Flyers

Flyers

Alain Vigneault called it a new era of Flyers hockey.

The Flyers haven't won a postseason series since 2012 and are coming off a 2018-19 season in which they missed the playoffs with their fewest points (82) in a full year since 2006-07.

Is 2019-20 looking like a big bounce-back year?

After providing our Flyers Fearless Forecast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall give their season predictions:

Destra

Flyers prediction/outlook

The Flyers are making the playoffs ... comfortably.

The talent spread out across the Metropolitan may make it the toughest division to beat in the league and many believe the Flyers will underperform.

I believe they will do the opposite. In fact, when looking at the roster, the Flyers have one of the most complete teams and will fly under the radar for quite some time. It's OK, let them doubt this team's abilities.

This is the season everything clicks. From the depth at forward to Carter Hart, legitimate veteran presence on the blue line and new faces behind the bench — the Flyers are going to surprise many.

Let's go with a 43-25-14 record, giving the Flyers their first 100-point season since 2011-12, when they tallied 103 points.

Another pro, something that has been long overdue — they make it past the first round of the playoffs. However, they don't advance to the Eastern Conference Final ... this season. If they have the incredibly proficient season I believe they will, another banner will be in the team's future very soon.

 

Stanley Cup Final prediction

Last season showed that once the playoffs start, it is anyone's game. No one saw the Blues winning it all and certainly did not see the Blue Jackets sweeping the Lightning in the first round.

If that is the case again, keep an eye out on the Dallas Stars. I believe they will beat out the Golden Knights and represent the West during the Cup Final.

I think Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals to the Final for the second time in three seasons after taking down the Bruins in a seven-game series.

There, the Caps will hoist Lord Stanley after six hard-fought games for their second win in franchise history — but on home ice this time around.

Emmer

Flyers prediction/outlook

Well, the Flyers not only need to make playoffs because they need to make playoffs, but they also have to continue the playoff trend! Since the 2011-12 season, the orange and black have a pattern of making, then missing the playoffs. The good news is, this year is the year to make.

Aside from the trend, I think it is completely doable.

I’m an optimist with this team. I’m predicting the Flyers will finish 47-30-5 with 99 points at the end of the season and will be top three in the Metro. 

I see them taking on the Islanders in the first round and if my senses are correct, this will also be the year they make it past the first round. They’ll pass the Isles in Game 6.

After that, I’m predicting they go up against the Pens and fall short, 4-1, in the series. 

Stanley Cup Final prediction

This year, I see the Sharks and the Penguins in the Final. 

Sharks will take the series in Game 7 at SAP Center and Joe Thornton will finally get his championship at the age of 40. I’m predicting Nathan MacKinnon wins the Hart Trophy as league MVP and the Art Ross Trophy goes to Nikita Kucherov for the second straight year. 

Hall

Flyers prediction/outlook

The Flyers had an underrated offseason. It wasn't flashy but it was productive.

With the uncertainty on Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder), the Kevin Hayes signing is looking better and better. The 27-year-old changes the game in all areas and gives the Flyers a jolt down the middle. The Flyers look deeper, especially if Patrick can return and a youngster steps up in the bottom six.

Much of the Flyers' hopes will rely on the team's defense. Can Shayne Gostisbehere get back to being the point-producing threat he was in 2017-18? Will Ivan Provorov look like a No. 1 defenseman again? And just how much will 32-year-olds Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun impact the group?

The right coaching staff is in place to push this team into the playoffs. Let's go with 44-29-9 for 97 points and a wild-card berth. The Flyers will lose in the first round, making the offseason and 2020-21 that much more important to break some franchise trends.

 

Stanley Cup Final prediction

The Lightning will have all sorts of motivation this season following last year's first-round playoff flop. That type of embarrassment fuels a team and can make for a great sports story.

Tampa Bay will write that story by beating the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final.

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