Nobody asked me, but …

Even if the Flyers don’t make the playoffs — and, despite an excellent two-month run, their chances are pencil-thin — their future looks much better than it did at this time last year, when they sneaked into the postseason and were outscored by the Penguins, 28-15, in six games.

The young players have made major strides, general manager Chuck Fletcher has lots of cap space to make some critical offseason moves, and the Flyers should get an excellent player in the first round of the draft in June.

Experts say the draft is loaded with gifted forwards and light on high-quality defensemen. That works to the Flyers’ advantage because they are filled with promising young players on the blue line.

Entering the weekend, the Flyers have the 14th-worst record. If they finish there, they would have just a 1.5 percent chance of winning the draft lottery and getting the No. 1 pick.

Barring a stunning lottery advancement, as when they beat the 2.4 percent odds and moved from No. 13 to No. 2 in 2017 and drafted Nolan Patrick, the Flyers will not be in the running for center Jack Hughes or big right winger Kaapo Kakko. They are can’t-miss prospects who are expected to be selected one-two, though which one goes No. 1 is a mystery.

But keep an eye on these highly rated prospects who might be available when the Flyers select, probably around No. 14: centers Ryan Suzuki, Raphael Lavoie, and Alex Newhook, and wingers Arthur Kaliyev and Matthew Boldy.

An intriguing prospect who should be on the board when the Flyers pick: Cole Caufield, a 5-foot-7, 155-pound winger with a great scoring touch. Size doesn’t matter, South Jersey native Johnny Gaudreau has shown.

Nobody asked me, but …

When the Flyers are mathematically eliminated from the playoff race, Samuel Morin needs to be in the defensive rotation. The Flyers have to find out if they can count on the 6-foot-6, 227-pound Morin next season.

If they can, they will have an abundance of defensive depth, which will probably lead to one of the D-men’s being dealt.

Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin.
Yong Kim
Flyers defenseman Samuel Morin.

Nobody asked me, but …

The Flyers deserve props for recognizing 100-year-old Albert “Andy” Andreola, a Cinnaminson resident who has been a season-ticket holder since the franchise started in 1967.

When the Flyers took their team photo Wednesday, they included Andreola, who was sitting in his wheelchair and was next to goalie Brian Elliott.

Stick taps to Andreola … and the Flyers.

Albert “Andy” Andreola, 100, a Flyers season-ticket holder since their inception, was included in their team photo Wednesday.
Albert “Andy” Andreola, 100, a Flyers season-ticket holder since their inception, was included in their team photo Wednesday.

Nobody asked me, but …

The best move Fletcher has made since replacing Ron Hextall was hiring interim coach Scott Gordon.

Fletcher gets high praise for promoting goalie Carter Hart from the Phantoms, but with all the goalie injuries the Flyers had at the time, Hextall probably would have done the same thing. I also believe that if Hextall had remained, Dave Hakstol would still be the head coach.

When it came to Hakstol, Hextall wore blinders. He went out on a limb to hire him out of the college ranks and was determined to stick with him. Even though things were falling apart around him.

Since Gordon arrived, the special teams have improved dramatically, the youngsters have blossomed, and the communication between the head coach and players has been much better. Even if the Flyers don’t make the playoffs, Gordon has made his mark and deserves to stay.

That said, he’s not perfect. It was a head-scratching decision to have Hart face the powerful Capitals on Thursday after a three-week layoff because of an ankle injury. Starting him earlier in the week against lowly Ottawa made much more sense.

Nobody asked me, but …

It boggles the mind the way the NHL seems to have no rhyme or reason in setting lengths of its suspensions. The league appears to give more importance to the severity of the injury incurred as opposed to the severity of the action.

Example: Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin took a baseball swing with his stick at Michael Raffl’s head on Feb. 11. Raffl didn’t miss any games. Malkin received a one-game suspension.

Example II: Jake Voracek saw a 227-pound freight train named Johnny Boychuk charging at him from behind, so he braced for the impact and slightly leaned toward the Islanders’ defenseman. Voracek hit Boychuk’s head with his back, but based on the angle and his awkward position, it was virtually impossible for him to be targeting that area of the body.

Yet, he received a two-game suspension because Boychuk was injured on the play, which was far less dangerous than the Malkin incident.

Predictably, Voracek’s appeal to reduce the suspension was rejected by commissioner Gary Bettman. What a shocker that Bettman didn’t overturn a decision made by one of his coworkers.

It says here that all appeals should be heard by an impartial arbitrator — as is done for suspensions of six games or more.

The NHL needs to find a way to show much more consistency in deciding the length of suspensions.

Listening, Mr. Bettman?