Reviewing the Flyers’ season at the All-Star break:
A is for apathy. Based on attendance figures, fans have purchased tickets to games at the Wells Fargo Center, but an alarming number have stayed home. Empty seats are plentiful, and recent tickets went for as low as $6 on StubHub. With the emergence of goalie Carter Hart, however, that could change.
B is for bounce-back. James van Riemsdyk, the Flyers’ big free-agent addition, injured his right knee Oct. 6 and missed the next 16 games. When he returned, it took him a while to regain his rhythm. But lately he has resembled the player who scored 36 goals last season for Toronto. Van Riemsdyk has six goals in his last five games.
C is for chaos. In a dizzying three-week span, the Flyers fired general manager Ron Hextall, assistant GM Chris Pryor, head coach Dave Hakstol, and assistant coach Gord Murphy.
D is for defense, or the lack of it. The Flyers have allowed 3.52 goals per game, 29th in the 31-team NHL. Goalie injuries were a big factor. So was a drop-off by defensemen Ivan Provorov (minus-14) and Shayne Gostisbehere (minus-12).
E is for encouraging signs. The Flyers, led by Hart, won four of their last five games before their bye week, including the last three. Things to watch over the last 34 games: the development of young players such as Hart, Nolan Patrick, Oskar Lindblom, Travis Sanheim, Robert Hagg, Travis Konecny, Gostisbehere, and Provorov.
F for Chuck Fletcher. He became the GM on Dec. 3 and has made some minor moves. The trade deadline is Feb. 25, and Wayne Simmonds and Michael Raffl are the players most likely to be dealt. There is also a chance that goalie Brian Elliott, sidelined since Nov. 17 with an apparent groin injury, will return and get showcased for some games in an attempt to deal him.
G is for goalies. The Flyers have tied an unwanted NHL record by using seven goalies, which leads us to …
H is for Hart, the 20-year-old goalie who has played only 12 NHL games but has displayed the ability and composure that make him look like the real deal. He has a 2.66 goals-against average and .918 save percentage. At long last, the Flyers appear to have found a top goalie. That should make Fletcher’s retooling job much easier.
I is for the interim head coach Scott Gordon (7-8-2 record). He has done a much better job utilizing timeouts, revamping the power play, and communicating with his players than his predecessor, Dave Hakstol (12-15-4 this season). Will it be enough for him to keep the job? Stay tuned.
J is for jump. The Flyers, who are 14 points behind, need to jump over five teams to get a wild-card spot.
K is for the kids. Young forwards Patrick and Lindblom struggled through huge chunks of the first 48 games. But both excelled on the team’s Western swing — in the four games, each had six points — and showed glimpses of their potential.
L is for Ian Laperriere, who has taken lots of grief for running the team’s penalty kill. But the PK has made some tweaks, has been much more aggressive, and has rebounded impressively. After killing just 68.5 percent of penalties in their first 21 games, the Flyers have been successful on 83.5 percent in the last 27 games.
M is for the team’s MVP at this point, Claude Giroux, who has 52 points (on pace for 89) and is among the NHL leaders in faceoff percentage (59.2).
N is for near-misses. Hart has twice taken a shutout into the last seven minutes before being scored upon.
O is for astronomical odds. According to sportsclubstats.com, the Flyers have a 0.3 percent chance of earning a playoff berth and would need to go 23-7-4 (gulp) the rest of the way to have a better than 50-50 chance to qualify.
P is for the struggling power play. After their last game, the Flyers were 30th in the 31-team league on the power play, converting at 13.3 percent. (In fairness, it has looked better since Gordon went with a five-forward setup.) Why, again, was power-play coach Joey Mullen fired after the 2016-17 season? In five of Mullen’s 10 years, the Flyers power play was in the top five in the NHL.
Q is for Joel Quenneville. The Flyers brass discussed Quenneville, who had led Chicago to three Stanley Cups, while Hakstol was still here, and the discussions are expected to heat up after the season.
R is for revival. Patrick has four goals over his last three games — after scoring just five goals in his first 38 games.
S is for Simmonds. He has been a heart-and-soul player and has averaged about 28 goals since the Flyers acquired him in 2011. But if the Flyers can’t re-sign the potential unrestricted free agent, he will probably be dealt next month. If anybody deserves to win a Stanley Cup, it’s Simmonds.
T is for terrific shooting percentage. Van Riemsdyk has scored on a staggering 17.9 percent of his shots.
U is for underappreciated. Radko Gudas has 13 points, 148 hits (second on team), and a team-best plus-10 rating. Gudas and Hagg have been the Flyers’ most consistent defensemen.
V is for Jake Voracek. He has had an up-and-down season (39 points, minus-13 rating). His high point: a career-high five points in a 7-4 win in Ottawa.
W is for winning draws. Led by Scott Laughton (59.3 percent), Giroux (59.1), and Sean Couturier (57.8), the Flyers lead the NHL in faceoff percentage (56.2).
X is for Xerox. As in copy. In a recipe for disaster, the Flyers faced a 2-0 deficit in 20 of their 48 games, a whopping 41.7 percent. They won just three of those 20 games.
Y is for yikes. The Flyers lost, 8-2, to San Jose on Oct. 9 — the most goals they have allowed in a home opener in franchise history.