Flyers

An OT winner, a weird Oilers fan and a thrilling Flyers victory in NHL 20

An OT winner, a weird Oilers fan and a thrilling Flyers victory in NHL 20

Flyers fans were four days away from seeing Connor McDavid at the Wells Fargo Center before the NHL season was suspended March 12 because of the coronavirus outbreak.

So while you couldn't see him live in action, fans did get a chance to see the virtual version of the 23-year-old superstar Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired an NHL 20 simulation of the the Flyers-Oilers matchup.

With the great trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call, the Flyers beat the Oilers in an overtime thriller, 5-4.

Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier had multi-point games, while Ivan Provorov scored the game-winner on a nasty shot.

McDavid put up a goal and an assist but Carter Hart turned him away twice in overtime, finishing with 44 saves.

Couturier scored a huge goal in the third period to extend the Flyers' lead to 4-2. It was important insurance because the Oilers tied the game with consecutive goals to force the extra session.

Giroux and Scott Laughton turned things on in the middle stanza with back-to-back goals to put the Flyers in control.

The fellas almost hurt Giroux's neck here on the celebration.

James van Riemsdyk opened the game's scoring by flushing home a rebound during the first period.

Meanwhile, this Oilers fan was pretty weird, choosing a peculiar technique to celebrate during the action.

He went home unhappy as the Flyers improved to 3-1-0 in the NHL 20 simulations.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Philippe Myers

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Philippe Myers

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Philippe Myers.

Destra

Normally an injury as severe as a fractured patella would cause a player to be out for a significant amount of time to recover. Luckily for Myers, he missed only a single game because just days after his injury, the NHL season was officially suspended because of the coronavirus outbreak. 

This could be viewed as a silver lining — considering Myers will now be ready to roll come the round robin and playoffs that will follow. Before his injury, we were able to see significant growth in the 23-year-old’s game — which made the thought of losing him for the remainder of the regular season much more difficult. 

It took just under a month before Myers was called up to the big club to start his season with the Flyers, and it made for an interesting dynamic, given how busy things were at the blue line. The Flyers went from having a couple solid defensemen, to having too much talent from top to bottom … it’s a good problem to have. 

If Myers continues to control the reins instead of attempting to be too flashy, he’s in for a bright future in the NHL.

Myers gets a B for 2019-20 — and expectations are definitely high for next season. 

Fordyce 

I think when Myers first came up in the '18-19 season, he did some things that caused people to put the cart before the horse with this young defenseman. During this season, Myers had some really bright spots, but also would get into stretches when it seemed he couldn’t get out of his own way. 

Myers played 50 of the Flyers' 69 games. The key number that stands out when looking at Myers' season is that he was a plus-17, good for second on the team behind only Sean Couturier and the best in terms of defensemen on the Flyers. There are several factors that go into that rating and while it’s a great rating, Myers still has some work to do. He showed promise this season, and with even or better ratings in eight of his last 10 games, Myers’ future could be bright. 

B for Myers.

Hall

There was a lot of excitement about Myers entering the 2019-20 season and understandably so. The 23-year-old defenseman has an NHL build at 6-foot-5, 210 pounds, he’s a fluid skater with offensive skill, he was ranked a top-50 prospect by the NHL Network the previous season and looked primed for a full-time impact.

While Myers had a so-so training camp and preseason, missing the team’s season-opening roster, he made it back to the big club and showed plenty of promise. With time, he started looking more comfortable and like a regular. The undrafted product recorded 16 points (four goals, 12 assists) and a plus-17 rating in 50 games.

Myers has said he’s at his best when playing a composed game and not trying to do too much, which leads to his impressiveness offensively and making things happen. At times, he would press and be hard on himself, but that’s common for any young player who cares.

All in all, a solid B for Myers, who looks like a fixture on the team’s blue line.

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Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as most improved player

Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as most improved player

A beautiful aspect to the 2019-20 Flyers is that there was no clear-cut winner for the team's most improved award.

The Flyers saw many improvements this season, which flipped them from the league's 22nd-best team in 2018-19 to the sixth-best club in 2019-20.

One player that has taken big strides over this season and last is Scott Laughton, a 26-year-old forward who has turned himself into a vital depth piece for the organization. Laughton's growth was recognized Wednesday as the 2012 first-round pick earned the Flyers' 2019-20 Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy as the team's most improved player, an honor voted on by teammates.

It's pretty special," Laughton said Wednesday to Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "Being in the organization for a little bit of time, it might have taken me a little bit longer to kind of get my wheels spinning and get comfortable in the league. It definitely means a lot. A lot of hard work that I've put into it to try and get better and create a role for myself.

What has made Laughton so valuable to the Flyers is his positional versatility and role forward qualities. He is a hard-skating, physical, forechecking player who kills penalties and provides secondary scoring. After putting up career highs in goals (12), assists (20), games (82) and ice time per game (14:51) during 2018-19, Laughton delivered a new career high of 13 goals this season (despite playing 33 fewer games) to go along with a plus-13 mark. Over the last two seasons, the Flyers are 17-4-1 in games that Laughton scores a goal.

"A lot of things go into it, not just one thing," Laughton said of his success this season. "Our team play was really good and we had a really strong team. A lot of guys that I played with throughout the year really helped me and just the opportunity that I was given by the coaching staff of carving out my role and being the reliable guy. A lot of things go into it but it was definitely the most comfortable I've been on the ice and playing in the NHL."

The Flyers are handing out their annual team awards throughout this week. Kevin Hayes was the recipient of the Gene Hart Memorial Award and Laughton also earned the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award.

Below is the schedule for the remaining honors:

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