Let’s face it, the Philadelphia Flyers 2021-22 season kinda sucked. Though, there were a couple bright spots that were able to shine through an otherwise black abyss. From individual players beating expectations to the organization finally doing something right, here are the top five Flyers things that didn’t suck in 2021-22!
Number 5: Travis Sanheim
Five years into his NHL career, Travis Sanheim is finally spreading his wings and becoming the beautiful Colonel Sanders looking butterfly fans have hoped for. He’s on pace for potentially the best statistical season of his career, and has shown a glimpse of offensive dominance that he’s teased for years. He still has brain farts when it comes to his defensive responsibilities, but if he can continue to improve, the Flyers may have a legitimately good player on their hands.
Number 4: Carter Hart
One of the biggest questions entering the season was the play of 23-year-old goaltender Carter Hart after a disaster of a 2020 season. Luckily all the worry was for naught as he re-found his previous form as one of the better young goalies in the league. His numbers (3.11 goals against average and .907 save percentage) are relatively pedestrian, but he has played much better than the face value of his stats. If he had a competent team around him, he probably would’ve been one of the best in the league.
Number 3: Giroux’s 1,000 Game
It’s not very often the Flyers organization gets one of these special nights right these days, but they absolutely did right by their former captain for his 1,000th game sendoff. They checked all the boxes, Bobby Clarke showing up, presenting the silver stick, catering to his family, the video packages, Eric Lindros held hostage by Val Camillo in the luxury box, the whole nine yards. They had to give away half an arenas worth of tickets to put butts in seats, but it led to an environment that was unmatched for most of the last decade of Flyers hockey. A fading glimpse of something that used to be a nightly occurrence.
Number 2: Scott Laughton
Scott Laughton has aged like fine wine during his NHL career. The 2012 first round pick has risen through the ranks not only on the scoreboard, but in the leadership totem as well. He was on pace for a career year offensively before a concussion sidelined him, but he still has 11 goals and 28 points in 54 games, good enough for his second best season. With Claude Giroux out of the picture, expect Laughton’s rise to continue into next season as well. Who knows juts how good this guy can get.
Number 1: Cam Atkinson
When the Voracek-for-Atkinson trade went down over the summer, it was clear Cam had some big shoes to fill. Though from the first video call where he wore a Gritty t-shirt to leading the Flyers in goals and points, he has delivered in a big way during his first season in Philly. Now that Giroux is gone, the Flyers really need a beloved babyface to take his place, and Atkinson is that guy. Just imagine a likable guy such as Atkinson leading the successful Flyers team.
Gerry Mayhew’s tenure in Philadelphia lasted all of 25 games, but he provided some of the most intense Flyers moments of the season, from his energy, to his six goals, to bleeding out of his eye after a collision into the boards. Godspeed, Gerry Mayhew, you’ll be remembered forever.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: inquirer.com / nhl.com