When the Flyers overhauled their roster last summer, there were a number of questions raised – How would they make up for the scoring lost in guys like Mike Richards and Jeff Carter? Would Ilya Bryzgalov finally solve all of the team’s problems? How would the new guys all click – with each other, and with the team vets?
With six games left in the regular season, all of those questions have been answered by this point. We know that the goal scoring hasn’t been an issue, and after a bumpy start, Ilya Bryzgalov has found his groove.
As for team chemistry, well, it certainly isn’t lacking.
Rumors circulated last season that there was a discord in the Flyers’ locker room. Whoever the cause, whatever the issue, it was apparently the reason why the team struggled down the stretch leading into the playoffs. Now, obviously, rumors are rumors and we’ll never know the reason for sure. But chemistry is an important thing for a team to have, and if it’s lacking, so is their performance.
Despite flashes of inconsistency throughout the season, the Flyers are playing cohesive hockey. Even with the group of newbies on the squad, they’ve managed to find their game and are on their way to another postseason. They’ve seemingly had no problem clicking with one another, both on and off the ice.
It’s typical for a hockey player to go after an opponent when a teammate takes a bad hit or a high stick, and even more typical when a penalty isn’t called. That’s just what you do. But, somehow, it seems different with the Flyers. When Wayne Simmonds or Braydon Coburn goes after someone for something like that, there’s more to it. It’s not just sticking up for your teammate because it’s part of the game. It’s sticking up for your teammate because you want to.
These are the guys who tweet back and forth with one another, even when they’re sitting on the same plane. The guys who do what they can to support their teammate’s charity. The guys who don’t point fingers at one another, but take responsibility for their own faults and work together to fix whatever needs to be fixed. They’re not just a team of players, they’re a team of brothers.
Maybe it’s just me. Maybe I’m such a big fan of hockey bromances that I’m just imagining an overall bromance between all of the guys on the team. But if you watch them on the bench between shifts, if you follow them on Twitter, if you pay attention to more than just the game itself, you’ll see it, too. Despite all of the trades and all of the acquisitions, things have fallen into place, and the Flyers are a very strong group now – both on and off the ice.