The Flyers are set to open their season in just over a week on October 2 as they will host Toronto. I spoke with Flyers radio analyst and former Flyers defensemen Chris Therien about the upcoming season.
Therien is set for another season of Flyers
hockey alongside Tim Saunders in the booth.
Question: What are your expectations for the 2013-2014 Philadelphia Flyers?
Answer: I think it’s going to be a lot better. Coming off a season like last year where they didn’t do very well I think it’s going to motivate them to do a lot better. They made some good acquisitions this offseason and all in all my expectations are that I expect this team to be a playoff team.
Question: With the realignment taking effect this year and the Flyers division being very deep from top to bottom, as well as the entire Eastern conference, how do you think the Flyers match up with the rest of the East?
Answer: Since I expect them to be a playoff team I expect their lineup to be healthy and I know it’s a lot tougher but you look at Pittsburgh, the Rangers, Washington, Carolina and Columbus coming over it’s going to be hard but if everything falls in place for the Flyers looking at it today yes the Flyers are a playoff team but a lot of things have to go their way this season like a lot of things have to go the right way for a lot of other teams this season.
Question: If you had to give the Flyers a grade based on their offseason moves, most notably Vincent Lecavalier, Mark Streit, and Ray Emery, what grade would you give them?
Answer: To me they improved at every single position on the team, there’s a lot of upside with experience but maybe a little downside with age. I think I would give the Flyers a B+. It’s not perfect but based on every position I feel like they improved and though you’d like to have a guy who’s 28 and not 36 they got better this offseason.
| Alejandro A. Alvarez|
General Manager Paul Holmgren and Chief Operating Officer of Comcast Spectacor Peter Luukko introduce Lecavalier, Streit, and Emery at a press conference over the summer.
Answer: Right now it’s a healthy competition I don’t think either guy is out to get the other guy. It’s good competition which is always good. I think this is a situation where both guys can come out and really be effective and help one another but ultimately it comes down to who’s playing better at the certain point in time.
Question: What do you expect the next eight to nine months hold for Flyers 2013 first round pick defensemen Samuel Morin?
Answer: He’s going back to juniors so I’m not really sure. I loved what I saw in preseason he’s a big guy and in going back to juniors I expect him to progress and get a lot better. I hope he gets better and is going to have a bright future in the NHL.
Question: After the trades of Mike Richards and Jeff Carter two summers ago, the ensuing season saw lots of young new faces like Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, Jakub Voracek, Matt Read, and Sean Couturier step in and fill the scoring voids left by Richards and Carter and a big reason why the Flyers were 3rd in the NHL in goals scored in the 2011-2012 season. But last year the Flyers slipped to 9th in the NHL in goals scored. For a team that always has its fair share of question marks on the blue line and between the pipes how important is it for them to get back to scoring a lot of goals which was key to their success two years ago?
| John DiGiacomo |
Captain Claude Giroux appears to be ready to go and figures to be
right in the middle of it all for the Flyers again this year.
Answer: I think he’ll be fine, he wouldn’t play if he weren’t able to play and I have no worries about that at all.
Question: We’ve seen the other Philadelphia teams over the past year fail to live up to expectations and it resulted in the Eagles firing Andy Reid, the Phillies showing the door to Charlie Manuel, and Doug Collins resigning as Sixers head coach. What kind of pressure is on Peter Laviolette to get the Flyers back to the playoffs after having missed the playoffs last season, a rare occurrence for the Flyers within the last 20 years?
Peter Laviolette will look to get things fixed
and get the Flyers back in the playoffs.