Apr 29, 2014; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goalie
(35) makes a save against the New York Rangers during the first period in game six of the first round of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
3 BIG QUESTIONS
1. Is the Flyers’ goaltending good enough? – The duo of Steve Mason and Ray Emery returns intact for another year. Mason’s injury late in the season forced him to miss the first part of the playoffs, and in a series that went 7 games it might have been the difference, even though Emery filled in adequately.
2. Is there a better group of centers in the NHL? – Down the middle the Flyers have Claude Giroux (still just 26 yrs old), who could be one of the league’s top 5 pivots, a pair of highly touted prospects who are still reaching their prime in Brayden Schenn (23) and Sean Couturier (21) , as well as a veteran who has seen it all in Vincent Lecavalier. I’m not sure that going forward there is a more complete group in the league.
3. Will Giroux win the Hart this season? – Only 3 players have had a higher points per game ratio over the past 4 seasons – Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Steven Stamkos – than the Flyers captain. A pre-season injury to Giroux shouldn’t be serious enough to delay the start to his season like it did last year, and he was probably the best player in the league over the second half of the season. He could join Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros as the only Flyers to win the League MVP award.