Flyers

Flyers weekly observations: Kudos to Chuck Fletcher, Alain Vigneault

Flyers weekly observations: Kudos to Chuck Fletcher, Alain Vigneault

The Flyers have their most points entering December since 1995-96, when Eric Lindros was scoring a career-high 115 points and Ron Hextall was holding down the crease.

The 2019-20 club capped off an NHL-best November with a perfect 4-0-0 week in which it allowed only 1.75 goals per game (see story).

Let's get into that and more with a few weekly observations:

• The season is only two months young but general manager Chuck Fletcher and head coach Alain Vigneault deserve a great deal of credit.

They've answered the bell in many ways.

Fans wanted a proactive offseason. Fletcher went out and acquired Matt Niskanen and Kevin Hayes. He also added Tyler Pitlick and Justin Braun. No prospects or young foundational pieces were sacrificed in the process.

Vigneault has mentioned how important Niskanen has been for Ivan Provorov, who has turned back into the Flyers' best defenseman. The quiet, accomplished Niskanen, though, is arguably the Flyers' most vital piece on the blue line.

With the absence of Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder), Hayes' presence down the middle has become that much bigger. He has helped the Flyers significantly at 5-on-5 and on the penalty kill, which is third best in the NHL (85.7 percent). The 27-year-old center is also on pace to match his career high of 25 goals.

Pitlick is healthy and performing like a dependable fourth-line winger, while Braun has played well alongside Travis Sanheim during the four-game winning streak.

On top of the additions, many clamored for the prospects to play. Joel Farabee, 19, and Morgan Frost, 20, two of the organization's prized prospects, are here right now and being relied upon, while eight rookies have played.

And lastly, fans had grown accustomed to and increasingly frustrated with slow starts to the season. Over their previous five seasons, the Flyers went a combined 23-25-6 in October and 23-29-14 in November.

This season, the Flyers matched their best-ever November (10-2-4, 24 points) and entered Sunday tied for the NHL's fifth-most points with 35 at 15-7-5.

Impressive work by Fletcher, Vigneault and the staff.

2019-20 on Dec. 1

2018-19 on Dec. 1

• The Flyers haven't just had a strong November. They've been one of the NHL's best teams since Oct. 21, earning at least a point in 17 of 21 games with a 13-4-4 record and 30 points.

Coming into Sunday, only one NHL team had more points over that span — the defending champion Blues with 31.

"Not knowing exactly what we had to work with, I believe that we’re a work in progress and I really believe that we have steps forward to make," Vigneault said on Nov. 16. "We’re not where I want this team to be, we’re not where I know our team wants to be, but we’re in a good place."

The Flyers are starting to see the results they believed would come from the process. Instead of digging out of a hole, they must build on it.

Hitting the road this week, or wasting away on the couch in a food coma? The perfect time to binge your favorite NBC Sports Philadelphia podcast! Click here for more.

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Flyers Talk podcast: NHL hub cities, free agency, more

Flyers Talk podcast: NHL hub cities, free agency, more

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall analyze the team's decisions for free agency and the playoffs.

From roster talk to the latest on the 24-team tournament, let's dive in:

0:45 — The latest on where the Flyers might play

4:15 — July is much different this time around

7:00 — Will the Flyers re-sign Derek Grant and Justin Braun?

21:20 — Keep an eye on Morgan Frost

26:00 — What to expect from Nate Thompson

30:15 — Appreciating Sean Couturier's faceoff excellence

36:35 — Katie's birthday is Monday, July 6!

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Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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A day to celebrate as Flyers' Oskar Lindblom completes radiation treatments

A day to celebrate as Flyers' Oskar Lindblom completes radiation treatments

Alain Vigneault marveled at Oskar Lindblom's selflessness and strength.

Back in December, the Flyers' head coach told a story about Lindblom checking in on teammate Travis Konecny, who suffered a concussion that month from a hard hit.

Lindblom was in the middle of undergoing tests at the University of Pennsylvania.

"With everything that is going on, he texted T.K. to find out how his head was going because of the concussion," Vigneault said Dec. 17. "That’s just the type of young man that we have — strong, he’s like the hockey community, he’s going to have a lot of support and he’s going to get through this."

On Thursday, we saw a culmination of the strength and support. A little over six and a half months after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones, Lindblom rung a bell on the 5th floor of the Abramson Cancer Center at Pennsylvania Hospital to signify the completion of his radiation treatments.

The Flyers' 23-year-old forward hugged his girlfriend Alma Lindqvist, who shared pictures on her Instagram account with the caption: "MY LOVE IS CANCER FREE."

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MY LOVE IS CANCER FREE ❤️❤️❤️

A post shared by ALMA (@almalindqvist) on

Lindblom, a humble native of Sweden with a bright smile, thanked all the medical professionals and gave them a signed jersey. He expressed his gratitude for everyone who has supported his fight.

From family to friends to fans, I can't even explain how much that meant to me," Lindblom said to Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "Especially in the start, it was a rough time and I got all those kind words, it made me feel so much better and calm — it was a real help along the way, that's for sure.

"I can't even explain how I feel. It feels like I'm having my birthday, Christmas and all those holidays at the same time. It just feels awesome to be done. I can't wait to just get back to normal life again and start to feel like I'm living.


I can't say enough about this young man. Everyone can see the talent and impact that Oskar has had for us on the ice, but he is an outstanding teammate in our locker room and a genuinely good person. His attitude and strength through all of this is a tremendous inspiration for us all. Today is a great day. Congrats to Oskar. We look forward to having him rejoin our team in the near future.

- Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher

Oskar Lindblom with nurses at Penn Medicine. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

Oskar Lindblom with his head nurse Laetitia Simeral. (Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers)

The Flyers, the city of Philadelphia and the entire hockey community has rallied behind Lindblom since his diagnosis in December. "Oskar Strong" shirts by Biscuit Tees have been worn around the world. During a game in January, Lindblom received a heartwarming standing ovation at the Wells Fargo Center.

Everyone was standing for him as he rang that bell on Thursday. Lindblom was left smiling — and saying thank you.

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