Catch Fire in November Embers: Flyers Monthly Report

November Record (10-2-4) Overall Record (15-7-5 35 points) 

The Flyers month of November is as good of a month as the team has ever had. That isn’t hyperbole, but a fact. Their 24 points in November was an NHL best, and their 35 total points is the team’s best pace since the 95-96 season. With 10 wins in this month they’ve matched a high in team history, and is as many or more as the months of October and November combined the last two seasons.

With this historic and slightly unbelievable surge, the Flyers sit in 3rd place in the Metropolitan division, and amazingly 6th overall in the NHL. The only problem is that two of the teams ahead of them are the Capitals (43 points) and the Islanders (36). The Metro division has been good, and Carolina and Pittsburg currently occupy the wild card spots, so the Flyers early jump is an important step in the right direction when it comes to the playoff race.

Call Ups And Returns 

Part of the November success as come from additions and re-additions to the Flyers lineup. Joel Farabee was called up in October, but 8 of his 9 points came in November. The other big call up came on November 19th as Morgan Frost finally took to NHL ice. He contributed immediately with a goal and an assist, albeit in a loss, but Frost’s presence on the ice is noticeable and his talent gives the Flyers better depth than they’ve had in recent memory.

The return comes from Scott Laughton. Again the added depth he brings has made the Flyers lineup much closer to being optimized on most nights. Three of his six points have also come in his return from injury on November 23rd.

The Big Engines Keep Going 

Travis Konecny had 11 points in November. Sean Couturier had 15 points. Claude Giroux had 12 points, and tied Couturier for the month lead with 6 goals. Jakub Voracek also comes in with 11 points. Ivan Provorov had 10 points.

When your best players are producing you’re going to win games. Kevin Hayes also ended a skid, and came alive with 6 points over the last 7 games. Oskar Lindblom also contributed another 10 points to the efforts, continuing a very good year. The Flyers top end talent may not be on any recording setting paces, but the consistency over the month was an important factor.

Ghost Disappears, JVR’s Demotion

Shayne Gostisbehere had a rough month. He only had three points, and found himself scratched on several different occasions. He has 7 points in total on the year, with only 1 coming at even strength. His defensive zone play has also been poor. He’s said the right things in the media, but with another scratch possibly looming it seems that Gostisbehere is facing an uphill battle to just stay in the lineup.

Another Flyer struggling has been James van Riemsdyk. With only 5 points and 2 goals, the incredibly well compensated forward has underperformed greatly so far this year. With over 30% of the season now in the books we’ve moved from slow start into bad half territory. What is especially troubling is that the power play specialist has only produced 2 points on the man advantage this year.

He hasn’t missed any time, but he’s found himself on the 4th line, where his line mates have been Michael Raffl and Tyler Pitlick. Raffl by comparison has 9 points playing bottom six minutes and with little to no power play time (and out of position) and Pitlick only has 5, but 4 have come in November.

Out of everyone these two players need to rally in December.

This Coming Month 

December will see the Flyers playing 13 games, and mercifully with no back to back contests. They have 6 out of 7 on the road, but only one in the division against the Rangers. They will play some bottom feeder teams though in the LA Kings, Ottawa Senators (twice) and Anaheim twice. It could be a chance for the Flyer to rack up some points. Another good month should put the Flyers firmly into playoff contenders status.

Also, they have a new victory song. Think of it what you will.

 

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