If I had to name the most erratic team in the NHL, it’d be the Philadelphia Flyers. And not just this season, the Flyers have been so all over the place across the last decade. One month they’re great, the next they’re garbage, and in another stretch they may trade wins back and forth. That is the Flyers summed it up in a few words. There is no rhyme or reason, so it’s best to just let them do their thing and wait to see how it plays out by the end of the year. Even against the Capitals in the playoffs last season.
They lost three straight games and were looking at getting swept, before they won two and appeared to be coming back to steal the series. Nope, not so fast, the Capitals closed the series out in six games and the Flyers chances of coming back were nullified quickly. The Flyers enter Sunday with a record of 22-19-2 after dropping three games in a row. As bi-polar as the Flyers are, it’s important not to forget about them, because they are capable of “flipping the switch”.
Shayne Gostisbehere was a god send for the Flyers last season. In only his rookie campaign, Gostisbehere was a fixture on the Philadelphia blue line. This season has been the opposite for him, as he comes into this matchup with a putrid +/- rating of -19. It’s a stat often overlooked, but it’s the most important in my eyes. Much like the Flyers as a team, Gostisbehere is a hot-cold player, and need him to get hot in the second-half of the season. And with that, we’re only a few weeks away from the All-Star Game, believe it or not. Let’s get to the pick below, as the Flyers and Islanders do battle in Brooklyn.
The Flyers haven’t been able to get anything right of late, offensively or defensively. They’ve scored just 4 goals in their last three games, while allowing 15 goals. The ensuing result is all losses. It feels like it was so long ago that they won ten games in a row, but that was just on December 14th. Since then they’ve lost 12 games and have taken a steep dive downward. That’s the Flyers. They have been getting beat particularly on defence, as they have allowed goals by the bunches, with 3.15 goals surrendered per game. Note that is 28th in the NHL. It’s been quite ugly for them in their last ten games, with 3.70 goals allowed per game.
With the firing of Jack Capuano, everyone was put on notice in the Islanders’ organization. Capuano was on borrowed time since November and they finally decided to pull the plug on him. Usually when that happens, it sends a jolt through a team. For the Islanders, they’ve responded since their bench boss was removed. The offence has gotten into motion, scoring 4 goals per game and going 4-1 in their last five games since the firing. At 19-17-5, the Islanders are not dead in the water just yet. Whether it’s Mason or Neuvirth in net it doesn’t matter, they’ve both been equally bad. The Flyers have gone 24-16 to the OVER and the Islanders 23-17. There should be goals aplenty, setting up a play on the OVER on Sunday.
PICK: OVER 5.5 GOALS (-110)