On last week’s podcast episode, Len talked about the line changes Flyers head coach Craig Berube had made to help give this team a desperate spark after starting the season in abominable fashion. After two straight wins, and a resurgence in the 3rd period, the Flyers may have found a system that seems to be working. I know, it has only been a two game winning streak, but perhaps Berube and some of these players are turning fans into believers.
In general, goalie Steve Mason has been playing well this season despite their record. What was once a wild card having Ilya Bryzgalov in front of the net has now been replaced with greater consistency from Mason. In his first seven starts this season, his teammates only scored two goals. Yes, you read that correctly, and we all know the offense has stunk. But the team seems to be rebounding after beating the Rangers and Islanders this past week.
It’s great to see Mason playing this kind of hockey after the questions in the offseason about how this organization’s goaltending would play out. In fact, so many believed that Ray Emery would win the job after camp and before the season started. I guess we can reflect and say, it’s a good thing that didn’t happen. For sure, Mason, who is only 25 years of age, continues to carry the load for this team and overall consistency as they move into a critical next couple of weeks. Just as important, he’s confident in his game. That’s huge.
We know that Vinny Lecavalier has stepped it up, which was apparent from his hat trick this past Saturday night (the seventh of his career). Might this be a reflection from the recent line changes? It’s certainly likely.
It seems like I’m really high on the Flyers here. But believe me, I know this season isn’t all roses, unicorns and lollipops. Team captain Claude Giroux hasn’t scored a goal during this 2013 season, which is a mystery and baffling. Jakub Voracek has been struggling, as has Matt Read. Combined, they’ve given their fellow teammates and fans 3 goals and 4 assists (Voracek, 1 goal; Read 2 goals). They’re not the only players who have floundered. Many on the roster are having a very rough start to the season. However, we may just see an upswing as this team’s confidence is starting to rise after a two game win streak.
Turmoil filled the Wells Fargo Center just after the 3rd game of the season, and now it seems as though the winds have slightly calmed. Perhaps it’s just a strong hope, but there’s now some direction within this Flyers organization. Please, Berube, prove me right.