Mar 28, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Vincent Lecavalier (40) celebrates with his teammates after scoring a goal against the Toronto Maple Leafs during the first period at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Maple Leafs, 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Philadelphia Flyers- 2013-14 Season Recap

2013-14 SEASON
The Philadelphia Flyers finished 13th in the NHL, with 94 points. They earned an automatic playoff-birth with a third-place finish in the Metropolitan Division and placed 6th overall in the Eastern Conference.
In a first-round matchup against the division rival New York Rangers, the Flyers lost in a hard-fought seven-game series, being shut out in the deciding game by Henrik Lundqvist.

PRE-SEASON EXPECTATION

Last offseason brought many changes for the Flyers. Most noteably was the shedding of the remaining seven years of Ilya Bryzgalov‘s contract, via a buyout. Danny Briere was also bought out, freeing up $13 million in cap space through the 2014-15 season. Incoming was the former face of the Tampa Bay Lightning franchise, Vincent Lecavalier (who was also bought out himself), Islanders’ captian, Mark Streit, and Ray Emery to form a goaltending tandem with Steve Mason.With no shortage of scoring up front in Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Scott Hartnell, and Wayne Simmonds, to go along with young talented forwards in Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier, the Flyers had the scoring to be in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race. However, major questions remained on the back end and in goal. With poor defensive depth, a lack of defensive specialists, and no bonafide number one goalie, could Philly keep the puck out of their net playing in the same division with the likes of Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, John Tavares, and Rick Nash?

HIGHS

  • Finishing third in the NHL scoring race, Claude Giroux cemented himself as one of the NHL’s elite. Despite a slow start and a snub from the deep Canadian Olympic team, there were just two players who had more than Giroux’s 86 points this season- countrymen Sidney Crosby and Ryan Getzlaf.
  • Flyers’ forwards Wayne Simmonds and Jakub Voracek emerged as top-end scoring threats themselves. Already known as one of the best power forwards in the game, Simmonds earned career highs in goals (29), assists (31), and points (60). Building off his 22 goals in a 48-game season last year, Voracek went for 62 points himself, a new career high.
  • After being left for dead in Columbus, Steve Mason was certainly a question mark going into the season. However, Mason was able to shoulder the load as the number one, starting 60 games. Although Mason wasn’t perfect throughout the year (2.50 GAA), he kept a poor defense afloat and had a respectable .917 SV%.

Apr 22, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers center Claude Giroux (28) skates on the ice against the New York Rangers during the third period in game three of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. The Rangers won 4-1. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

LOWS 

PROGNOSIS FOR NEXT SEASON

With the only UFA’s on this roster being Steve Downie, Adam Hall, Hal Gill, and Ray Emery, next year’s Flyers will look nearly identical to this season’s. With the current roster, it is difficult to picture this team making any type of playoff run. Steve Mason is nowhere near the level of the goalies we saw make deep runs this year in the playoffs and the current defensive group of Kimmo Timonen, Mark Streit, Braydon Coburn, Luke Schenn, Andrew MacDonald, and Nicklas Grossmann is quite weak. Although Philly has the top-six scoring to carry them to a playoff-birth, I wouldn’t expect anything from this team after that.

Tags: Claude Giroux Flyers Jakub Voracek Season Review Wayne Simmonds

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