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Five reasons you should buy into the 2023-2024 Flyers

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

Ah yes, it’s the beginning of December. Teams have found their footing and are showing us what kind of teams they really are. At this point in the season, you start to see which teams actually have “it” and look like they’re going for the playoffs. You also find out which teams might start to #PlayLikeAWeenieForCelebrini™.

At the beginning of the season, our beloved Philadelphia Flyers were expected to be battling with the Columbus Blue Jackets for the worst record in the Metro. They were also expected to even challenge the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks for the worst record in the NHL.

With that being said, let’s check the standings and see where the Flyers sit in the Macklin Celebrini race.

Well that’s weird. It says here that the Flyers are…3rd in the Metro. They’re currently in a playoff spot. Can you believe that?!

Well, you should believe it folks. The Flyers are a good hockey team this year. I know it’ll be hard to buy into a team that’s yanked the rug out from underneath you the past decade, but this time it feels different, and I’ll give you five reasons why.

1. They’re winning

“Duh!” You’re saying to yourself right now.

I mean, yeah, at face value saying “they’re winning” seems kind of cheap, but they’re not just beating the pushover teams.

This season they have wins against teams like the Vegas Golden Knights, the Los Angeles Kings, the Vancouver Canucks, and the Carolina Hurricanes. They also have wins against teams with some of the best players in hockey like the Pittsburgh Penguins and Edmonton Oilers.

They’re winning games against good teams. The question is can they keep it up? The underlying stats say yes.

2. Their underlying stats are actually good

When the Flyers started hot the past couple of seasons, they were not playing great hockey. They got dominated on the ice for a majority of the games they played. They were constantly outshot and out worked. They just happened to get great shot luck early in the season which would come back to bite them.

This year? Not the same story.

In all situations, the Flyers’ offense currently sits fourth in the NHL in shots on goal. They’re eighth in Fenwick %. They also sit at 10th in the NHL at xG% and unblocked shot attempts.

Their defense is even better.

They’re fifth in the NHL in xGA and first in Expected goals against per 60 minutes. They also have given up the second fewest high danger chances. Oh, and we can’t forget the Torts special, 5th in blocked shots.

The craziest part? They’re bottom five in shooting percentage for shots on goal. That should hopefully revert back to the mean as the season goes on, meaning the Flyers will probably be scoring more goals than they already are.

All stats above are courtesy of MoneyPuck

3. The coach

John Tortorella is perfect for the city of Philadelphia.

Torts doesn’t BS anything. He makes sure the guys show up every night ready to play and holds them accountable if they don’t. Yeah, he can be a little combative with the media, and some people don’t like how he rotates his lineup, but he’s pushed the right buttons. He’s teaching these young guys what it takes to win in the NHL and that no player is above the team. He has these guys believing not just in his message, but each other too.

4. The players on the team are really likable

This team is full of guys who are easy to root for. Last year’s team had a bunch of guys who the fans were torn on. Players like Ivan Provorov, Tony DeAngelo, Kevin Hayes, and Brendan Lemieux made it difficult for some fans to buy into the team. It was tough when players like Hayes and DeAngelo were combative through the media with Torts, which then resulted in healthy scratches, shots from Torts back through the media, and obvious locker room problems.

Hell, this year Travis Sanheim seemed to be taking subtle shots at at least one of the guys on the team last year.

The vibe is just different this year. The young guys are breaths of fresh air and don’t seem so uptight. Torts may ride them, but they don’t take it personally and use it to improve themselves.

It just doesn’t feel as tense around the team this season. Honestly it really makes it easy to believe these guys will battle for each other until the end.

5. They’re only going to get better over the next few years

Look, even if they somehow crash and burn this year, a lot of the guys on this team will be key pieces through the rebuild. You should get familiar with them now. Players like Tyson Foerster, Cam York, Owen Tippett, and Bobby Brink will all be major pieces of this team throughout the next few years. Watching them grow and develop this season will be a treat, and when Cutter Gauthier and Matvei Michkov eventually get here, the Flyers’ top 6 could be dangerous. Start watching them now so you can see how good this team could get over the next 5 years.

Also, they have BALLS.

Hell yeah they do.

2024 Stadium Series Trip

Flyers Nation and Philly Sports Trips have teamed up to bring you on an amazing bus trip to the 2024 NHL Stadium Series between the Flyers and Devils. Place an early deposit to reserve your spot at the ultimate tailgate experience at MetLife Stadium before the game. The package includes a game ticket, round-trip charter bus, an all-inclusive tailgate party with unlimited cold beverages, “Philly Style” catered food, live entertainment, and more.

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