After finishing the 2022-23 season with the second-worst record in the Metropolitan Division at 31-38-13, the Philadelphia Flyers are playing a completely different brand of hockey to start the season.

With 18-10-3, the Flyers have climbed to the second-highest points tally in the Metropolitan Division and rank third in the Eastern Conference. They’ve done so behind three straight wins and a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games.

Philadelphia has been arguably the worst team in hockey throughout the past few seasons. The team was bad at the present, and the future didn’t look too bright. Now, things are changing.

The talent is much better than it has been in the past, but by no means are the Flyers a star-studded team. They have gritty players who embrace the Philadelphia attitude.

It’s fun,said Flyers goaltender Sam Ersson, who made 24 saves in extending his personal run to 7-0-1 in his last eight starts. “The confidence is growing in our locker room. We’re having a lot of fun, but as I say, I think it’s important for us as a group to know how important it is to just stay in the moment.

While the Flyers have certainly improved, they haven’t necessarily been elite in anything they’ve done besides keeping the puck out of the net. They average 2.9 goals per game, which is significantly below the league average.

With 81 goals allowed, they’ve given up the second least in the Metropolitan Division and the second least in the Eastern Conference. Their +12 point differential also ranked in the top four in the Eastern Conference.

Veteran goalkeeper Carter Hart has arguably been the best goalie in hockey. Over 17 games, he’s maintained an impressive 2.42 goals-against average (sixth-best), notched a shutout and posted a .919 save percentage (eighth-best).

Some of his success can certainly be attributed to the Flyers’ solid defensive unit. Nick Seeler, Travis Sanheim, Cam York, and others have all impressed defensively for the Flyers this season.

The Flyers understand that this team isn’t going to win because of sheer talent alone. Wins come at a premium in the NHL, and them playing hard is going to be the reason they continue finding success.

We’re not the most skilled, and we’re not the prettiest team, but we compete hard, and we believe in one another,” Poehling said. “And I think that’s the biggest thing in the NHL, it’s about consistency in this league. And I think night in and night out, that’s what we do.

As a result of their hard-nosed, team playing playstyle, the Flyers don’t have one player in the top 50 of points. Travis Konecny and Sanheim are the only two Flyers in the top 100 of points.

While this can be a concern in the Stanley Cup playoffs due to start talent taking over, Philadelphia’s enjoying the ride. This team is way ahead of schedule and will only continue to get better with their impressive young pieces.

Konecny, however, will be the player that the team leans on. 

I’m finding a way, even if I don’t have my best stuff, to try to make a difference in the game,” Konecny said. “Whether it’s just good breakout passes, (getting on the) forecheck — whatever it may be. You just try to have an impact on the game. I’ve kind of learned the game will come to you. If you’re not having your best night, keep it simple, and things will slowly start to come.

He’s more than ready to give them his all.


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