The Philadelphia Flyers skated off the ice after a 4-1 beatdown by the Pittsburgh Penguins which saw a team that was outplayed in nearly every aspect of the game. The loss was their fourth in a row and dropped their record to 1-7. Since that forgetful evening, however, the Flyers have been playing just as well as their inner-state rivals.
Dating back to October 18, the Flyers have amassed the third best record over that time with a 22-10-4 (48 points) mark. The two teams ahead of them? The Boston Bruins (50 points) and the Penguins (53 points), two of the perennial playoff teams in the conference. Right behind the Flyers over that stretch are the Montreal Canadians with 45 points.
Since Craig Berube entered the picture, the team has taken on a new identity and has risen to life after a rather sluggish opening to the 82-game schedule. The scary thing for the rest of the NHL is that the Flyers are just scratching the surface. Behind their revitalized offense, Philadelphia has posted a 9-2 record since December 17. They have reeled off 10 consecutive wins at home — the first time that feat has been accomplished since the 80s.
Behind every team’s emergence is a reason. For the Flyers, their reason has been the play of their stars. Claude Giroux’s journey from struggling playmaker at the start to rejuvenated All-Star has been well-documented. Over his last 29 games, the Canadian National Team All-Star snub has registered 32 points, which rounds out to a 97-point pace over a full 82-game slate. Aside from the captain, though, players like Wayne Simmonds, Scott Hartnell and Jakub Voracek have finally woke up.
Arguably one of the best in front of the net, Simmonds has netted nine goals with five assists over a 15-game span. He has recorded at least one point in nine of the team’s last 11 games. His hot streak has been inspirational during the Flyers’ rise in the standings.
Likewise, Hartnell and Voracek have quietly gone about their business after a lackluster start for both skaters. Currently sitting fifth on the team with 21 points, Hartnell strung together a remarkable eight-game point streak with four goals and five assists for eight points which finally came to a close against the Canadians. Even more impressive, though, has been the breakthrough of the man dubbed Jakub Scoracek. Over a 14-game span (ending against the Canadians), Voracek collected 18 points and has garnered national recognition after being named to the Czech Republic Olympic roster.
These four players have come along from the team’s opening 3-1 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs. They are also not the only ones on the team who have finally started to heat up. From Brayden Schenn to Michael Raffl, all the way to Erik Gustafsson, the entire Flyers roster has improved their play.
With 43 goals over their past 12 games, which ranks among the top three over that time period, the Flyers are no pushover; in fact, they’ve become one of the most challenging teams to face and one of the premiere teams in the Eastern Conference.
A journalism student at Rowan University, Kyle is a Big Ten Reporter for Scout.com (owned by Fox Sports) and spent the 2013 season interning with the Philadelphia Flyers.