Oct 13, 2022 - Sports

How to fake it: Philadelphia Flyers' season opener

Scott Laughton of the Philadelphia Flyers watches the puck being dropped by a referee.

Scott Laughton of the Flyers watches the puck during the Oct. 4 game against the New York Islanders at Wells Fargo Center. Photo: Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images

The Philadelphia Flyers open the season Wednesday night in a rivalry game against the New Jersey Devils, featuring last year's Metropolitan Division bottom-dwellers.

State of play: Everything you need to know about the Flyers' chances of hoisting a Stanley Cup this year is covered by local headlines wondering if the team will have the worst record in the NHL and whether they should just "tank" the season in hopes of landing projected No. 1 overall pick Connor Bedard.

  • Bedard was considered to be "the future of hockey" when he was as young as 13, and the now 17-year-old is being billed as a once-in-a-lifetime talent with comparisons to Sidney Crosby and Connor McDavid.

When commiserating with Flyers fanatics, here are some things to know:

  • First-year head coach John Tortorella was hired in June to help, in his own words, stabilize the team. But it doesn't exactly inspire confidence when the guy who is supposed to be rah-rah-ing you is talking like that before the season starts.
  • The Flyers didn't really push to land Johnny Gaudreau during free agency over the summer and he ended up inking a $68 million deal with Columbus. When asked about that, Tortorella said: "Is it time to sign a free agent like that?"
  • Tap into Flyers fans' exasperation with a well-timed: "Um yeah, coach, patience is not a virtue we care about when you finished dead last in the division last year and went 1-4-1 in preseason."

Between the lines: Injuries have marred the Flyers, with defenseman Ryan Ellis presumed sidelined for the entire season with a back injury, center Sean Couturier re-aggravating his back post-surgery and the club's second-leading goal scorer, winger Cam Atkinson, ruled out of today's contest with an upper-body injury.

Yes, but: Flyers center Tanner Laczynski finally appears healthy after enduring three surgeries in an 18-month span on his hips and core muscles.

Stat du jour: Goalie Carter Hart will likely have another tough go at it behind the net this year as the Flyers allowed 3.56 goals per game over the last two seasons, the worst in the NHL.

  • Queue up one of these golden-goal comebacks, and you're destined to score with hardcore followers: "At least we're the best at being the worst," or "Well, we still have Gritty."

If you watch: The puck drops at 7pm, on ESPN+.


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