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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
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30 in 30: Change in goal difference in Flyers lineup

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

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 MTL 23 16 6 1 61 57 33
2 PIT 21 15 4 2 76 49 32
3 NYI 22 16 6 0 72 59 32
4 TBL 23 15 6 2 81 63 32
5 DET 22 12 5 5 64 54 29
6 BOS 23 13 9 1 59 57 27
7 TOR 22 11 8 3 70 67 25
8 OTT 21 10 7 4 58 56 24
9 FLA 20 8 6 6 42 51 22
10 WSH 21 9 8 4 58 57 22
11 NYR 21 9 8 4 60 62 22
12 NJD 22 9 10 3 53 63 21
13 PHI 21 8 10 3 59 66 19
14 CAR 21 6 12 3 48 63 15
15 CBJ 21 6 13 2 51 76 14
16 BUF 22 6 14 2 37 72 14

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 21 8 22 6 30
C. Giroux 21 7 19 8 26
W. Simmonds 21 8 7 5 15
B. Schenn 21 7 8 6 15
M. Streit 21 4 9 4 13
S. Couturier 21 4 4 -3 8
M. Read 21 2 6 -4 8
M. Del Zotto 20 2 6 -2 8
M. Raffl 13 6 1 2 7
V. Lecavalier 14 2 4 -3 6
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 4 7 2 .918 2.73
R. Emery 4 3 1 .898 3.16
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