With the 2018-19 season fast approaching, we're running snapshots of all 31 NHL teams, including point total projections, positional previews, best- and worst-case scenarios and more.
The Philadelphia Flyers' new mascot broke the internet. What about the on-ice product?
How they finished in 2017-18: 42-26-14 (98 points), Finished 12th in NHL, 3rd in Metropolitan
They hit their stride at the right time at the end of the season, but their playoff hopes were foiled by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round. Philadelphia hasn't won a playoff series since 2012.
Over/under projected point total (per the Westgate Las Vegas Superbook): 97.5
Best-case scenario: That two dominant lines are good enough to make and advance in the playoffs, going as far as their goaltending can take them (i.e. not that far).
Worst-case scenario: Why oh why are the Flyers not winning it all in 2019? In Philadelphia, it's always goaltending. No, you can't turn to Carter Hart just yet. Philly fans will have to wait this out.
Forwards overview: The addition of James van Riemsdyk gives Philadelphia a dynamite top six, and we're excited to see what 2017 No. 2 pick Nolan Patrick can do in his second season. There's decent depth of forwards competing for bottom-six roles, but a drop-off in talent once we get to the third line. Wayne Simmonds' return from a litany of injuries is worth monitoring. NHL rank: 11th
Defense overview: The Flyers have two of the best young defensemen in the league in Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov. The rest of the defense will be in much better shape if Andrew MacDonald's preseason injury proves to be not too serious. NHL rank: 16th
Goalie overview: Until Hart is ready -- the Flyers, characteristically, are slow-playing their top prospect -- it's another year of uninspiring play. Once again, Brian Elliott (.909 save percentage last season) should start, with the injury-prone Michal Neuvirth as a backup. NHL rank: 17th
Special teams: The Flyers' power play was average last season, but their penalty kill was among the league's worst (ranked 29th; 75.8 percent).
Pipeline overview: With a deep group of prospects, the Flyers have quality at just about every position, including goaltender, where they boast Hart, the No. 1 goalie prospect. Meanwhile, there are many quality forwards highlighted by Morgan Frost and Joel Farabee, both of whom could figure into the team's top six a little further down the line. Read more -- Chris Peters
Fantasy nugget: Toward the end of last season, both Jakub Voracek and Simmonds had their roles reduced with the emergence of Travis Konecny. Voracek's superstar production from the first half became elite only in the second half of the season. Simmonds also slipped down the depth chart, sometimes playing with the third line at even strength. His overall numbers suffered from his lack of PIM, much lower shot totals and another season of poor plus/minus play. To get some shares of both players, I want to see them slide down drafts compared to where they were coming into last season. Read more -- Sean Allen
Coach on the hot seat? Fans might want Dave Hakstol's seat to be hotter than it is. Despite a roller-coaster season (it looked as if he might be gone after an ugly November losing streak) Hakstol marched on to the playoffs. Of course, expectations are greater this season.
Bold prediction: Simmonds might start a bit slow because of nagging injuries, but then takes off. The winger signs a massive extension, proving there still is still a market for 30-year-olds.