You Should Be Excited About the Flyers This Season

The Flyers begin their 2016-17 season tonight in Los Angeles. They might be decent this year!

The Flyers might be pretty good this season.

This is not always the case. Since the 2012 season, the Flyers haven’t finished higher than third in their division and have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs. They haven’t been that fun to watch the past few years.

Last season ended on the upswing (bracelet-throwing aside). The Flyers finished with 96 points, won two games in the first round against the No. 1 seed, and saw a standout season from rookie Shayne Gostisbehere, who was called up a month into the season. Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth put up great numbers in net. Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek had down seasons, sure, but the Flyers looked like they were on the way up.

That was GM Ron Hextall’s plan when he took over the job in 2014: Acquire some young talent, and slowly build the team back to contention.

The Flyers begin their 2016-17 season tonight in Los Angeles, playing the Kings at the convenient time of 10:30. Put the kids to bed and stay up late to watch, or go out and pound Lord Chesterfields at the bar while you scream so your friends can hear you over the crowd! This season, there’s reason to be excited about the Flyers.

This year could be the Flyers’ breakthrough. A pair of 19-year-old rookies, Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov, played so well in training camp and preseason that they made the team out of camp. If Voracek and Giroux return to form, the goaltending is strong again, and Gostisbehere looks like he did last season, the Flyers might be pretty good this year!

Then again, that … might not happen. Perhaps the young kids are overmatched, the Flyers goaltending starts to look like Flyers goaltending usually does, Giroux and Voracek don’t play that well, Gostisbehere looks bad in his second season, and they’re awful.

But unlike the Sixers’ tank job, the Flyers seem to have turned things around rather quickly. They’re on the upswing. There’s reason to be excited about hockey in Philadelphia again.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.