Stanley Cup Final

What if the Flyers had won Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final?

What if the Flyers had won Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final?

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

The topic: With the decade nearing its end, we wonder what if the Flyers had won Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final?

Destra

To say I think about this moment in Flyers history a lot is an understatement. It was the first time in my life that I was able to witness the team I grew up watching to go the Final. I remember who I was with, exactly where I was sitting and the feeling of sheer disappointment the moment Patrick Kane started celebrating — and to this day, I cannot rewatch that goal without feeling that same way all over again. 

So, it makes sense to think about what would’ve happened if the Flyers were able to come back and win Game 6 and force that final game in the series. What would’ve happened if they somehow came back and won it all? This past decade certainly would have been more bearable but here are some things I believe would have drastically changed if that dark horse 2009-10 team rose to the occasion to beat Chicago. 

• When the Flyers are at their best, Philadelphia becomes a hockey town — especially when the season finds it way to May and beyond, but the electric atmosphere hasn’t been around as much since this season. A few seasons in past years with that playoff-like atmosphere came with the overtime Claude Giroux goal in the Stadium Series in the 2018-19 season, Carter Hart’s professional debut with the team and the Flyers vs. Devils season opener back in October. 

It’s taken a while to sense that type of environment in the Wells Fargo Center again, but it’s finding its way back slowly but surely. If the 2009-10 team won, would that energy have ever gone away in the first place? Even with the team constantly making a push to the postseason five other seasons in the decade? — Probably not. 

• Peter Laviolette’s time in Philadelphia most likely would have extended, basically altering how the current coaching staff is today. After Laviolette was fired just three games into the 2013-14 season while his team went 0-3-0 … it makes you wonder if he would have had much more leniency if he had brought Lord Stanley down Broad Street. The answer is, yes he would’ve, especially considering his Flyers made it to the postseason his first three years while he was head coach. 

But as all things are, a domino effect would’ve taken place. Laviolette might have never gone to Nashville in May of 2014, Craig Berube might have never gotten around to coach the Flyers and then move on to the St. Louis Blues team who won him a Cup just last year. Would Dave Hakstol have even been a factor if this team won a Cup? It makes you wonder. Regardless, with the current coaching staff, it at least gives us a lot to look forward to as we head into the new decade. 

• Would two of the biggest pieces of that possible Cup-winning team have been traded just one season out of the Cup win? They were moves that completely shook the core and brought in new players and faces that Philadelphia had come to know and love. Jeff Carter was on his way to Columbus in return for Jakub Voracek and two draft picks, while Mike Richards, a move no one originally wanted to believe, was on his way to the Kings in return for Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn and another draft pick. 

Voracek and Simmonds became key parts to the Flyers’ roster in upcoming years, while Schenn was eventually traded to St. Louis for a return of Jori Lehtera and two draft picks — later to be known as Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee. 

And it’s possible that the Flyers wouldn’t still be paying off Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract — or it at least it still feels that way. 

But like I had mentioned previously, a Cup win would’ve created a different domino effect as opposed to the one we know after that loss in Game 6, but that list could go on and on and on. Instead of hanging on to what could have been in the past, there’s a lot to look forward to in the seasons ahead with the current makeup of the Flyers. 

It took a while to get here but now that everyone is, it’s time to get excited. 

Hall

We all know how Game 6 of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final ended.

A weird, sudden, heartbreaking way for Flyers fans to see such a memorable run come to an end.

If the Flyers won Game 6 in Philadelphia, they still needed Game 7 in Chicago.

But let’s say they ride the high of a Game 6 win to one more victory and a Stanley Cup title celebration at the United Center. It would have ended the franchise’s Cup drought going back to 1975 and shaped the decade much differently for the club.

What sticks out most is how much this would have impacted the Flyers’ path of coaches. The decade saw five different head coaches. Had the Flyers won Games 6 and 7 of the 2010 Final, you’d think Laviolette would have had a much longer leash than three games in the 2013-14 season before being fired.

A Cup title would have won Laviolette some decent leeway. Because of it, would Hakstol, Scott Gordon or Alain Vigneault ever have coached in Philadelphia? What about Berube — would it have changed his path to St. Louis, where he won it all last season with the Blues?

It’s fun to wonder. And Philly would have been pretty fun had the Stanley Cup found its way to Laviolette’s hands during 2010.

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2019-20 Flyers, Stanley Cup predictions

2019-20 Flyers, Stanley Cup predictions

Alain Vigneault called it a new era of Flyers hockey.

The Flyers haven't won a postseason series since 2012 and are coming off a 2018-19 season in which they missed the playoffs with their fewest points (82) in a full year since 2006-07.

Is 2019-20 looking like a big bounce-back year?

After providing our Flyers Fearless Forecast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Brooke Destra, Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall give their season predictions:

Destra

Flyers prediction/outlook

The Flyers are making the playoffs ... comfortably.

The talent spread out across the Metropolitan may make it the toughest division to beat in the league and many believe the Flyers will underperform.

I believe they will do the opposite. In fact, when looking at the roster, the Flyers have one of the most complete teams and will fly under the radar for quite some time. It's OK, let them doubt this team's abilities.

This is the season everything clicks. From the depth at forward to Carter Hart, legitimate veteran presence on the blue line and new faces behind the bench — the Flyers are going to surprise many.

Let's go with a 43-25-14 record, giving the Flyers their first 100-point season since 2011-12, when they tallied 103 points.

Another pro, something that has been long overdue — they make it past the first round of the playoffs. However, they don't advance to the Eastern Conference Final ... this season. If they have the incredibly proficient season I believe they will, another banner will be in the team's future very soon.

Stanley Cup Final prediction

Last season showed that once the playoffs start, it is anyone's game. No one saw the Blues winning it all and certainly did not see the Blue Jackets sweeping the Lightning in the first round.

If that is the case again, keep an eye out on the Dallas Stars. I believe they will beat out the Golden Knights and represent the West during the Cup Final.

I think Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals to the Final for the second time in three seasons after taking down the Bruins in a seven-game series.

There, the Caps will hoist Lord Stanley after six hard-fought games for their second win in franchise history — but on home ice this time around.

Emmer

Flyers prediction/outlook

Well, the Flyers not only need to make playoffs because they need to make playoffs, but they also have to continue the playoff trend! Since the 2011-12 season, the orange and black have a pattern of making, then missing the playoffs. The good news is, this year is the year to make.

Aside from the trend, I think it is completely doable.

I’m an optimist with this team. I’m predicting the Flyers will finish 47-30-5 with 99 points at the end of the season and will be top three in the Metro. 

I see them taking on the Islanders in the first round and if my senses are correct, this will also be the year they make it past the first round. They’ll pass the Isles in Game 6.

After that, I’m predicting they go up against the Pens and fall short, 4-1, in the series. 

Stanley Cup Final prediction

This year, I see the Sharks and the Penguins in the Final. 

Sharks will take the series in Game 7 at SAP Center and Joe Thornton will finally get his championship at the age of 40. I’m predicting Nathan MacKinnon wins the Hart Trophy as league MVP and the Art Ross Trophy goes to Nikita Kucherov for the second straight year. 

Hall

Flyers prediction/outlook

The Flyers had an underrated offseason. It wasn't flashy but it was productive.

With the uncertainty on Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder), the Kevin Hayes signing is looking better and better. The 27-year-old changes the game in all areas and gives the Flyers a jolt down the middle. The Flyers look deeper, especially if Patrick can return and a youngster steps up in the bottom six.

Much of the Flyers' hopes will rely on the team's defense. Can Shayne Gostisbehere get back to being the point-producing threat he was in 2017-18? Will Ivan Provorov look like a No. 1 defenseman again? And just how much will 32-year-olds Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun impact the group?

The right coaching staff is in place to push this team into the playoffs. Let's go with 44-29-9 for 97 points and a wild-card berth. The Flyers will lose in the first round, making the offseason and 2020-21 that much more important to break some franchise trends.

Stanley Cup Final prediction

The Lightning will have all sorts of motivation this season following last year's first-round playoff flop. That type of embarrassment fuels a team and can make for a great sports story.

Tampa Bay will write that story by beating the Blues in the Stanley Cup Final.

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Sportsbooks post Flyers' odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup

Sportsbooks post Flyers' odds to win the 2020 Stanley Cup

Welcome to the NHL offseason, now let’s take a look at next season.

The St. Louis Blues capped off an incredible turnaround Wednesday night as they won the Stanley Cup in seven games after being one of the league’s worst teams at the midway point.

In fact, one Blues fan even cashed in big by placing a $400 bet at 250-to-1 to win $100,000. Not bad. 

How are things shaping up for next season? Flyers fans, we don’t have great news to report out of Las Vegas as it looks like it could be another uphill battle. The Flyers are listed at 28-to-1 with the 17th best odds to win the Cup.

Given where the team has finished the past few seasons and the lack of transformational talent available on the free-agent market this offseason, the Flyers seem accurately positioned in the middle of the NHL, ninth in the Eastern Conference. That would, however, have them on the outside looking in on the playoffs in Alain Vigneault’s first season at the helm.

There’s reason to believe that the Flyers underachieved last season and could come back stronger, with a full season of Carter Hart in net, so while I think 17th is a tad harsh, it doesn’t feel like 28-to-1 to win the cup has tremendous value. 

The Blues, who ended their 52-year wait to lift Lord Stanley, are at 13-to-1, the worst odds for a defending champion since 1985. 

The Flyers now hold the league’s fourth-largest title drought, dating back to 1975, and the team with the league’s longest drought, the Toronto Maple Leafs, has the second-best odds to quench its thirst at 9-to-1.

For now, we’ll wait to see what the Flyers do with the 11th pick in the NHL draft, see if they can add a little in free agency or pull off some sort of blockbuster trade. We’ll see the puck drop next, for real, in Prague, Czech Republic on Oct. 4.

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