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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 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 48 17 39 10 56
C. Giroux 47 16 35 6 51
M. Streit 48 7 27 -2 34
B. Schenn 48 10 19 -4 29
W. Simmonds 48 16 12 -5 28
S. Couturier 48 10 11 0 21
M. Read 48 3 15 -8 18
M. Raffl 40 12 3 6 15
V. Lecavalier 34 7 7 -9 14
M. Del Zotto 36 3 11 -6 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 8 12 6 .920 2.46
R. Emery 8 9 1 .890 3.27
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