available Fletcher can choose from to put his plan for the future into motion. Perhaps another defenseman or goaltender to be picked up in the later rounds would be a wise choice. It’s still a gamble no matter what, thanks to COVID-19 and limited scouting.

Off-Season Wishlist/Checklist and Prognosis for 2021-22

Fletcher has some tough decisions to make this offseason, and one of them might be moving a big-name player to free up cap space. He’s also going to have to consider what the Flyers need to be a contender and act accordingly, which generally means taking some risks. He did that last offseason, and it didn’t fare well for him. However, if he wants the team to succeed, decisions about defense and goaltending will need to be addressed.

If the Flyers can figure out what went awry, the 2021-22 season outlook will vastly improve.

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