Flyers

Why this year's Flyers team has been an analytics nightmare

Why this year's Flyers team has been an analytics nightmare

WASHINGTON — At least the Flyers spared us from the throwaway cliché of “If we play like this, we’ll win a lot of games this season” following their 3-1 loss to the Capitals on Sunday afternoon (see observations). 

It’s an all-too overused line that is thrown out there when a team dominates in possession time and by outshooting their opponent by a significant margin, only to be on the short end of the final score — much like the Flyers were in Washington.

It’s hardly believable on a number of levels. 

First, only the elite teams in the league dominate possession consistently over the course of an 82-game season enough to actually believe that, and secondly, the Flyers have proven when they do play like that, they simply don’t win. 

The Flyers have been an analytics nightmare this season when it comes to the metrics of shot totals.

The “Corsi For Percentage” at even strength metric is an easy computation of the team that attempts more shots (shots on goal, blocked shots and missed shots) than its opponent. Over the course of an 82-game season, the conventional wisdom is that the better Corsi teams will win a higher percentage of games.

Quite simply, more volume equates to more victories. 

For the most part, this season has played out like the proponents of advanced metrics would have hoped for. The top ten teams in the CF% metric are currently occupying a playoff spot, while eight of the bottom 10 teams are currently outside the playoff picture. 

Except in the case of the 2018-19 Flyers, who are a completely flawed team in the analytics department.  

Sunday’s game was yet another example of the Flyers dominating possession and shot totals only to lose, and the most puzzling part is that this has been the case all season long.

When outshooting their opponents, the Flyers are a dismal 10-20-2, but when they’ve been outshot, they’re a head scratching 23-12-6. You’d expect those records to be flipped.

Under interim head coach Scott Gordon, those lopsided shot totals are even more tilted. The Flyers' CF% is 43.7 percent in the team’s wins under Gordon and nearly even at 50.5 percent in their losses.

By comparison, the Ottawa Senators, as you might expect, own the worst Corsi For Percentage in the NHL at 45.1 percent, as they’ve played the majority of their games in the defensive zone this season.

But how does one explain the Flyers? 

During their eight-game winning streak in January, the team's CF% was a miserable 41.4 percent when rookie Carter Hart was bailing them out on a nightly basis. Throughout their eight-game winless stretch in December and January, it was a very respectable 52.3 percent.   

Numbers don’t always tell the whole story. 

With the Flyers this season, they seem to be telling us a lie. 

They needed to win the majority of games in which they outplayed the opposition, and to win a handful of games when they didn’t. 

Jakub Voracek may have summarized it best Sunday: “I don’t want to take anything out of this season, to be honest. I had way higher expectations. I think everybody did. It’s really disappointing. It sucks.”

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The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

The top 10 moments that make Travis Konecny, well, Travis Konecny

When you think of Travis Konecny, you think of a first-round pick, A-plus chirper, currently in the middle of a breakout season and now an NHL All-Star. Konecny has had quite the career through his first four seasons with the Flyers and there will be much more to look forward to in the coming years.

For now, here are the 10 best moments since becoming a Flyer that make Konecny, well … Konecny. 

Chirp central
When NBC released "Wired: Stadium Series," Konecny officially became one of the best chirpers in the league. His quick wit during the game was iconic when he was on one of the biggest regular-season platforms in the NHL. Personal favorite chirp has to go to, “Eat up, bud!” 

Post Stadium Series dance party 
The fun didn’t stop on the ice though, the celebration continued into the Eagles’ locker room where he danced the night away with teammate Nolan Patrick. 

Speaking of Nolan ...
During the 2018-19 season, Flyers TV had a special on the youth of the team where a lot of it focused on the bromance of Konecny and Patrick. From tying ties to trying to get out of a parking garages, there’s a bunch of quality bits in there. 

The offseason with T.K.
Before going into the 2017-18 season, the Flyers gave everyone a sneak peek of what the offseason is like for Konecny when it comes to training and conditioning, his childhood town (which only has one stop sign), life on the farm and tons of fishing … tons of fishing. 

Reporting for duty
One of the most exciting moments of 2019 came once Konecny finally signed his contract and reported to training camp to be with his teammates and new head coach Alain Vigneault. The Flyers’ Twitter account had a field day with the announcement, replying to just about every "sign T.K." tweet there was on the platform. They even responded to my post about me talking about how they signed him … by letting me know they signed him. A-plus job. 

His career best
There have been multiple times in his career, five to be exact, in which Konecny wound up having a three-point game. They have become much more frequent this season, having three of the five coming in the first half of the 2019-20 season. While none of these three-point nights have resulted in a hat trick, I’m sure the next time he’s an All-Star that’s going to be a different story. 

A whole lot of fighting 
There’s no shortage of footage when it comes to Konecny dropping the gloves. This place on this list is dedicated to T.K. dropping the gloves and the penalty minutes endured because of it. 

A different kind of fight 
It’s hard to forget the impact young Zach Steward had on all of us during Hockey Fights Cancer Night at the Wells Fargo Center. No one was impacted more than Konecny. Steward had given his favorite player a "Strong then, stronger now" bracelet, worn by those who want to support him in his second battle of cancer. While it was an inspiring moment for Konecny to wear it for that game, he continues to wear it all season long and it doesn’t go unnoticed. 

“I think it really shows a lot about his character,” Steward said. “And that he has a big heart not just on the ice, but off the ice.

“Just a small simple gesture means a lot and makes my day every time I see him with it on.” 


Image credit: The Philadelphia Flyers

OT goals compilation 
This one is self explanatory but his cellies following each are just as good as the goals themselves. 

Evolving into his final form
It seems like that chipped tooth Konecny got on Jan. 11 might have been a good luck charm. Since that game, he’s averaged a point per game through five games. The chip may have been fixed but the power of it remains. 

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2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

2020 NHL All-Star Skills: Flyers' Travis Konecny to participate in fastest skater event

Not only will Travis Konecny represent the Flyers in the NHL All-Star Game, he'll add another activity to his plate on All-Star weekend in St. Louis.

Konecny will participate in the Bridgestone NHL fastest skater event at 2020 NHL All-Star Skills on Friday night in St. Louis.

Here are the other participants:

  • Jack Eichel, Buffalo Sabres
  • Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado Avalanche
  • Connor McDavid, Edmonton Oilers
  • Mathew Barzal, New York Islanders
  • Chris Kreider, New York Rangers
  • Anthony Duclair, Ottawa Senators
  • Quinn Hughes, Vancouver Canucks

The rules of the event are as follows, according to the NHL:

Eight players will compete in the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater. Each skater will be timed for one full lap around the rink. The skater may choose the direction of their lap and can be positioned a maximum of three feet behind the start line located on the penalty box side of the center red line. The skater must start on the referee’s whistle and the timing clock will start when the skater crosses the start line. In the event of a clock malfunction, the official time will be recorded by the referee’s stopwatch. The skater with the fastest time is the winner of the Bridgestone NHL Fastest Skater, and if there is a tie for the fastest time, the tied players will skate another lap to determine the winner.

Konecny will be up against stiff competition as McDavid has won the event three straight years.

The skills events will begin on Friday at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN

On Saturday, the All-Star Game will see Konecny's Metropolitan Division take on the Atlantic Division at 8:15 p.m. If it advances, it'll play the winner of the Pacific and Central Divisions at 10:15 p.m.

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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