The Orange Update

Flyers Defensive Scoring? Sounds Odd to Me Too

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The Philadelphia Flyers come into the season with some question marks, as do all teams, but one of the things I’d like them to improve upon is the scoring production from the defense.

Last season the Flyers scored 264 goals but that number drops to 260 when you don’t count the 4 “team goals” earned through winning a shootout. Yeah, hard to believe the Flyers won 4 shootouts, I know.

The defense, however, was only able to produce 25 goals and 5 of those goals were scored by Chris Pronger (1) and Matt Carle (4) who are no longer with the team. Those 25 goals were good for 9.6% of the Flyers goal total in 2011-2012 and ranked 13th in the Eastern Conference only ahead of the Pittsburgh Penguins (9.5%) and New Jersey Devils (7.4%).

Here’s the full Eastern Conference Ranking of Percentage of goals scored by defense.

1. Carolina Hurricanes 18.3%

2. Ottawa Senators 18.1%

3. Toronto Maple Leafs 16.7%

4. Buffalo Sabres 15.6%

5. Panthers 14.7%

6. Winnipeg Jets 14.4%

7. Washington Capitals 13.8%

8. Boston Bruins 13.5%

8. New York Rangers 13.5%

10. Montreal Canadiens 12.5%

11. Tampa Bay Lightning 10.3%

12. New York Islanders 9.7%

13. Philadelphia Flyers 9.6%

14. Pittsburgh Penguins 9.5%

15. New Jersey Devils 7.4%

In the off-season GM Paul Holmgren brought in Bruno Gervais, Luke Schenn, and most recently, Kurtis Foster.

Gervais had 6 goals a season ago, a career high, but offense hasn’t really been his game scoring just 15 goals in 381 career games. Luke Schenn scored just 2 goals in 79 games last season in Toronto but did have back to back 5 goal campaigns in 2009-2010 and 2010-2011. The elder Schenn, unlike his brother, isn’t much of an offensive guy. Kurtis Foster is an interesting player and could provide a jolt of offense into the Flyers blue-line. Foster had back to back 8 goal seasons in 2009-2010 with Tampa Bay and 2010-2011 in Edmonton and also put up 10 goals in just 58 games during the 2005-2006 season with Minnesota.

What exactly am I saying?

While I firmly believe that goal scoring will not be an issue overall for the Flyers forwards this season it would be nice to have some pop from the blue-line every now and again. 9.6% isn’t a great number but considering the Devils won the East with even less scoring from the defense it’s not all that dire it would just be, you know, nice.

 

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