There’s a lot of games to be played, but so far, the Philadelphia Flyers’ off-season moves are smelling like roses. In fact, let’s take a little look at how the most notable ones are working out, as they earned their third win in a row by beating the Vancouver Canucks 5-4.
Claude Giroux seems awfully comfortable being “The Man” in Philly
Yes, Chris Pronger wears the “C” for the Flyers, but there’s a lot of pressure on the new top center duo of Giroux and Danny Briere to pick up the slack after Jeff Carter and Mike Richards were traded. Giroux already has three goals in three games in a large part because of his alertness during instantaneous breakdowns; just watch him take advantage of an incredibly lucky bounce against Roberto Luongo for the game’s first goal.
The Ilya Bryzgalov gamble is paying off so far
On paper, Breezy didn’t have an amazing night on Wednesday, as he allowed four Vancouver Canucks goals. The thing is, he also faced 40 shots and was due a statistically questionable evening after allowing just one goal in his first two starts. People were so wrapped up in his questionable contract that they forgot that the guy can flat-out play.
New forwards are fitting in already
Jaromir Jagr and Jakub Voracek were big wild cards coming into 2011-12, but so far, they’ve been looking pretty good. While those Czech wingers provide depth offense, the most pleasant surprise has been Wayne Simmonds, who’s done a little bit of everything for Philly. Sean Courturier might not avoid a demotion after his ninth game, but he’s been solid in his own right.
Don’t sleep on Pronger
If fantasy hockey draft selections are any indication, many in the hockey world assume that Pronger is next to done. Yet in three games, he has four points, including a goal tonight. He might not be the irresistible force he once was, but 90 percent Pronger is still better than almost any blueliner in the league – and it’s possible that no one is meaner.
Yes, it’s early on, but this Flyers team defeated the two 2011 Stanley Cup finalists in their first three games. If they can beat their Western Conference doppelgangers the Los Angeles Kings on Saturday, it might be time to start taking this Philly experiment seriously.