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30 in 30: Change in goal difference in Flyers lineup

Wednesday, 08.28.2013 / 9:55 AM / News
By Corey Masisak

Last season was one to forget for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Injuries, ineffective play and the ongoing saga with Ilya Bryzgalov, even if he was playing well at times, played a part in the Flyers crashing out of contention and missing the Stanley Cup Playoffs for the first time since 2006-07.

After years of low-salary goaltenders, the Flyers splurged on Bryzgalov but terminated that relationship this summer, two seasons into a nine-year, $51 million contract. Now Philadelphia is back to not spending much on a chronic problem, in part because there wasn't much NHL salary-cap space left to allocate.

Ray Emery had a fine season as the backup in Chicago, and he was signed to compete with Steve Mason in net. Mark Streit doesn't solve the problem of Philadelphia's aging defense, but he should make the unit better. Danny Briere signed with the Montreal Canadiens and Vincent Lecavalier was added essentially as his replacement.

There should be less drama without Bryzgalov, but goaltending could be an issue. There are a lot of older players on this team, and injuries could again be a problem. If the Flyers stay healthy and some of those who regressed last season perform better, Philadelphia can be a playoff team again. If not, there could be some drastic changes next offseason.

Here is the projected 2013-14 lineup for the Flyers:

Forwards

Scott Hartnell - Claude Giroux - Jakub Voracek

Brayden Schenn - Vincent Lecavalier - Wayne Simmonds

Scott Laughton - Sean Couturier - Matt Read

Zac Rinaldo - Maxime Talbot - Adam Hall

Jay Rosehill

Defensemen

Kimmo Timonen - Luke Schenn

Mark Streit - Braydon Coburn

Erik Gustafsson - Nicklas Grossmann

Andrej Meszaros - Marc-Andre Bourdon

Goalies

Ray Emery

Steve Mason

NOTES: Laughton should have a chance to become a regular, and with him the top nine seems set. Several of those nine will be looking to put up offensive numbers more like they did in 2011-12 than last season.

Emery and Mason could end up splitting duties. Mason played better than he has in years once arriving in Philadelphia, but some of that could certainly be chalked up to a small sample size. Emery was great for Chicago last season but had a better defensive team in front of him.

There will be several questions about the defense during training camp. Philadelphia has 10 defensemen signed to one-way contracts worth more than $34 million, and it still could be the team's biggest weakness. Chris Pronger will be placed on long-term injury reserve to reduce that figure to nine, but Bruno Gervais and Marc-Andre Bourdon could be in danger of being exposed to waivers depending on how many the Flyers decide to keep (and if everyone can stay healthy).

SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - BOS 82 54 19 9 261 177 117
2 y - PIT 82 51 24 7 249 207 109
3 x - TBL 82 46 27 9 240 215 101
4 x - MTL 82 46 28 8 215 204 100
5 x - NYR 82 45 31 6 218 193 96
6 x - PHI 82 42 30 10 236 235 94
7 x - CBJ 82 43 32 7 231 216 93
8 x - DET 82 39 28 15 222 230 93
9 WSH 82 38 30 14 235 240 90
10 NJD 82 35 29 18 197 208 88
11 OTT 82 37 31 14 236 265 88
12 TOR 82 38 36 8 231 256 84
13 CAR 82 36 35 11 207 230 83
14 NYI 82 34 37 11 225 267 79
15 FLA 82 29 45 8 196 268 66
16 BUF 82 21 51 10 157 248 52

STATS

2013-2014 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
C. Giroux 82 28 58 7 86
J. Voracek 82 23 39 11 62
W. Simmonds 82 29 31 -4 60
S. Hartnell 78 20 32 11 52
M. Streit 82 10 34 3 44
B. Schenn 82 20 21 0 41
M. Read 75 22 18 -4 40
S. Couturier 82 13 26 1 39
V. Lecavalier 69 20 17 -16 37
K. Timonen 77 6 29 5 35
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 33 18 7 .917 2.50
R. Emery 9 12 2 .903 2.96
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