Flyers

Flyers weekly observations: New GM, Dave Hakstol's fate, more

Flyers weekly observations: New GM, Dave Hakstol's fate, more

It was a quiet week for the Flyers.

Just kidding, that week felt like a month and the games became a subplot to the drama.

Here are some observations from the madness:

• Despite the 4-2 win Saturday over the Penguins, the Flyers' entire picture still depicts a mess.

Think about it: The Flyers don't have a general manager, they don't have an assistant general manager/director of player personnel, they're down an assistant coach, the head coach's future is as stable as the situation in net, they're on goalie No. 5 and they're 27th in the NHL with 24 points.

If the Flyers can do something with this season, they'll have certainly earned it.

• Guys like Bill Zito and Steve Greeley really intrigue me. They have versatile backgrounds and there's something to that up-and-coming appeal.

Remember, though, those bold and unconventional routes look great at first because they're different, but they don't always pan out. The Flyers took that avenue with Dave Hakstol, going with a younger college coach that had no NHL experience, and it has yet to reward them, while the GM who made the hire is gone.

Zito and Greeley wouldn't be crazy hires, but they haven't run the show yet.

That's why I think the Flyers will go with an experienced name, a candidate that has been there, done that with working the trade and free-agent markets. Paul Holmgren and Dave Scott sounded like they both wanted a GM that will know exactly what to do the second the job is accepted.

There's less patience in this instance and more desire for results.

• Don't be surprised if Hakstol lasts the entire season — and that's not terrible, either.

The new GM will have a ton of priorities when the job starts. And to truly find his head coach, it will take time, whereas other tasks will bring greater immediate importance.

What does firing Hakstol from the jump accomplish? It's hard to bring in a completely new head coach during the middle of a season. The landscape of candidates could also be clearer and better at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, the interim route doesn't look great. Maybe Scott Gordon from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley? Still, the new GM might not know Gordon yet and that would be a difficult shake-up for the Phantoms, as well.

Hakstol will have plenty of positive recommendations when the new GM begins, which will only help his case to finish off the season.

• There seemed to be a lot of anger over Jakub Voracek's "scared" comment following Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Senators.

Were the Flyers really scared when the Senators trimmed a two-goal deficit to 3-2 in the final 10 minutes of regulation? Probably not, but what Voracek meant was the Flyers started thinking the worst instead of playing with confidence and force to finish the game.

It's definitely not good if a team with a veteran core is trying not to lose when the opposition threatens a late lead.

But that's where the Flyers' mental state is with all that has gone on in these first two months. They can shake that, though. They did in Pittsburgh. And a timely save here and there doesn't hurt.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From multiple interviews to the format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let's dive in:

1:25 — Kevin Hayes talks all things Flyers and the NHL stoppage

7:30 — No fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

14:50 — An interview with Rick Tocchet and Keith Jones

18:00 — Should the NHL change the playoff format?

24:00 — Life without Flyers hockey right now

30:30 — Debating our all-time Flyers team

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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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Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended the 2019-20 NHL season, the Flyers did not get a chance to beat the Penguins last Sunday in Philadelphia.

They did, however, dominate them on NHL 20 Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired a simulation with the great trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call.

The Flyers never trailed in beating Pittsburgh, 6-4, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Michael Raffl led the way with a pair of first-period goals. Kevin Hayes (one goal, one assist), James van Riemsdyk (one goal, one assist), Matt Niskanen (two assists), Travis Sanheim (two assists) and Nate Thompson (two assists) all had multi-point games.

Oh, and Gritty enjoyed the win. So did Claude Giroux.


Raffl's goals were massive in setting the tone during the opening 20 minutes. Despite allowing four markers, Carter Hart made a ton of timely saves, especially in the first period.

On Raffl's first goal, Penguins forward Conor Sheary got stuck right in the middle of the Flyers' celebration. Poor guy.

On Raffl's second goal, Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues tripped right over his goalie Matt Murray as the Flyers were celebrating.


A big storyline in the Flyers' win was Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin being held to no goals.

As you can see, there were some daring Penguins fans in attendance. We have a strong feeling they were welcomed kindly by Flyers fans.

Just like in real life, the Flyers were very defensive of the 21-year-old Hart. Get close to the kid, you've got problems.


Tyler Pitlick added clutch secondary scoring during the second period to give the Flyers a 3-1 edge.

Gritty, with the neck of an owl, enjoyed his view in the middle stanza.

"He's always got a good spot," Jackson said.

"He's usually got some popcorn to dump on a Penguins fan's head," Jones said.

Unfortunately, that did not happen (let's be real, it probably did).

Justin Braun, Hayes and van Riemsdyk (empty-netter) tallied goals in the final stanza to seal the Flyers' win. 

The Penguins' goals came from Brandon Tanev, Patric Hornqvist, Teddy Blueger and Marcus Pettersson.

That's not going to do it against this 2019-20 Flyers team, which has dominated in Philadelphia.

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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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