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The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Philadelphia Flyers Season Preview


On Oct. 13, the Philadelphia Flyers will make their return to the Wells Fargo Center for the 2022-23 season in their season opener against the New Jersey Devils.

During the off-season, the Flyers saw a number of changes to both their roster and their coaching staff. After the in-season firing of Head Coach Alain Vigneault, the team played under interim coach Mike Yeo for the remainder of the 2021-22 season. The Flyers finished with a record of 25-46-11, finishing last in the Metropolitan Division and fourth to last in the league.

On June 17, John Tortorella was named the new head coach of the Flyers. Tortorella, known for his no-nonsense approach, has made it clear in statements to the press that he wants to see a change in the culture of the team, starting in the locker room.

Another locker room change that the Flyers faced at the end of last season was the loss of long-time captain, Claude Giroux. After 15 seasons with the Flyers, Giroux was traded at the deadline to the Florida Panthers. The Flyers finished the season under the leadership of alternate captains Sean Couturier, Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov. Tortorella has already said that he is not planning to name a new captain until further into the season.

One of the most notable moves of the off-season was the acquisition of defenseman and South Jersey native, Tony DeAngelo from the Carolina Hurricanes. DeAngelo tallied 51 points for the Hurricanes last season, 20 of which were power-play points. This provides some hope for the Flyers whose power-play has been one of the main areas of concern for the team. Last season they had the worst power-play percentage in the league at 12.6%. Fans are hoping that with the addition of DeAngelo, the team will see improvement in this aspect of their game this season.

The second aspect of play that the Flyers will look to improve this season is their defense. Last season, the team allowed an average of 3.59 goals per game, with goalie Carter Hart averaging a save percentage of .905. However, the Flyers will likely continue to struggle in this aspect due to the loss of center Sean Couturier for the foreseeable future. Couturier has established himself as one of the league’s best defensive centers, earning him the Selke Trophy, awarded to the forward who has demonstrated the most defensive skill for the season, in 2020.

Couturier is week-to-week and will be out for the start of the season with a lower-back injury that also cut his 2021-22 season short. Defenseman Ryan Ellis is out indefinitely with a back injury that caused him to play only four games for the Flyers last season. Hart, forward Cam Atkinson and forward Joel Farabee have all been cleared for contactless practice. Hart said that he will be ready against the Devils for the season opener. Atkinson and Farabee were among some of the team’s leading scorers last season. Atkinson had 50 points, second only to forward Travis Konecny, in his first season with the Flyers.

Although fans’ hopes for the 2022-23 season remain low, the Flyers are hoping to make the necessary adjustments to improve their game this season, with the help of their off-season acquisitions under Tortorella’s coaching.

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Mia Messina
Mia Messina, Sports Editor
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