Flyers

Flyers

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall.

The topic: After touching on the positives, who was the Flyers' biggest disappointment during training camp and the preseason?

Destra

There's a ton of excitement around the anticipation of having Carter Hart between the pipes for his first full season. But what about when he needs to rest? What about when the Flyers play games on back-to-back days and he's able to play in only one of them?

Don't get me wrong, managing the amount of games the 21-year-old should play has to be one of their top priorities in order to avoid another carousel of goaltenders.

So when Hart is resting, how confident should we be with Brian Elliott? If his presesaon was any indication of the performance we'll get moving forward — not too confident.  

Now, it was just the preseason. I'll say that again — it was just the preseason. And it's important to remember that there's no need to overreact until games start to matter.

Elliott appeared in four out of seven preseason games and, for the most part, it wasn't pretty.

In his first three appearances, he allowed seven goals and had an .873 save percentage. Following the team's overtime loss in Boston last week, it did not appear that Alain Vigneault was impressed by Elliott's performance and it looked like the head coach was vocal about it behind the bench.

"You can't win with goaltending like that," Vigneault appeared to say.

If your coach is concerned about the performance of the backup goaltender, we should be, too.

Elliott's only strong performance came during his fourth game on Monday afternoon, when the Flyers lost to Lausanne HC. Yes, Elliott looked solid, but it was against a team that isn't even in the NHL ... so do what you will with that information.

 

Emmer

Improving the blue line was undoubtedly a focal point in the offseason for the Flyers.

The team acquired new veteran presences Justin Braun and Matt Niskanen with hopes that its current defensive core will show improvements.

Someone who needs to show improvement is Shayne Gostisbehere. 

He’s a good defenseman, he’s shown it in his five seasons with the orange and black — most noticeably in the 2017-18 season, when he finished with a career-high 65 points. 

Of course you can’t expect those kind of numbers every year, but after his 37 points and minus-20 rating in 2018-19, there's a lot of hope that his strong game will bounce back this year.

That being said, he didn’t stand out as much as expected in camp. He made an impact on special teams, but didn’t make it on the score sheet once during preseason action.

Among many reasons, it could have been because Vigneault frequently changed around his pairings.

Gostisbehere will be surrounded by a new staff this season. There is no saying what this personnel will be able to accomplish once the puck drops in the regular season. 

Despite the preseason, who says Gostisbehere isn’t on track for another 60-plus-point year?

Hall

There are a number of ways to go here.

Andy Andreoff was signed to possibly win a job in the Flyers’ bottom six but didn’t, even with injuries to Nolan Patrick and Tyler Pitlick widening the door.

Morgan Frost didn’t underperform but a groin injury led to a second straight abbreviated preseason. If Frost stayed healthy, he could have scored his way into the third-line center position.

Kurtis Gabriel was knocked out of the preseason in his first game. The big winger was expected to make the Flyers’ decisions much harder but a lower-body injury threw a wrench into those plans.

But we’ll go with Philippe Myers. It’s not that he was severely disappointing, but an uneven preseason performance led to the 22-year-old defenseman disappointingly falling short of the Flyers’ initial roster to open the 2019-20 campaign.

During the summer, general manager Chuck Fletcher said the Flyers were bullish on Myers’ upside. After the rookie game, AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley head coach Scott Gordon said Myers was an NHL player. Myers seemed poised for a full-time role this year following a 21-game taste of the NHL last season.

"They told me that I should be chomping at the bit for this training camp,” Myers said on Sept. 7. “I want that, too, I want to be a top-four guy, have a bigger role on the team and help the team win.”

 

The excitement over Myers is still very much alive. It’s just on hold for now and I didn’t expect it to be.

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