Were the Flyers snubbed for All-Star Game?

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Were the Flyers snubbed for All-Star Game?

Throughout the season, we'll ask questions about the Flyers to our resident hockey analysts and see what they have to say.

Going End to End today are producers/reporters Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall.

The topic: Were the Flyers snubbed for the All-Star Game?

It's easy to find a gripe here since the Flyers had three viable candidates, but Claude Giroux will be the Flyers' lone All-Star representative at the 2018 NHL All-Star Game (see story).

Giroux makes his fifth All-Star Game and his 52 points are second in the league. That's fine and dandy, and since the Metropolitan Division is loaded, this was inevitable.

Sean Couturier's breakout season wasn't enough to earn him his first All-Star appearance, and it's a shame. It probably won't be the only honor he'll get snubbed from this season, either. The politics of NHL award voting are corrupt.

Couturier has 23 goals, which is fourth in the NHL and a career high. He has 42 points, which is also a career high. We could argue Couturier is behind Giroux's resurgence too.

All three deserve to be All-Stars, but that's not how it works. Only one Flyer made it when two probably should. Giroux's back to producing at a high-end level, but if there was going to be only one Flyers representative, I would have liked for it to have been Couturier.

This shouldn't come as a terrible surprise.

The selection of the All-Star rosters is a reputation-driven process. Outside of the fan-voted captains, the players are picked by the NHL hockey operations staff.

So when it came down to the most-deserving Flyers, Giroux likely jumped out. He's a face of the NHL, the name certainly has cachet and the captain is thriving in a rebound season featuring 52 points, tied for second in the NHL.

While Couturier's breakout season is duly noted in the Delaware Valley, it might not shine as brightly among the league and star-studded division. If Couturier continues to replicate his numbers down the line, then he'll become an All-Star at some point.

If anyone was truly snubbed, it's Jakub Voracek. The guy leads all of hockey in assists (43) and is tied for third in points (51). But not every team gets multiple representatives and Giroux, the trademark Flyer, was more than worthy.

Flyers prospect Joel Farabee signs entry-level contract, will turn pro in 2019-20

Flyers prospect Joel Farabee signs entry-level contract, will turn pro in 2019-20

It’s one and done for Joel Farabee at Boston U.

The Flyers' 2018 first-round selection signed his entry-level contract Monday after one season at Boston University. 

Farabee finished as the Terriers' leading scorer with 36 points in 37 games as Boston University’s season (16-18-4) came to an end Friday night in the semifinals of the Hockey East Tournament.

However, Farabee’s performance as a 19-year-old freshman was one of the team’s highlights after he finished the regular season on a tear with seven goals over his last nine games and was recently named Hockey East Rookie of the Year. After getting acclimated to the collegiate game, Farabee adapted very quickly.

Farabee isn’t the only highly-touted prospect to leave BU after just one season. Buffalo’s Jack Eichel left after scoring 71 points in 40 games before the Sabres grabbed him with the second overall pick in the 2015 NHL draft.

Unlike CHL prospects, who can sign entry-level deals and still compete at the major junior level, Farabee forfeits the remainder of his college eligibility, so the question moving forward is where will Farabee start the 2019-20 season?

He can make the Flyers out of training camp or start his first year of professional hockey at Lehigh Valley.

Farabee needs to develop physically but the hockey IQ and playmaking ability coupled with high character are all important attributes that he brings to the pro level.

Farabee was the Flyers' first draft pick to come from the U.S. national team development program (USNTDP) since James van Riemsdyk was selected second overall in 2007. 

JVR spent two years at the University of New Hampshire before electing to turn pro. The Flyers' left winger played just seven games with the Phantoms in 2008 before earning an NHL promotion.

There’s a debate as to whether Farabee or Morgan Frost, the Flyers' 2017 first-round pick, is the organization’s top prospect. Personally, I think Farabee has a more NHL-ready game right now, and he’ll get the chance to prove that when training camp commences in September.

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NHL playoff picture: Flyers are down and almost out

NHL playoff picture: Flyers are down and almost out

It was a disastrous weekend for the orange and black after they were swept in a back-to-back against the Islanders and Capitals, missing out on a pivotal four points.

In three days, the Flyers saw their tragic number go from 11 to five. They could be officially eliminated from contention for the Stanley Cup Playoffs as early as this week.

During a crucial stretch with little margin for error, the Flyers are now 4-6-0 over their last 10 games.

Wild-card standings

Carolina       42-26-7    91 points    7 GR        40 ROW
Montreal      40-28-8    88 points    6 GR         38 ROW
Columbus   41-30-4    86 points    7 GR         39 ROW
Flyers          35-29-8    80 points    6 GR         34 ROW

Sunday's games

PHI L 3-1 at Washington
CAR W 2-1 (OT) vs. Montreal
CBJ W 5-0 at Vancouver

• Braden Holtby stifled the Flyers, stopping 35 shots as the Capitals swept the orange and black for just the second time in franchise history.

• In a game pitting the two teams currently occupying wild-card positions, the Hurricanes outlasted the Canadiens as rookie Andrei Svechnikov scored the game-winner in overtime. Carey Price made 38 saves in a losing effort.    

• Sergei Bobrovsky made 21 saves for his seventh shutout of the season and the 31st of his career as the Blue Jackets remained in striking range of the Canadiens for the final wild-card spot in the East.

What lies ahead

The Flyers have a light week with a Wednesday game against the Toronto Maple Leafs before another weekend back-to-back against Carolina and the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens have three games on the slate starting Tuesday against the Panthers and a crucial game against the Blue Jackets in Columbus that could determine the final wild-card spot.

Aside from a head-to-head with Montreal Thursday, Columbus takes on the Islanders at home Tuesday with a weekend back-to-back against the Predators and the Sabres.

Playing the lottery?

As it stands right now, the Flyers are 14th out of the 15 lottery teams that would qualify for the No. 1 overall pick. 

Sadly as it may seem, the Flyers have better odds of earning the top pick in the draft (1.5 percent) at this stage of the season than reaching the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As the team with the 14th-worst record in the NHL, the Flyers have a 5.0 percent chance of receiving a top-three selection.

Two years ago, the Flyers had just a 7.3 percent shot of earning a top-three draft pick when they landed at No. 2 overall and selected Nolan Patrick.

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More on the Flyers