Grading the Flyers: Most forwards slipped in the postseason

Claude Giroux had an incredible regular season for the Flyers, but couldn’t get it going against Pittsburgh in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs.

The Flyers finished third in the Metropolitan Division with 98 points – 10 more points than last year – and lost to the Pittsburgh Penguins in the conference quarterfinals, four games to two.

Here are the grades of the forwards. See the grades of the defense and goaltenders here.

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The lack of productivity from Claude Giroux was a big reason the Flyers lost to the Penguins.

LW Claude Giroux

Regular season: A+

He finished second in the NHL with a career-high 102 points, shared the league’s assist title with 68 helpers and finished third in faceoff percentage (58.6) while earning a plus-28 rating – and somehow was not named among the three MVP finalists.

Playoffs: D

Giroux had just one goal and two assists and was minus-10 – a big reason the Flyers lost to the Penguins in six games.

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Sean Couturier was the only Flyer who scored more than three points in the series against the Penguins.

C Sean Couturier

Regular season: A

He set career highs in goals (31), assists (45), points (76) and plus-minus rating (plus-34) and was the team’s best defensive forward. Couturier went through a 15-game goal drought late in the season, but came alive in the playoffs.

Playoffs: A

Despite suffering a torn MCL and missing Game 4, Couturier returned to the lineup in Game 5 and scored the game-winner, then had a hat trick and five points in Game 6. In the series, he led the Flyers in goals (four) and points (nine). No other Flyer had more than three points.

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Jake Voracek had a minus-3 rating vs. Pittsburgh.

RW Jake Voracek

Regular season: A

One of the league’s elite playmakers, Voracek set career-highs in assists (65) and points (85) and finished at plus-10 – he was minus-24 the previous season. He has missed just 13 games in his last seven seasons.

Playoffs: D+

He had no goals, three assists, too many turnovers and a minus-3 rating in the playoffs.

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Travis Konecny was the Flyers’ most exciting player in the regular season, but that didn’t translate to the playoffs.

RW Travis Konecny

Regular season: B+

Konecny became the Flyers’ most exciting player, using his speed and creativity to finish with career bests in goals and points, with 24 and 47 respectively. He had 20 goals in 41 games on the top line, with Giroux and Couturier as his linemates. When on another line, he had just four goals in 40 games.

Playoffs: D+

He had a spectacular goal in Game 2 but that was the only point he produced. He managed just seven shots in the series.

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Wayne Simmonds was playing injured throughout most of the season and didn’t manage any goals in the playoffs.

RW Wayne Simmonds

Regular season: B+

He finished with 24 goals despite a long list of injuries that would have sidelined most players, including a broken ankle and a tear in his pelvis area. Slowed by those injuries, Simmonds finished with a team-worst minus-16 rating.

Playoffs: D+

It’s tough to give Simmonds such a poor grade because he was playing injured, but he was healthy enough (in coach Dave Hakstol’s mind) to play and he did not score any goals. He did manage two assists and 15 shots.

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Despite his lack of production, Nolan Patrick was one of the Flyers’ best players vs. Pittsburgh.

C Nolan Patrick

Regular season: C+

It took Patrick a while to blossom because he was slowed by off-season core-muscle surgery and then suffered a concussion in late October, but he was terrific in the season’s second half. He had two goals in his first 35 games and 11 in his last 38.

Playoffs: C+

Patrick managed just one goal and one assist in the six playoff games, but he was one of the Flyers’ best players. Strong on the forecheck, he was in the middle of numerous scoring chances and he tied Shayne Gostisbehere for the most shots by the Flyers (16) in the series.

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Michael Raffl had the fifth-best rating among Flyers’ forwards.

LW/RW Michael Raffl

Regular season: C+

Raffl played up and down the lineup and managed 13 goals while being defensively responsible. He finished plus-9, the fifth-best rating among Flyers’ forwards.

Playoffs: D

He had one point, an assist, a minus-5 rating and just one shot in the series.

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Outside of Game 5, Val Filppula had a quiet series.

C Val Filppula

Regular season: C-

He was used mostly as the third-line center while spending some time on the second line. Filppula collected 11 goals and 33 points, and was step slow on the team’s poor penalty kill.

Playoffs: C-

Filppula had a shorthanded goal and two assists to lead the Flyers’ 4-2 Game 5 win – he was elevated to the No. 1 line in that contest – but was quiet the rest of the series.

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Scott Laughton was one of few Flyers who had a plus rating in the playoffs.

C/LW Scott Laughton

Regular season: C-

He had 10 goals – a career high – to go along with 10 assists. He finished with a minus-10 rating in an up-and down season, one in which he failed to score in the last 23 games. Laughton didn’t show enough to be the team’s third-line center next season.

Playoffs: B

Laughton and his linemates on the fourth line did a solid job against the Penguins. Laughton scored a goal that gave the Flyers a 4-2 second-period lead in Game 6 before the home team collapsed. He was one of the Flyers’ few “plus” players (plus-1) in the series.

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Oskar Lindblom was a healthy scratch in two playoff games.

LW Oskar Lindblom

Regular season: C-

The rookie managed just two goals and four assists in 23 games after being recalled from Lehigh Vallley, but Lindblom was defensively responsible (plus-4) and didn’t seem overwhelmed.

Playoffs: D

He was mostly ineffective and did not produce a point in four postseason games; he was a healthy scratch in two of them.

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Matt Read was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in late February.

RW Matt Read

Regular season: D+

He improved the penalty-killing unit after being recalled from the Phantoms in late February. On the flip side, he had just one point in 19 games.

Playoffs: B

Part of an effective fourth line in the playoffs, he iced the Game 5 win with an empty-net goal. He also contributed an assist and some effective penalty killing in the series.

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Dale Weise was a healthy scratch through much of the regular season.

LW/RW Dale Weise

Regular season: D

Weise had four goals in 46 games and was a healthy scratch for long stretches. He has two years left on a contract that has an annual $2.35 million cap hit.

Playoffs: D

He played in just two postseason games and finished minus-3 while averaging just 7:23 per contest.

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Jori Lehtera’s contract will not be bought out, despite his lack of speed and production.

C/LW Jori Lehtera

Regular season: D-

Acquired from St. Louis in a salary dump that was part of the Brayden Schenn trade, Lehtera showed little speed and less scoring ability (three goals, eight points). Surprisingly, GM Ron Hextall said he does not plan to buy out the last year of his contract ($4.7 million cap hit).

Playoffs: B

Lehtera contributed some solid penalty-killing work, and helped the fourth line hold its own in the series against the Penguins.

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Jordan Weal ended the 2016-17 season on a good note, but that didn’t translate to this year.

LW Jordan Weal

Regular season: D

Weal was probably the Flyers’ biggest disappointment. After scoring eight goals in his last 19 games of the 2016-17 season, the Flyers were counting on big things from the speedy Weal. Instead, he struggled defensively and managed just eight goals in 69 games, showing only glimpses of his previous form.

Playoffs: Incomplete

Weal played just one game and was a non-factor.

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Taylor Leier did not appear in the postseason.

LW Taylor Leier

Regular season: D

He fell out of Hakstol’s favor and played in just 39 games. The speedy Leier, who was used on the penalty kill early in the season, finished with one goal and a minus-7 rating.

Playoffs: Incomplete

Leier was not used in the postseason.