Flyers recover quickly for a more promising season

Matt Radziwell ('10)/Eastside Flyers Beat Writer

After being rewarded with just one point in the first four games this season, fans of the Philadelphia Flyers were quite skeptical of how the season would turn out.  Those thoughts were put to rest when the Flyers came away with 10 out of a possible 12 points in their next six games.  Over the course of those six games, the Flyers outscored their opponents 29-20, which included a remarkable 7-0 win against the Thrashers. Flyers’ forwards Simon Gagne, who leads the team in points, and Jeff Carter, who leads the team in goals, continue to be the team’s stand-out forwards. 

At the defensive end of the rink the Flyers team is starting to come together even though Martin Biron is still struggling eleven games into the season.  Backup goalie Antero Niittymaki is once again making a push to prove that he deserves the starting job.  The Flyers received points in all four games Antero started, and he currently has a 2.89 goals against average while Biron has a sub-par average of 3.79.  Would it really be a surprise if we have another goalie controversy in Philadelphia?

The defense, the major reason for the poor start, is starting to mold into a strength for this team.  No one has answered more questions over the past several games than the youngster Luca Sbisa.  Flyers fans should get used to hearing that name because he will be a key part of the defense for years to come.

Briere sidelined

A prized free-agent acquisition one year ago, Daniel Briere underwent surgery to fix two abdominal tears on Friday, October 24th.  He is expected back in late November and Jared Ross has taken his spot on the roster.  Although Ross looked very good in his first few games as the fourth line center, the absence of Daniel Briere will force newly acquired Glen Metropolit to center a line with wingers Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. Wouldn’t it be scary if this team were to all be healthy for a considerable period of time?

Red-hot power play

The Flyers power play has been one of the best in the NHL this year scoring goals in just under 26% of their chances.  Mike Knuble leads the team with three power play goals.  The team scored three power play goals in six opportunities in Sunday night’s 5-4 loss to the Edmonton Oilers. Hopefully this success will continue all year long.

Upcoming schedule

The team has a few days off before they travel to Ottawa to face the Senators on Thursday, November 6th.  They play the Tampa Bay Lightning on the 8th and then gear up for three straight away games versus the Islanders, Penguins and Canadiens.  They should come out of these five games with at least seven points.