Philadelphia Flyers 2012-13 Season Preview:
The Philadelphia Flyers have become perennial contenders in the Eastern Conference, having made the playoffs five years in a row and coming painstakingly close to capturing their first Stanley Cup since 1975. The Flyers enjoyed one of their better seasons over the past several years during the 2011-12 campaign as they cruised to a 47-26-9 record and finished in 5th in the Eastern Conference standings. Head coach Peter Laviolette's team shocked the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the postseason, but weren't able to overcome the eventual Eastern Conference Champion New Jersey Devils in the second round. Despite extreme roster turnovers during the past several years and this offseason, the Flyers look poised to become a playoff team once again in the 2012-13 season.
During 2011-12, the Flyers ranked second in the NHL in scoring, but shouldn't expect the same level of production thanks to a few departures from their offensive attack. The Flyers still have a formidable first line consisting of Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux and Wayne Simmonds, but the team is hoping for increased production from younger players like Jakub Voracek, Ruslan Fedotenko and Brayden Schenn. A bounce-back year from Danny Briere on the second line could also work wonders to improve the Flyers' playoff chances this year.
On defense, the Flyers have one of the best duos in the business with Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen, but also boast improved depth that should bode well for the season ahead. The Flyers love the physical presence of defenseman Luke Schenn and are hoping for increased output from Braydon Coburn and Nicklas Grossman. Ilya Bryzgalov will continue to hold down the starting duties at goaltender, but the Flyers also made a wise move by bringing Michael Leighton back to provide solid depth at goalie.
The Flyers will open up the 2012-13 season at home on Thursday, October 11 against the Boston Bruins at the Wells Fargo Center. This will be a high-profile preview of what could potentially be a deciding playoff series in the coming months. The Flyers will face off against many of last year's playoff foes early on in the season and will have to contend with a series of long road trips over the course of the year. Thankfully, for a team that set a franchise record with 25 road wins in 2011-12, the Flyers have the toughness and grit to stay at the top of the Eastern Conference standings throughout the year.
PHILADELPHIA FLYERS EXPERIENCE:
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Stadium: Wells Fargo Center
Conference: Eastern Conference
Division: Atlantic Division
Philadelphia Flyers Stanley Cup Titles: 2: 1973-74 & 1974-75
Philadelphia Flyers Conference Championships: 8
Notable Players: Bobby Clarke, Eric Lindros, John LeClair
The Philadelphia Flyers play hockey in the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference of the National Hockey League (NHL). The team first began play in 1967 as part of the NHL expansion of that year. The struggled at first as do most expansion teams, but in the early '70s the team came into its own. Taking the nickname the "Broad Street Bullies", the Philadelphia Flyers would win back-to-back Stanley Cups in 1974 and 1975. The Flyers would fall from the top but remained a division leader throughout the '80s. Who can forget the pairing of Eric Lindros and Mark Recchi during the 1990's? The Philadelphia Flyers have managed to maintain near total supremacy in the Atlantic Division, but have yet to get another Stanley Cup.
The Philadelphia Flyers have played in the Wells Fargo Center since 1996, formerly the Wachovia Center. The arena has a capacity of nearly 21,000. Coined "the Big House" by Philadelphia sports fans, the Wells Fargo Center can be one of the loudest, most exciting venues to see a hockey game. Buy Philadelphia Flyers tickets and watch the future stars of the NHL play under the retired numbers of some of the league's legends!
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