Chris Peters is ESPN’s NHL draft and prospects analyst. The Chicago native previously covered the NHL for CBSSports.com and based the most popular independent blog UnitedStatesofHockey.com at which he also covered the match in any way degrees since 2010.
As each NHL team is eliminated from playoff contention — mathematically or by dropping the postseason — we’ll take a look at why its quest to the Stanley Cup fell short in 2018 19, along with three keys into its own off season, impact prospects for 2019-20 and also a way-too-early prediction on what next season will hold.
It had been a disastrous start for its philadelphiaflyers , also a team which had legitimate Stanley Cup playoff ambitions. General manager Ron Hextall has been the first casualty, fired in late November after four-plus seasons on the job. (The impetus for its shooting was a 6-0 thrashing by the Tampa Bay Lightning by which the Flyers didn’t commit one punishment, a reason of concern for several fans used to a more demanding brand of baseball )
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Subsequently coach Dave Hakstol was allowed go. For the initial two weeks of the growing season (during Jan. 13), the Flyers had the worst record in the NHL, at 16-23-6, allowing the third-most goals while scoring on the fourth-fewest. Philadelphia will place the NHL record using eight different netminders within one season.
At the close of the season, things started to appear up. Touted goalie prospect Carter Hart, 20, finally has been known upward and (even though an injury hiatus) revealed he could be the real thing; Hart is poised to begin with next season since the eventual ending stop to the carousel. Interim coach Scott Gordon eventually reconfigured the shield into a much more effective unit. James van Riemsdyk, the massive free-agent signing who got injured in the second match of the season, finished the season producing at a elite point-per-game point.
If the Flyers had not started the season such sluggish fashion, they might have been in a position to create ground and creep in the play offs. But that beginning was dreadful. The recovery was too little, too late.