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There are some crazy similarities between this season's Flyers and the 2009-10 team that reached the Final

Monday, 02.17.2014 / 5:33 PM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
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You may have read about the quirky coincidences between the presidencies of Abraham Lincoln and John F. Kennedy.

(If not, go here)

While they are steeped in a bit of strange synchronicity, they are often considered happenstance, although some think it’s eerie.

In the world of sports, there are several parallels between teams that have that same weird dichotomy. We wouldn’t have cliché sayings like, “History repeats itself” if these concurrences didn’t exist.

So, what if I told you the 2010 Flyers and the 2014 Flyers have a lot of that same concomitance?

I know, I know. This is a cheap attempt to get you thinking that maybe, if the stars align properly again as they did four years ago then this Flyers team can make the same dramatic run to the Finals.

While that sounds nice, it isn’t the intention (even if it’s mentioned on our infographic),

It was just something we decided to research after Flyers Chairman Ed Snider’s comments on the Olympics last week when, after saying he hates the Olympic break in the NHL one reporter reminded him that he went to the Stanley Cup Finals the last time there was an Olympics and Snider joked that maybe he actually does like them then.

When we went back to look, we were a bit surprised by what we found.

Sure, the teams started off a bit differently. We all know how painful the start to this season was, with seven losses in the first eight games. Well, those Flyers were 5-2-1 in their first eight games, so there was no symmetry there.

But there were these points:

1. Both teams had a coaching change in-season. The 2009-10 Flyers replaced John Stevens with Peter Laviolette. They were 13-11-1 at the time. This season, the Flyers replaced Laviolette with Craig Berube. They were 0-3-0 at the time, however, after 25 games, they were 11-12-2, only three points off.

Not coincidental enough for you? Then try this on for size:

2. Both teams hit the Olympic break with similar records. In 2010 the Flyers were 32-25-3 for 67 points in 60 games, the current Flyers are 30-23-6 for 66 points in 59 games. Oh, and both were on a four-game winning streak when the break hit.

Hmmmm. Let’s look at it a step further.

3. At the Olympic break, the Flyers leading scorers among forwards this season are Claude Giroux (57 points), Wayne Simmonds (42 points), Jake Voracek (40 points) and Scott Hartnell (37 points). In 2010 it was Jeff Carter (52 points, five fewer than Giroux), Mike Richards (46 points, four more than Simmonds, Danny Briere (40 points, same as Voracek) and Scott Hartnell (35 points, two fewer than he has this year.) All told the point comparison is 173 in 2010, 176 in 2014. Pretty close, eh?

“Yeah, but what about goaltending,” you may say. “The Flyers had a carousel of goalies in 2010, they have been riding Steve Mason this year, with the occasional break from Ray Emery.”

And you would be right… except, if you really want to look at it deeply:

4. Michael Leighton ended up being the guy who was recognized as the No. 1 goalie in 2009-10 for the Flyers (even though Brian Boucher appeared in six more games), albeit at a smaller sample size than Mason has already provided. However, if you look at those overall numbers for Leighton, and assume Mason stays about the same, it’s actually frighteningly close – Mason: 23-14-5, 2.49 goals against average, .918 save percentage; Leighton: 16-6-0, 2.48 GAA, .918 save percentage.

The one thing these Flyers need to hope though is that the regular season accordance ends there. Because those Flyers in 2010 went a lukewarm 9-10-3 down the stretch and sneaked into the playoffs in a shootout on the final day of the season.

If this season’s Flyers go were to match that (actually, with one more game, say 9-10-4), they’d finish 39-33-10 for 88 points, which would be the same number of points as 2009-10, but likely won’t be enough to get in the playoffs this year (anything is possible, but the target number appears to be 92 points).

No matter what happens the rest of the way though, the Flyers should hope that if they do return to the postseason this spring that the parallelism resumes – and that run to the Finals can come with it.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
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