Captain Claude Giroux says the Flyers’ start “feels better” than their 3-2 record.
We agree, and here are five reasons why the team has avoided its usual slow start:
— All four lines have been dangerous. When is the last time you could make that statement about this team?
— The Flyers have had a territorial advantage in all five games, even the losses to Los Angeles and Nashville.
— The power play has clicked at 27.3 percent, and the second unit — Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, Jordan Weal, Nolan Patrick, and Ivan Provorov — has created as many chances as the top unit.
— The line matchups have been more favorable because of the team’s balance. That’s been particularly evident since coach Dave Hakstol shrewdly dropped Patrick down to the third line and moved Val Filppula to the second unit. (Patrick had a bad matchup against the Kings’ Jeff Carter, promoting the change.)
— The Flyers have shown much more speed than last season. Giroux (three goals, four assists), now playing left wing for the first time in his NHL career, and defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere (eight assists) are more than a year removed from hip and abdominal surgeries and look faster. Scott Laughton, who is centering the new-look fourth line, is also noticeably quicker than last season.