Flyers Awarded 2nd Overall Draft Pick

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Centers Nolan Patrick and Nico Hischier are the top two prospects in the 2017 NHL Draft.

In a bizarre, unlikely, and ironic twist of fate, the Philadelphia Flyers have been awarded the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. Despite just a 2.4% chance at nabbing the second pick, the Flyers leapfrogged teams with far better odds, such as the Colorado Avalanche, Vancouver Canucks, Arizona Coyotes, and Vegas Golden Knights.

The New Jersey Devils also saw a dramatic rise, and will choose first in the draft. The Flyers have had a history of bad luck with the NHL Draft Lottery System in the past, but their karma finally bounced there way, as the team rose 11 spots and will have a chance to acquire a game-breaking player in either Nolan Patrick or Nico Hischier.

But who’s better: Patrick or Hischier? Let’s meet the two players who will become the new faces of the Flyers-Devils rivalry.

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Looking at the Flyers and the Expansion Draft

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The NHL’s newest team will have at least one current Flyer on its inaugural roster.

The Flyers may have recently wrapped up their 50th Anniversary season, but the Vegas Golden Knights are just getting ready to enter their very first year as an NHL franchise. The NHL’s 31st Franchise, their team will be comprised of players from each of the NHL’s current teams.

Each team will be required to surrender one player to the Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, but teams will be able to protect certain players. For one, players with less than two years of NHL/AHL experience will be exempt from the draft. Teams will be able to protect 7 forwards, 3 defensemen, and 1 goaltender, (11 total players) or a mix of 8 skaters and 1 goalie (9 total players, but no position limits).  Also, players with no-movement clauses must be protected in the draft.

So who on the Flyers gets protected, and who will be left exposed for Vegas to take a gamble on? Here’s Overtime’s preview of the Philadelphia Flyers’ Expansion Draft Plan.

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NHL Playoff Preview

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The NHL Postseason is among the best of any sport.

Hockey is often thought of as a cold-weather sport, but the best hockey of the year takes place in the springtime. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are fast approaching, and the NHL is ready to kick its season into high gear. Here’s a comprehensive preview of the NHL’s second season.

*This article also appears in the Spring issue of Allentown High School’s newspaper, the Nutshell.*

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Is It Time to Give Up on the Flyers’ Season?

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The Flyers’ season went up in flames on Saturday night against the rival Penguins in the Stadium Series.

The Flyers may have worn black jerseys in last Saturday’s Stadium Series, but they may as well have been waving little white flags.

In what amounted to a highly frustrating 4-2 loss, the Flyers passed up on the chance to gain ground in the playoff picture, remaining 6 points out of the final wild card berth with no games in hand. Two teams are seated ahead of them, and few teams have as difficult a schedule as the Flyers have from here on out, a schedule heavy on road and divisional games.

With the trade deadline just two days away, is it time for the Flyers to give up on this season and move on to next year?

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Reliving the Greatest Moments of the Flyers-Penguins Rivalry

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The baddest rivalry in the NHL will head outdoors tonight at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh.
There is no rivalry in the NHL like that of the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers. The two Pennsylvania teams will face off outdoors for the first time ever on Saturday at 8:00 on NBC. The rivals have only played one other time this year (the Penguins won 5-4), and the stakes have never been higher than they will be on Saturday in the Stadium Series.

Let’s take a look back at the greatest moments of the storied Flyers-Penguins rivalry.

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Assessing the Flyers’ Identity Crisis

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Wanted: The Philadelphia Flyers’ Offense

Breaking: The Philadelphia Flyers’ identity has been stolen.

While it may seem impossible to rob an organization, the on-ice Flyers are a shell of their former selves, playing without focus, drive, or passion, and the losses are beginning to pile up.

With 24 games remaining in the season and the Flyers sitting just two points out of the playoff picture, there is reason for hope. However, it is incumbent on the Flyers to figure out what has gone wrong in recent weeks, and more importantly, how they can remedy the issue and get back on track.

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Why Isn’t Claude Giroux Scoring?

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The 2016-17 season has had far too many frustrating moments for the Flyers’ captain.

Quick quiz: who leads the entire National Hockey League in points since the beginning of 2011? It’s not Sidney Crosby, Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, or Patrick Kane.

It’s the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, Claude Giroux.

However, times are different this time around. Giroux, coming off of a poor season by his standards in 2016, has regressed further in 2017. Giroux currently has the worst overall stats of his career since becoming an NHL regular in 2009.

Will Giroux turn things around, or is this the beginning of the end of Giroux’s reign as an NHL star?

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Top 10 Outdoor NHL Games

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The NHL will feature two Outdoor Classics this year, first the Centennial Classic on New Years’ between the Toronto Maple Leafs and then the Winter Classic on January 2nd, featuring the Chicago Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues.

One of the best things about the modern NHL has been the rise in outdoor games. The brainchild of NBC and the NHL, the Winter Classic (as well as its offshoot Stadium Series) have become staples on the NHL’s list of prime events. 23 teams have played in an outdoor game, and countless memories have been made.

With 2 more classic games on the horizon, let’s examine the Top 10 NHL Outdoor Games.

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Flyers’ Two-Way Defense Kickstarting Offense

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Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto are two key members of the Flyers defense that play a strong two-way game.

When outsiders look at the Philadelphia Flyers and they see a team with  just an 8-8-3 record, they feel obligated to bash the Flyers’ defense, a well-known weak link over the last 10 years or so.

And while the team is still a bit rough around the edges defensively at times, the team defense has improved to the point of respectability over the last few years, culminating in playoff appearances in 2 out of the last 3 years.

However, the Flyers have received some unexpected contributions from their defense this year in the offensive side of the game. As of today, the Flyers are currently the NHL’s top team in terms of points from its defenders, with their collective 13 goals and 55 points setting the pace for the rest of the NHL.

*This article can also be found on Flyzette, a SportsDaily blog.*

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For Flyers’ Simmonds, the More Things Change, the More He Stays the Same

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Wayne Simmonds may look like a different player now that he wears a visor, but he remains the same dominant power forward he always has been.

Wayne Simmonds is arguably the toughest player on the Philadelphia Flyers, a player so feared that videos exist of his opponents telling their teammates that they “cannot fight Wayne Simmonds”.

But when his boss calls him into his office, Wayne Simmonds loses all of his trademark aggression and does what he is told. So when General Manager Ron Hextall told Simmonds that he should begin wearing a visor on the ice in order to prevent injury, Simmonds listened.

Some players find a routine that works and are hesitant to change even something as minuscule as a visor, but if Simmonds’ first 10 games of this season are any indication, the “Wayne Train” will keep on chugging along, even if it has a new front grill.

*This article can also be found on TheSportsDaily’s Philadelphia Flyers page, Flyzette!*

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