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Flyers could be well-represented in NHL Awards if 2019-20 regular season is cut short

Flyers could be well-represented in NHL Awards if 2019-20 regular season is cut short

It's unclear when the NHL Awards show — originally scheduled for June 17 — will be held, or how the awards will be decided, as the league remains suspended amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

The NHL's Board of Governors is set to hold a conference call Monday afternoon to discuss league-related financial issues created by the season's suspension, so we could see more information on the 2019-20 season's future at some point.

But a number of hockey minds from around the country have started wondering what the awards would look like if, upon resuming the season, the league moved directly to the playoffs.

We poked around the internet to see how the Flyers would fare in that hypothetical scenario. Here's what we found.

The Athletic

Flyers fans should feel pretty good about The Athletic's awards choices, which it published Monday. 

In what will become a recurring theme — as NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall predicted it would back in January — Sean Couturier wins the publication's Selke Trophy in a runaway contest. Here's what they had to say about Coots' 2019-20 season to date:

Sean Couturier’s case for the Selke did not rest on reputation. He had another fantastic two-way season by the numbers to give him the edge over Anthony Cirelli and Patrice Bergeron, who has won the award four times since 2012.

But that's not all: the site also handed the Jack Adams to Alain Vigneault in his first season with the Flyers. Here's its rationale for tapping Vigneault: 

When the NHL paused its season, the Flyers were inarguably the hottest team in hockey. With nine wins in their last 10 games, the Flyers had stormed up the Metropolitan Division standings and were embarking on an unlikely late-season charge for divisional supremacy. A big reason for that? Coach Alain Vigneault.

You can read right here why NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra thinks Vigneault for Jack Adams is the right call.

NESN

Over at NESN — which, yes, is a Boston-area site — the Couturier love fest continues. He's the only Flyer who gets a nomination, but he also wins the Selke in its awards, published Saturday, making him two for two.

Here's its explanation:

Couturier has been a defensive menace for the Flyers this season, and his league-leading face-off percentage out of qualified forwards certainly doesn’t hurt. Look at pretty much any metric that matters to you: shots against, high danger chances against, the eye test — it doesn’t matter. He’s right in the thick of the conversation every time and deserves to win this season.

Detroit Free Press

The Free Press handed out its hypothetical NHL Awards on Sunday, and while the paper didn't have any Flyers winning, it at least nominated two of Philly's finest. 

Couturier once again got a nod as a Selke nominee, losing to Boston's Patrice Bergeron, and James van Riemsdyk was named as a Lady Byng nominee, which would be pretty neat recognition for the 30-year-old.

USA TODAY

The USA TODAY selections shook things up a bit, in unexpected ways. For one, it somehow ignored the Selke, which is unfortunate for Couturier's sake. But it also added a new Flyers name to the NHL Awards scrum: Carter Hart.

Hart received a nomination for the Vezina in the USA TODAY awards, published last week, losing the award to Tuukka Rask, who will receive no argument after his dominating performance against the Flyers earlier this month.

Vigneault also received his second nod for the Jack Adams, but lost to the Blue Jackets' John Tortorella.

It's possible these awards might look entirely different when they come together, but while we all collectively wait for hockey to return, these results aren't too bad.

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Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

Catching up on Carter Hart in live stream, teammates troll in the comments

With the season on hold, many of the Flyers have gone back to their hometowns for the time being, until they receive word about what the next step will be for the NHL.

That gave Carter Hart the chance to check in with NHL Network’s Kevin Weekes on Friday night during an Instagram live. There, they talked about a wide range of things, including hobbies, an ugly suit trip and Hart even had a few teammates crash the chat room.

There’s a lot of extra time on the players’ hands right now, so what has Hart been up to? Mostly playing guitar and a lot of NBA2K.

He plays both electric and acoustic guitar, but it’s still a work in progress.

“I just wanted to get into something a little different,” Hart said. “I thought guitar would be the easiest thing to try and pick up, but it’s pretty hard.” 

And with the mention of the NBA, of course Weekes had to check in and see who Hart had been rooting for leading up to the season on pause. Obviously, many in Canada cheer for the Raptors but now that he’s playing in Philadelphia? 

“Living in Philly now, I've got to cheer for the Sixers,” Hart said.

Smart answer from the 21-year-old. And he certainly nailed the dynamic of the fans that he loves playing in front of. 

“If we’re sucking, they’re going to let us know,” Hart joked. “But if we’re winning, they’re behind us.”

Then a conversation that originally stemmed from pizza turned into Hart breaking down a roast session about him from his teammates. Apparently, the team had an ugly suit trip when it was off to Columbus — something that we’ll definitely need to do more research on — but Hart has only a handful of suits on the regular rotation. 

“I only have three suits,” Hart said. “I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to wear this,’ and I show up to the plane and everyone was like, ‘That’s the suit you wear all of the time.’

“I was like, ‘Wow, what do you want from me? You guys hate it anyways.’” 

Of course, it’s all in good fun … at least we hope. 

And soon enough, his buddies crashed the chat. About 75 percent through the stream, Nolan Patrick joined the party and started to have some fun in the comment section.  It wasn’t long before the captain Claude Giroux tuned in as well, coaching the young goalie of how to get to his end point when talking in an interview. Always looking out for the kiddo. Former teammate Dale Weise even joined the chat party, so naturally him and Patrick were joking around. 



It’s safe to say these guys certainly miss seeing each other daily. Hopefully we’ll get more live streams in the near future. 

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Flyers' Game 3 in 2010 Stanley Cup Final was the Best Game I Ever Saw Live

Flyers' Game 3 in 2010 Stanley Cup Final was the Best Game I Ever Saw Live

In the spring of 1997, Eric Lindros and company were steamrolled. Swept by the Detroit Red Wings for the first of three Stanley Cup titles in six years for the Motor City.

Fast-forward 13 years. The Flyers are back in the Final facing the same fate after losing the first two games in Chicago.

This Flyers team already completed one of the most improbable comebacks the NHL had ever seen. Down 3-0 to the Bruins in the series and then in Game 7, it shocked the world. The odds of this team completing the historic feat twice in the span of a month? Not great. That made Game 3 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final so important. If the Flyers are going to win the Cup, they have to win this game.

The night featured everything you love about playoff hockey. A game associated with the bitterness of winter played on a warm evening in June. The arena maxed out with 20,000 people wearing orange, holding their breath with every scoring chance, every save, then erupting in unison when the goal horn ripped through your eardrums.

Sixty minutes would not be enough. Five minutes into overtime the fans jumped to their feet, releasing a burst of energy that could be felt down Broad Street. It would turn out to be a practice run for the euphoria to come. Replays of the puck behind goaltender Corey Crawford, sliding perfectly along the goal line, confirmed our worst fears. It’s not over.

The swing of emotions is what makes overtime playoff hockey so unique. The suddenness of it all is unmatched. Which is why none of us were expecting, less than one minute later, the building would shake. No need for a review. No need to regain our composure. Claude Giroux had won Game 3.

It was one of those moments when strangers were now family. Section 212 became my new neighborhood. I looked around to take in the moment, seeing smiles from ear to ear and even a few jubilant tears.

One week later, tears of a different kind were shed after Patrick Kane celebrated by himself on the same sheet of ice. Another Final loss jump-started another dynasty with the Blackhawks claiming three Cups in six years. The hurt of that series loss was equaled only by the exhilaration of Game 3 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. The best game I ever saw live.



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