SUNRISE, Fla. _ In the first 15 games, the Flyers scored a total of 22 goals. No team in NHL history had scored fewer goals in that span at the start of a season.
Since then, they have dramatically improved on their 1.47-goals-per game average.
Entering Monday, they had scored 27 goals in their last seven games, an average of 3.86 per contest, nearly triple their early-season output.
“We’re always playing from above the puck now, and when you do that, you’re going to create a lot of turnovers and you can get quick-strike offensive attacks,” winger Wayne Simmonds said before Monday’s game against Florida. “And everybody’s feeling confident now, so we’re putting more pucks in the net.”
Now that the Flyers are at .500, will they stay on their roll?
|Yes. It looks like they’ve finally put it together.|
|| 432 (87.4%)
|No. The last few weeks are a mirage.|
|| 62 (12.6%)
Total votes = 494
The Flyers had more goals in their last six games (23) before Monday than they did in their first 15 games (22).
“I think confidence is a huge part of the game,” Simmonds said. “Before, we were getting point-blank opportunities and guys were getting nervous or shanking them into the corner. And after that it was kind of putting your head down between your legs, and just not reacting the rest of the game. Now we’re getting those opportunities and if the first one isn’t going in, then we have second guy there trying to tap it in, and if he doesn’t we have a third guy there. It’s kind of a relentless attack right now and we’re trying to improve as we go along.”
The Flyers had averaged 34 shots per game during the 6-0-1 streak they took into Monday.
“We’re starting to figure out the O-zone part of it,” coach Craig Berube said. “We’re doing a good job using the D and everybody is involved in it, which is important. When you put pucks and people to the net, good things happen.”
In addition, the Flyers' power play has made strides, scoring at least once in six straight games and going 7 for 22 (31.8 percent) in that span.
Breakaways. Steve Mason ( 7-7-2, 2.11 GAA, .933 save percentage) will face Florida’s Tim Thomas (5-7-1, 2.79, .908) on Monday night….Claude Giroux has taken over the Flyers’ scoring lead with 15 points, while Vinny Lecavalier and Matt Read top the goal scorers with eight apiece…The Panthers’ press box was named in honor of the late Roger Neilson, the first coach in Florida history and a former Flyers coach.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.