The Philadelphia Flyers returned to the playoffs this past season for the second time in three seasons after missing the playoffs in 2017 but there may be higher expectations for the team this coming season.
The Philadelphia Flyers had their best season under head coach Dave Hakstol this past season as they went 42-26-14 and had 98 points. Their 98 points are the most they’ve had in three seasons under Hakstol and a huge part of it came because of Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier. Giroux, after moving to the wing, had over 100 points for the first time in his career. Couturier had his best season offensively as he had 31 goals and 76 points. Going into this season, let’s take a look at a few questions facing Philadelphia after their six-game series loss to the Pittsburgh Penguins.
5. Will they keep Giroux on the wing?
For his entire career, Giroux was the first line center for the Flyers until this past season. Philadelphia put him on the wing and he had the best season of his career with his 34 goals and 102 points. He was next to Couturier for most of the season, with Voracek on his other wing at times and sometimes Travis Konency on his other wing at times.
There’s been talk this offseason that Philadelphia may be considering to move Giroux back to center and while it would make their center depth look better, it may not be the best decision. Before this outstanding season for Giroux, he had 58 points the previous season and during the 2015-2016 season, he only had 67 points. His production started to dip after his 86 point season in 2014 before he was shot out of a cannon this season. When they made the change, it worked out perfectly obviously. With Couturier there again, he should definitely be able to have another outstanding season. But, will Philadelphia want to roll out a Giroux-Couturier-Patrick tandem at center? It’s a big question for them going into the season as that trio looks fantastic down the middle.