What the Flyers Should Be Thankful for on Thanksgiving


In the holiday spirit, NBC Sports Philadelphia's John Boruk, Tom Dougherty and Jordan Hall debate what the Flyers should be thankful for on Thanksgiving:

When you're sitting around the Thanksgiving Day table offering thanks, good health for family and loved ones is one of the first mentions at the table. Aside from injuries to goaltending, the Flyers have reason to be thankful for their health.

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Imagine for a moment where the Flyers might be without the services of captain Claude Giroux, who's played the full 82-game slate the past two seasons and proved in 2017-18 what he's capable of when he's not dealing with injuries. 

Sean Couturier has played in 148 consecutive games and, as a result, it led to a breakout year in which he finished second in Selke Trophy voting.  

Jakub Voracek has missed only nine games since the end of the 2011-12 season, having played the full 82 in four out of the last five seasons, and defenseman Ivan Provorov still hasn't missed a game in his professional career dating back to October 2016.

Last season, the Flyers had a very manageable 134 man-games lost to injury and almost half of that was attributed to the goaltending position. I'll contend the Flyers don't make the postseason with any of the aforementioned players out for an extended amount of time.

So you can look at this with your cup half full of apple cider or half empty. Cynics would point out the Flyers haven't achieved much with these core members and their contributions, but if Dave Hakstol was dealt a shorthanded roster with injuries to these key players, the Flyers wouldn't be sniffing the postseason over the past three years.


Yup, this is where we're at. Gritty is the gift that keeps on giving, whether you like him or not. I was sour on Gritty at first sight. Then he came in to Miley Cyrus' "Wrecking Ball," and that put me largely on board. I could do without the corny security detail.

But Gritty has offered us a nice distraction, and he's united Philly together. I tend to believe mascots are overrated, and I am still Team Phang. That said, Gritty has a way of growing on you. And with a hockey team that is still undergoing unexpected growing pains, having a big, orange, furry thing getting beat up by a 6-year-old is marketing gold.

There's no place like home?

Not for these Flyers so far.

That's why they should be thankful for the ability to get away. 

For some reason, the Flyers have not been able to solve their own building. They're 4-6-1 at the Wells Fargo Center, with only one NHL team - the Panthers - owning fewer home victories. They're tied for 28th with 2.64 home goals per game while allowing 3.73, tied for second most.

What's the deal? Pressure has come up and that's not good if the Flyers are wilting under it this early in the season. They should be comfortable at home, but here we are - the Flyers need to win back over fans.

On the road, they're 5-4-1 and scoring 3.50 goals per game, fourth best in the NHL.

It's scary to think where the Flyers would be if they didn't have the chance to flee from Philly and visit the sunny, stress-free West Coast, where they regrouped and found some confidence in late October, early November.

Things could be much, much uglier.

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