Katie Emmer

Flyers Talk podcast: Big-time start to round robin, but what's next?

Flyers Talk podcast: Big-time start to round robin, but what's next?

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall discuss the team's promising — but how promising? — start in the round robin.

Just how big is the Capitals game? What are the bigger decisions ahead? Let's dive in:

0:28 — Flyers fans couldn't have asked for a better start to the round robin

 9:02 — Which Flyers stood out most? Which players are next up?

• 18:04 — Are we believing in MoneyPuck.com's odds for the Flyers?

29:06 — Being back in studio for Flyers Pregame and Postgame shows.

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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.

More on the Flyers

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers, Stanley Cup predictions

2020 NHL playoffs: Flyers, Stanley Cup predictions

This weekend officially kicked off the 2020 race to the Stanley Cup. After months of waiting and uncertainty, we are now shifting gears to hockey nearly around the clock and that’s a dream in itself.

Before the Flyers embark on their playoff journey, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall give their predictions for the team and who wins it all.

Destra

I have waited my whole life to feel this confident about a Flyers team. If you’ve been watching throughout the season, especially following the NHL All-Star break, you could tell that this team was destined for more than another year of disappointment. 

This goes back to the offseason when general manager Chuck Fletcher made some roster additions. He didn’t need to go out and get a big-time free agent, but rather evaluated the needs of the current roster and found a way to complement it. Without the addition of Kevin Hayes, Sean Couturier wouldn’t have been able to flourish as the 1C he is. Without Matt Niskanen, Ivan Provorov wouldn’t have been able to get guidance from a true veteran defenseman and find his game that is wise beyond his years once more. No additions would have led to another season of falling short of expectations and now the bar is set for the ultimate test — the Stanley Cup. 

When we first evaluated the team’s potential before the beginning of the season, I believed winning a single playoff round would have been enough for fans. It would showcase growth and promise for seasons to come. Yeah, that’s not the mentality anymore. 

This is it. This is the year the Flyers win it all. Claude Giroux will finally get to raise that beautiful Stanley Cup over his head and the drought in Philadelphia will be over after 45 years of waiting. The cards have been dealt in the Flyers’ favor and they have the power to control their fate. I see the Flyers winning in six games against the Golden Knights. 

This isn’t optimism anymore, this is certainty. 

Emmer

This Flyers team certainly has a different vibe than years past. From its solid depth at forward to its drastically improved special teams, to having arguably the strongest goaltending duo in the NHL —it has a healthy chance of taking a deep playoff run in 2020.

That being said, it’s still tough to predict where the Flyers end up ... after all, this is the Stanley Cup Playoffs we’re talking about. It’s such an equal playing field. With healthy rosters returning that wouldn’t have been the case originally and the lack of ice time for players throughout the pause for the majority of four months or more, it’ll certainly be interesting who comes out of the gates the strongest.

I’m optimistic about the Flyers’ chances. Why not have fun and say they pass the Penguins in the first round in six? Then I’ll say they go on to beat out the Capitals in seven and the Lightning in six to make it all the way to the Final to face the Avalanche, where they’ll win in seven and Giroux (and the city of Philadelphia) will finally get that Stanley Cup they’ve been waiting 45 years for.

Another bold prediction? Kevin Hayes goes off in the playoffs and wins the Conn Smythe.

Fordyce

The Flyers will benefit from playing three games in the round robin, where they can only improve their seeding. They can’t finish lower than fourth but can get as high as the top seed entering the playoffs. I’m going to go out on a limb and make a prediction that we will see a different Shayne Gostisbehere when the games resume. During the regular season, we saw a version of Gostisbehere that appeared to have no confidence on the ice. For Ghost, confidence is key and maybe more than any player I’ve ever seen.

In the scrimmage with the Penguins, Ghost looked like a different player. On the final play that won the game, Ghost took what was there. He reversed the puck back to Scott Laughton to play give- and-go with Travis Konecny that led to the winning shot from Laughton. When Ghost lacks confidence, he may try to force a play on the other side of the ice. It was good to see his assertive play on the ice and I’m betting on a resurgence from Gostisbehere.

In the Stanley Cup Final, I’m going to say the Tampa Bay Lightning will beat the Colorado Avalanche. The Lightning have some revenge to exact after a first-round exit last season, despite having the best record. With their roster of scorers that seems to never end, their lethal power play and Andrei Vasilevsky between the pipes, the Lightning are well positioned to win the Cup. The Avalanche have had the best road record in the NHL and the top goal differential in the Western Conference, so I see them making it through the Edmonton bubble but eventually falling to the Lightning.

Hall

There's definitely a feel to these Flyers. It's a fun, likeable, hard-working, well-coached group with plenty of ingredients. Sometimes in sports, you can sense when a team has something brewing.

The 2019-20 club has a conceivable shot at a playoff run, which should be exciting for a fan base that has been patient over the previous seven seasons, a stretch in which it has seen stagnancy, three playoff berths and no series victories.

The Flyers are in a promising spot and a lot of people deserve credit. It's no longer just about the future.

With that being said, my concerns about their Cup chances arise because of a possible second-round matchup against either the Lightning or Bruins, and then maybe having to beat one of those clubs in the East Final. It's not an easy road.

A big step forward and productive Flyers season ends in a long second-round series after a first-round victory.

For the Stanley Cup Final, I'm going to stick with what I had at the beginning of the season: Lightning over the Blues.

As for a bold prediction, how about Travis Sanheim leading Flyers defensemen in scoring for the tournament? That's bold enough, right?

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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.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

From lineups to big picture, everything Flyers fans need to know for round robin

• Potential heavyweight coaching matchup for Flyers in 1st round

• Flyers celebrate return of hockey with OT drama and positives in exhibition

• So, about those Penguins ... 1st-round matchup for Flyers?

• Picture collage and signs show love for Flyers as they eye Cup run in Toronto

Couturier's goals in NHL bubble: Stanley Cup and an important baby book item

One of the most intriguing (and favorable?) 1st-round matchup possibilities

• Could Flyers still share the wealth against Blue Jackets in 1st round?

Would Islanders be Flyers' kryptonite if they meet in 1st round?

Flyers announce playoff roster, have fans going crazy over shirts

• All types of Flyers odds (including the Cup) as NHL's 24-team tourney begins

• Scott 'couldn't be happier' with Flyers, but there's more action to be done

• Trust the captain, he'll know what to do if the Flyers face the Hurricanes

• No scrimmage for Hart but Flyers' goalie provides important sight

• Analyzing Hart's situation, another Flyer becomes a dad, more

Lindblom has new contract, his comeback is on with Flyers

• Flyers-Canadiens is perfect on paper, but would it be a trap?

• What round-robin schedule change could mean for Flyers' strategy

• What happened? Voracek says calm down, he's fine ... now you know

Key Flyer missing, buzzing rookie, don't forget Ghost and more

• The Flyers' lineup, practicing celebrations, no hiding these two and more

• A 'dangerous card' in the Flyers' hand, Giroux still wows and more

• Fans can purchase Flyers playoff shirts with new slogan

• What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

• Juicy opponent for Flyers' exhibition game; some start times announced

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

• Elliott has sweet new mask for Flyers' playoff run

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

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• Everything Flyers fans need to know for NHL's 24-team tournament

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• Bettman gives Gritty the hard truth for why he can't be in Toronto bubble

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers set to return

Flyers Talk podcast: All things round robin as Stanley Cup Playoffs run begins

Flyers Talk podcast: All things round robin as Stanley Cup Playoffs run begins

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall discuss all things round robin and playoffs as the team's postseason run begins.

From the lineup decisions to the Flyers' mindset, let's dive in:

0:55 — What we know about the Flyers' lineup

3:20 — Alain Vigneault likes the Flyers' focus

6:00 — How the head coach is making his decisions

7:40 — Do the Flyers have an untouchable line?

10:25 — Who is the Flyers' 13th forward come the first round?

14:20 — Claude Giroux knows this is one of the Flyers' deeper teams

15:50 — Will the final forward spot come down to Joel Farabee and Nate Thompson?

17:55 — What is the Flyers' plan in net for the round robin and first round?

 24:55 — Which team is the scariest to the Flyers' round-robin chances?

 28:15 — The 2020 Cup winner should not have an asterisk

 31:30 — Picking a qualifying-round series we're most excited to watch

 33:55 — A benefit to having no fans for these playoffs

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

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.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

• Potential heavyweight coaching matchup for Flyers in 1st round

• Flyers celebrate return of hockey with OT drama and positives in exhibition

• So, about those Penguins ... 1st-round matchup for Flyers?

• Picture collage and signs show love for Flyers as they eye Cup run in Toronto

Couturier's goals in NHL bubble: Stanley Cup and an important baby book item

One of the most intriguing (and favorable?) 1st-round matchup possibilities

• Could Flyers still share the wealth against Blue Jackets in 1st round?

Would Islanders be Flyers' kryptonite if they meet in 1st round?

Flyers announce playoff roster, have fans going crazy over shirts

• All types of Flyers odds (including the Cup) as NHL's 24-team tourney begins

• Scott 'couldn't be happier' with Flyers, but there's more action to be done

• Trust the captain, he'll know what to do if the Flyers face the Hurricanes

• No scrimmage for Hart but Flyers' goalie provides important sight

• Analyzing Hart's situation, another Flyer becomes a dad, more

Lindblom has new contract, his comeback is on with Flyers

• Flyers-Canadiens is perfect on paper, but would it be a trap?

• What round-robin schedule change could mean for Flyers' strategy

• What happened? Voracek says calm down, he's fine ... now you know

Key Flyer missing, buzzing rookie, don't forget Ghost and more

• The Flyers' lineup, practicing celebrations, no hiding these two and more

• A 'dangerous card' in the Flyers' hand, Giroux still wows and more

• Fans can purchase Flyers playoff shirts with new slogan

• What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

• Juicy opponent for Flyers' exhibition game; some start times announced

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

• Elliott has sweet new mask for Flyers' playoff run

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

• Everything Flyers fans need to know for NHL's 24-team tournament

Hockey insider details Flyers’ hotel

• Bettman gives Gritty the hard truth for why he can't be in Toronto bubble

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers set to return