Philadelphia Flyers Odds To Make Playoffs Don’t Look Good
The Philadelphia Flyers may not have won a Stanley Cup since 1975, but rarely in all those subsequent years could they be accused of being dull. Historically one of the NHL’s most entertaining franchises on and off the ice, the Flyers at least have always given their fans a good time.
But the last few years have been on the dry side. Philadelphia has missed the playoffs in two of the last three seasons, and there seems little to be all that excited about for 2019-20. The Flyers have a new coach, Alain Vigneault, and made a fairly big free-agent signing in center Kevin Hayes. But the bookmakers are unimpressed.
Sportsbooks Not Giving Philly Much Brotherly Love
Over at 888Sport, the Flyers are -136 that they won’t make the playoffs. They are +1000 to win the Atlantic Division, with five other teams having better division futures odds. The Flyers not only have underachieved the last few years, they have seemingly been a team without an identity.
In a city that has always loved fighters and blue-collar toughness, the Flyers always exemplified those qualities in the old days. Now? They just seem like another mediocre hockey team.
The bookies' predictions are more than a little disappointing given the fact that fans can now bet live at the Wells Fargo Center thanks to a new deal with SugarHouse.
New Start with Vigneault
New coach Vigneault brings a proven winning history with him. In the last eight years, he has taken two teams to the Stanley Cup Finals (Vancouver in 2011 and the Rangers in 2014). Known as a good defensive coach, Vigneault takes over a team that allowed 281 goals last season - second-most in the league, to Ottawa’s 302.
There is little reason to believe they’ll be much better, though. The Flyers still lack much in the way of big-time defense, and while goalie Carter Hart remains young and promising, he has yet to prove he belongs in an elite class.
Offense Still Strong
The Flyers should still be able to score goals. They still have quality forwards such as Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek and James Van Riemsdyk. Hayes was added to the mix as a free agent, and he should be good for 40-50 points, at least.
It would be nice if Nolan Patrick, drafted second overall in 2017, could turn from the 30-point scorer of the last two seasons into the 50s or 60s - and he might.
The Flyers are not going to make the playoffs unless they do a better job of keeping pucks out of their own net, however. Perhaps Vigneault with devise a better overall defensive system, but you look at the Flyers’ roster and you’re still left with an underwhelming feeling.
If anything, the Flyers have been too much of a tweener team - too much in the mediocre middle to really start over in the draft or buy their way out of problems with marquee big-name free agents like the older days when there was no salary cap.
For now, the once-flamboyant Flyers franchise looks headed toward another ho-hum season, and in Philadelphia, being boring is probably the most unforgivable sin of all.
There's so much doubt in general thanks to NHL parity that it's tough to make the case for most teams to make the postseason, let alone a team that hasn't done so in years.