Before you ask, yes that is movie ‘star’ Jerry O’Connell, and his secret identity was that as a teenager, he developed superhuman powers. The Philadelphia Flyers have a secret identity as well, however there’s don’t involve superhuman powers. In fact, I don’t think anybody knows.
Are they a playoff team? Stanley Cup contender? A team on the rebuild? I don’t think you can answer any of those with any reassurance. Currently they sit last in the Metropolitan division, and even though that division has a whiff of the old Southeast Division, they sit six points out of the playoffs after 14 games.
A Stanley Cup contender? Well they made the Stanley Cup Finals just three short seasons ago, but only six members of that Finals team remain on the roster, and that includes Ray Emery (who has been at the Ducks and Blackhawks in between time), and Chris Pronger (who is now on the long-term injury list, and will never play again) The other four being Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux, Brayden Coburn and Kimmo Timonen.
A team on the rebuild? Well if you look at their forward group, you could argue that. They only have three players over the age of 30 and seven players 25 or younger, but defensively, there are only two players under the age of 28. However, there are quite a few young players playing for the Adirondack Phantoms of the AHL, plus eleven defensive prospects in the Flyers system, so perhaps that’s where they are ‘re-building’
Goaltending is a mystery. Emery (31) and Steve Mason (25) are their main core, after buying out everyone’s favourite Russian Cosmonaut. Ilya Bryzgalov, in the off-season. Emery may have been the backup to Corey Crawford for Chicago’s Stanley Cup victory last season, but this year his skills have been move around the boxing ring, than between the pipes.
Add to that the firing of Peter Laviolette just three games into the season, replacing him with assistant Craig Berube, and you have a situation that I don’t think many people know just what to make of it.
Captain Giroux may want their fans to not stop believing in their team, but until they find an identity, then they may just continue to sit towards the bottom of the National Hockey League. They won’t be completely on the bottom though, I mean, they’re not Buffalo.