Monday, August 24, 2009

The Hockey News picks the Flyers to win the Stanley Cup

I just got some good Flyers news via my mailbox. The Hockey News 2009-10 Yearbook arrived, and while at first I was sickened by the picture of Sidney Crosby on the cover, I was happy the moment I flipped to the section where they make their predictions. According to THN, the Flyers will win the Stanley Cup!

The magazine predicted the Flyers to finish 4th the East, just behind the Penguins, but thinks Philly is built to make a run for the Cup. While THN does express concern with Ray Emery in net, they feel he will be sufficiently motivated by his one year contract with the Flyers to put in a good season. Couple that with what The Hockey News calls a group of forwards that are "the envy of the league" and "one of the deepest and best bluelines", and the Flyers have all the makings of a Stanley Cup winner.

As for the Flyers opponent in the Finals, THN doesn't make a pick, although they pick the Sharks to finish atop the Western Conference standings. They also think the Red Wings have a great shot at a third straight trip to the Finals.

The Hockey News goes further into depth on the Flyers, saying they could finish as high as 1st in the East if everything goes right and as low as 7th if Emery is terrible and they have a rash of injuries. They also list several Flyers in their "Top 50" player list, including Jeff Carter (14), Chris Pronger (23), Mike Richards (28) and Simon Gagne (48), and two Flyers also made the "Top 25 Players Under 25" list: Mike Richards (9) and Jeff Carter (15).

The Hockey News is a highly reputable source, so the fact that they love the Flyers is a good thing, however, as we all know, predictions are meaningless. On paper, the Flyers appear to have one of the better teams in the league. Their forward and defensemen depth is nearly unmatched and they are the grittiest team in the league, but none of that matters if they don't get strong goaltending or a few key players get injured.

That being said, it's nice to know the Flyers are in the mix and that hockey experts think they have what it takes to win it all. Stanley Cups aren't won in August, but it sure feels good to know the Flyers are the best team on paper.


Anonymous said...

With Pronger on the team and aging, the Flyers will be Penalty Killing too often especially with the other acquisitions this summer. Thats what killed them last year and Emery can't help this situation. He's not good enough. Also they still haven't picked up any goal scoring. I pick them lucky to make the playoffs. If they make the playoffs I think they have a decent shot to progress through the first two rounds depending on who they match up with since the league obviously told the officials to pocket their whistles in the playoffs last year. It doesn't seem right to change the game from skilled to Goon hockey for the playoffs. Only the highly skilled teams like Pittsburgh and Detroit have the ability to overcome the Goons.

Anonymous said...

what you just said makes absolutely zero sense. The Flyers depth in goal scoring is one of their strongest points. There is someone on every single line capable of scoring at least 25 goals or more in a season. They are much more then a goon team. And even if they get into penalty trouble like they do every year, this year both our penalty killing unit and our power play units will be some of the highest ranked in all of the NHL.

Anonymous said...

You forgot to mention that the flyers have the second best all time win percentage in the NHL.