Flyers

Which Shayne Gostisbehere should Flyers fans expect in 2019-20 season?

Which Shayne Gostisbehere should Flyers fans expect in 2019-20 season?

Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra

The topic: Predictions for Shayne Gostisbehere's 2019-20 season.

Hall

Some reporter (it was me) was bullish on Gostisbehere entering the 2018-19 season. 

He was super impressed by Gostisbehere's skill and mobility during the preseason, especially with the defenseman fresh off a career-high 65 points, the fourth most among NHL blueliners in 2017-18.

He foresaw big things for Gostisbehere. And that reporter (it was me) was way off.

There are a handful of important factors to note when analyzing the outlook for Gostisbehere in 2019-20.

Firstly, Gostisbehere will be playing under a new coaching staff. Coaches and their philosophies are crucial to a player like Gostisbehere.

Secondly, during his exit interview, Gostisbehere admitted to dealing with a banged-up knee from early on through the midseason. He didn't use it as an excuse, but for a guy that relies heavily on his slipperiness and mobility, a knee problem can be a significant hindrance.

And thirdly, Gostisbehere should feel a lighter burden on his shoulders with the additions of Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun. Both bring different elements to the table but understand goal prevention and can play minutes. One would think those acquisitions will allow Gostisbehere to play a bit more freely without the 26-year-old trying to do too much, overthinking every decision.

How all of the above impacts Gostisbehere's production and usefulness will be one of the more fascinating storylines to watch in 2019-20.

I don't see why Gostisbehere can't get back into the 50-point range or 40-assist territory — although, that will depend on a lot.

Destra

I'll be very upfront with my views of Gostisbehere's performance last season — it was no indication of the direction he is heading in as a player and it truly isn't a big concern (at the moment). He was one of many players who underperformed on the Flyers and when his lower-body injury surfaced at the season's end, it validated a lot.

He's about to have a bounce-back year — and it's going to be a good one.

Heading into this season, this is probably the most balanced the defense has looked in well over a decade. He will be able to play on his true side as a LHD and will have the opportunity to be a leader to whoever the other half of his pairing is.

Even though he wasn't at the top of his game in 2018-19, he was still able to put up nine goals — this tied him for the lead in most goals scored by a defenseman on the Flyers (along with Travis Sanheim).

Gostisbehere also has the ability to make or break his respective power-play unit. Not many players stationed up at the blue line have the kind of sniper shot he can produce. Even if he doesn't pot one, he is capable of getting the puck in deep and setting up high-danger scoring opportunities.

It'll be tough to top the numbers he put up in 2017-18 (65 points — 13 goals, 52 assists), but there's a chance he comes close to it. By the nature of his game, he is an offensive defenseman — his instincts are strong and he tries to contribute to his team in any way that he can.

It's very possible to see him at 55-plus points for 2019-20.

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'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

'Tis the season for ... Jawnaments? Jawnaments!

If you live in Philadelphia or the surrounding area, it's safe to say there's at least one ornament on your tree representing the city — whether it be a memento from a previous championship Philly has seen, famous landmarks or even the skyline, you're repping one way or another.

Throw everything you thought you knew about Philly ornaments out the window and make way for Jawnaments ... yes, you read that correctly.

Jawnaments. I swear, there is no place like Philadelphia.

Jawnaments is an Etsy shop that has been around since 2017 but they recently released a ton of non-traditional Philadelphia-inspired ornaments. And they're a thing of beauty.

Can you only function throughout the week because of the daily coffee you grab at Wawa and want to highlight that on your tree this year? They've got you covered.

Haven't received a parking ticket in the city in a while and just miss the stress and anxiety they bring with them? Yup, they've got that covered too.

The Tastykake Krimpet and Kandy Kake ornaments look good enough to eat ... even a classic soft pretzel with yellow mustard is an option.

And since Gritty is just about everywhere in the world ... it he. On an ornament. Oh sorry, *Jawnament.

Trust me, there are a ton of other options but you're just going to have to check out the full shop to see the beauty of it all.

You might even have to get a mini tree that's dedicated to the city you know and love. Heck, keep it up all year!

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Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Coyotes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers own a five-game winning streak and seven-game point streak.

On Thursday night, the Flyers (16-7-5) will try to extend those season-best streaks when they host the Coyotes (16-9-4).

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• During rookie camp, Joel Farabee, a 2018 first-round pick with a bright future in scoring goals, spoke about his strengths playing well on the penalty kill.

In fact, he said, "Honestly, I think by the end of my career, I'll be more of a PK guy rather than a power play guy."

When Alain Vigneault was told on Thursday about Farabee's comments, the Flyers' head coach smiled. He liked the 19-year-old rookie's passion for killing penalties.

With Michael Raffl out approximately four weeks because of a broken right pinkie finger, Farabee will get his wish by jumping into the Flyers' shorthanded rotation.

“There’s no doubt he’s a smart player," Vigneault said Thursday morning. "We’ve all noticed that from the beginning — the skill set and the smarts.”

The Flyers' penalty kill has been vastly improved under assistant coach Mike Yeo as it entered Thursday ranked third in the NHL at 85.9 percent. Coming into the season, the Flyers' penalty kill since to 2014-15 was at 78.4 percent, second worst among the league.

Vigneault said Farabee has watched film with Yeo and is ready to take on the shorthanded responsibility. How well Farabee plays in the role will have a sizable say in where the Flyers stand by the end of December.

• For tonight's game at least, the Flyers aren't ready to put Mikhail Vorobyev at fourth-line center. The Flyers will roll with 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Shayne Gostisbehere and Philippe Myers are coming off big-time performances, while Robert Hagg has earned playing time, as well.

• The Coyotes are 9-3-3 on the road and have allowed the NHL's second-fewest goals per game overall with 2.31.

“Speed, skill, they’re the third-best team in the league as far as the way they play on the road," Vigneault said. "They’ve been playing well for quite some time.”

• Impressive numbers from Travis Konecny:


Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
James van Riemsdyk-Tyler Pitlick

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Philippe Myers-Shayne Gostisbehere
Robert Hagg

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

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