Flyers fans weren’t sure what to expect from the drastic changes made to this team. I’m not even sure that the organization knew what they were getting themselves into. In the first two games, the newest additions to the orange and black have been everything but quiet.
Wayne Simmonds has done what he was brought into Philadelphia to do: be a physical presence on the ice that could also help but points on the board. In the most recent game vs. New Jersey, Simmonds scored the Flyers 3rd goal and also was engaged in a fight. I can tell that his style of play will make him a fan favorite in Philly.
Jakub Voracek has already showed what he is capable of. In the first game vs. Boston, he scored his first goal as a Flyer and had several scoring chances vs. New Jersey. If you closely examine his style of play, you will notice his craftiness while handling the puck. I think that Voracek will be a guy who will have the ability to score a huge goal when the team is in need of one.
Jaromir Jagr has not disappointed in his return to the NHL. At age 39, he looks like he’s still 20 while handling the puck. Chemistry between him and Giroux has already developed on the Flyers’ top line. He is skating well and is adapting well as he returns to this higher level of play.
Ilya Bryzgalov is the man that the Flyers needed the most. If Bryz was on the team during the 2010 Stanley Cup Finals, the parade would’ve went down the streets of Philadelphia. Last year, the Flyers did not have a shutout all season by Bobrovsky or Boucher and in game 2 of the season, #30 came up with a shutout in a 3-0 Flyers win. Big things are expected from Ilya throughout the season.
Sean Couturier is making the most of his NHL tryout. Laviolette has enough trust in the 18 year old (7th Overall Pick) to put him out on the penalty kill and in the final minute of a one goal game. His defensive contributions are noticeable and I believe that there is no chance for him being sent down.
The Flyers have only played 2 games of an 82 game season, but Holmgren’s moves seem to have improved his hockey team. They are much bigger and faster up front like the Flyers GM said they would be. So far, I am satisfied with the overall aggressiveness that they seemed to lack last year. If the team continues to play this way, I won’t have a hard time picturing hockey in May.
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