October 12, 2016
The 2016-17 NHL season gets underway tonight, but the Flyers have to wait a couple of nights to kick their season off on the West Coast. It should be an exciting season for the Orange and Black with exciting youngsters Ivan Provorov and Travis Konecny joining a team that made the playoffs last season.
We’ll save our Flyers predictions for a couple of days, but we rounded up (pretty much) everyone else’s so you don’t have to go looking for them:
The entire Puck Daddy crew has the Flyers finishing behind Washington and Pittsburgh, but still in the playoffs. Here is what Josh Cooper wrote:
The Philadelphia Flyers will be a surprise top-three team in the Metropolitan Division. Shayne Gostisbehere will continue to develop into one of the top defensemen in the NHL and this will propel Philly to one of the better seasons in the Metro. The Rangers and Islanders will both take a step back after lackluster off-seasons. The Capitals will edge the Penguins for the top spot in the division.
The Sportsnet crew did a bunch of individual predictions rather than ordering the teams in each division. Sean McIndoe had the Flyers as the team “Most likely to exceed expectations,” Ryan Dixon tabbed Provorov as the Calder winner, and Mark Spector predicted Shayne Gostisbehere (!) as the Norris winner.
John Buccigross has the Flyers missing the ‘yoffs:
And so does Matthew Coller of Hockey Prospectus, though he does rate Gostisbehere as trending upward:
The Calder Trophy finalist exploded on the scene and helped the Flyers find their way into the playoffs by scoring 17 goals in 64 games. He might not be able to reach that pace again, though the 23-year-old defender is going to continue to emerge as one of the most dynamic players league-wide on the blue line.
The Flyers are participating in two of NHL.com’s 16 must-see games this season, including the trip to Heinz Field in February:
The Keystone State rivalry goes outside for the first time at the 2017 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, to be played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The teams have played 277 times in the regular season, with the Flyers winning 151 times.
Philadelphia’s own Frank Seravalli is putting C’s where S’s belong and he feels the Flyers’ new number 9 will be in the Calder hunt:
Smooth skating defenceman Ivan Provorov, 19, will give the Flyers a Calder Trophy finalist for the second straight season. Coupled with Shayne Gostisbehere and fellow rookie Travis Konecny, playoff-bound Philadelphia will be appointment television.
Seven of the eight members on SB Nation’s NHL prediction team have the Flyers finishing top-4 in the Metropolitan Division and presumably a playoff spot.
In Pat Iversen’s watchability rankings (a creative concept), the Flyers are in the “This Should be Fun on Most Nights” division:
Here’s the great thing about the Flyers: they haven’t been one of the league’s best teams in about five years. They’re a borderline playoff team.
But they’re almost always a blast to watch. They’ll get in your face. They’ll play above their talent level and keep things close. They have the Ghost Bear. They scrap, and sometimes they win games. For my money, they’re the best weekend matinee team to watch in the league. Whatever that means. You know what I mean. Oh, and Ivan Provorov. Remember this name.
Hopefully it is fun most nights. There are only two more until the Flyers are back, for real. Here's a well-done pump-up video made by a Flyers fan, if you're in to that sort of thing:
Follow Rich on Twitter: @rich_hofmann