Eastern preview: Are Flyers a playoff team?

Eastern preview: Are Flyers a playoff team?
September 7, 2013, 2:45 pm
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PHILADELPHIA FLYERS

2012-13: 23-22-3, 49 points

Where they finished: 4th in the Atlantic; 10th in the East; 20th in the NHL

Coach: Peter Laviolette (5th season)

Key additions: C Vinny Lecavalier, C Kris Newbury, D Mark Streit, G Yann Danis

Key subtractions: C Danny Briere, RW Ruslan Fedotenko, LW Simon Gagne, RW Mike Knuble, D Andreas Lilja, D Danny Syvret, D Kurtis Foster, G Ilya Bryzgalov

Projected Lineup

Forwards

Scott Hartnell – Claude Giroux – Jakub Voracek

Tye McGinn – Vinny Lecavalier – Wayne Simmonds

Jay Rosehill – Sean Couturier – Brayden Schenn

Zac Rinaldo - Max Talbot –Matt Read

Defense

Mark Streit – Kimmo Timonen

Braydon Coburn – Luke Schenn

Andrej Meszaros – Nicklas Grossman

Goaltenders

Steve Mason – Ray Emery

Our take: The Flyers are a tough nut to crack. They are either going to rebound from last year’s playoff no-show with a vengeance or they’ll sputter out of the gate and put the job security of Peter Laviolette and Paul Holmgren in peril.

The Flyers dumped a pair of heavy contracts in Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere, but are they significantly better with the two-headed goaltending duo of Steve Mason and Ray Emery and aging center Vinny Lecavalier?

The Flyers are deep down the middle with Claude Giroux, Lecavalier, Sean Couturier and Max Talbot, but they lack scoring on the wings, especially from the left side. The team’s greatest strength might be on the back end, where newcomer Mark Streit joins an experienced corps that was banged up for most of last season.

It’s a coin flip, but this could be another long hockey season in Philly.

Offseason Grade:  C

Will they make the playoffs in 2013-14:  No.