While on vacation, here are a handful of observations, most of which are Flyers-related:
- The Flyers had 103 points last season, one in which their lineup included Jaromir Jagr, Matt Carle, James van Riemsdyk and Andrej Meszaros (for a while). If the season started today, they have the look of a team that would collect, say, 93 points.
- Barring the signing of Shane Doan or a trade for Bobby Ryan or Keith Yandle, the Flyers will need continued improvement from their talented sophomores if they are going to be considered a serious contender.
- The good news: The Flyers will have LOTS of cap room when Meszaros and/or Chris Pronger go on LTIR, so they will be able to make a major move during the season.
- More good news: The regular season means little. Just get hot at the right time (see the Flyers in 2010 and the Kings last season) and you can go far in the playoffs. Yes, the Kings had Jonathan Quick, but I have a hunch Ilya Bryzgalov is going to have a bounce-back season.
- If I’m setting the odds, the Rangers are the Stanley Cup favorites.
- Off hockey for a second, The Newsroom has charged past Breaking Bad as TV’s best show.
- Saw “The Watch” last week. It may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is a strong contender. It almost makes “Jack & Jill” look good. Almost.
- I thought the Flyers should have gotten more in the JVR trade, but with Meszaros expected to miss a good part of the season and the Flyers failing to sign either Ryan Suter or Shea Weber, Luke Schenn is suddenly more valuable than van Riemsdyk would have been.
- I’m in the minority, but I think the NHL season will start on time. Quite simply, there’s too much to be lost by a lockout.
- Unlike last year, I’d be shocked if a rookie earned a spot on the Flyers during training camp. Defenseman Brandon Manning will try to prove that theory wrong.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.