Flyers

Flyers

We're getting to that beloved time of year: Predictions.

USA TODAY Sports unveiled its point projections Wednesday. After picking the Flyers to finish in the 2017-18 Metropolitan Division cellar, it foresees a much different result entering 2018-19.

With that, let's go End to End today with NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk and Jordan Hall.

The topic: Analyzing the 49-win, 105-point prediction.

Boruk
If USA TODAY Sports' predictions hold firm, then brace yourself for another Flyers-Penguins first-round matchup. I don't think a second-place finish in the Metropolitan Division is a far-fetched notion, nor is the belief that the Flyers could top 100 points this season.

However, the Vegas line on the Flyers' point total is 96.5, so reaching 105 would be a significant next step for a team that has major questions surrounding the health of its goaltending. 

USA TODAY Sports also predicts the Flyers will finish with a 49-26-7 record. The 49-win total is significant considering the Flyers haven’t won that many games since 1985-86. The Flyers would need to have a stellar overtime/shootout record to reach the 49-win mark, and with how poorly they've performed in the shootout since its inception in 2004-05, that doesn't seem likely.  

 

A more realistic Flyers record would be 45-26-11 for 101 points with a second-place finish, while hoping the Washington Capitals fight through a Stanley Cup hangover to begin the season.

Hall
On paper, the Flyers definitely look positioned to take a healthy leap.

A necessary one, too.

They plugged a 36-goal scorer into their nucleus, a number of core pieces are coming off career seasons and the kids will be a year older with rising expectations.

But just how big of a jump is 49 wins and 105 points? Pretty big.

As John pointed out, it would be the franchise's most victories since 1985-86, when the club won 53 games. And the 105 points would be the Flyers' best finish since 2010-11 (106 points), the season after they made a run to the Stanley Cup Final.

This year, the Eastern Conference is really top heavy and the Metropolitan Division once again looks strong. As good as the Flyers appear to be up top, the goaltending situation remains on shaky ground and the defense needs to prove itself outside of Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov.

Still, what the Flyers have cooking is good, but I'll believe that bold of a prediction when I actually see it.

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