Preview: Flyers open up the 2022 NHL season in South Philadelphia vs the New Jersey Devils
After suffering through six incredibly boring preseason games, the Philadelphia Flyers are set to open up their first season under head coach John Tortorella.
Carter Hart is expected to get the start against MacKenzie Blackwood and the game will be exclusively streamed on ESPN+/Hulu.
Flyers fans have low expectations for this season and understandably so. After selling us fools gold last March, Chuck Fletcher appeared to wave the white flag this offseason while trying to sell fans on a win-now summer.
Tortorella has sent the opposite message to the fanbase. The new bench boss of the Flyers hasn’t pulled any punches in regard to how this organization is viewed around the league. He keeps reiterating that this process will take time, and for now it’s about getting any bit of respect back from a league that now laughs at a once storied organization.
“We have zero respect in this league right now. Zero.” – John Tortorella pic.twitter.com/BsBlqBDZxr— Broad Street Hockey (@BroadStHockey) October 11, 2022
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As a fan it’s incredibly refreshing to hear this level of honesty from someone in the franchise. The Philadelphia Flyers have been trying to disguise their struggles and their need to rebuild for way too long. It’s not an overnight fix here, and hearing the coach himself say that is nice because it’s the cold hard truth.
Playing the Kids
John Tortorella emphasized in multiple interviews during his opening media tour that he was going to develop and play the young players this season. We now know that Noah Cates, Owen Tippett, Morgan Frost, Egor Zamula and even more youngsters have cracked the opening night roster with a chance to stamp their place on this team.
Torts also mentioned that in a hard salary cap league you must be able to develop young players to have sustained success which is yet another refreshing thing to hear.
There was a lot of chatter about the decision to send Cam York down to Lehigh Valley, but it appears the button pushing is working as York finished last nights game with two assists. I still expect him to be a huge part of the defense going forward here.
Key to Success: Carter Hart
Carter Hart is our key to success tonight, this season, and the foreseeable future… but that’s obvious. The biggest problem we had was our ability to play a style of hockey that helped Carter Hart or lack thereof.
This has been Tortorella’s main talking point this summer and for good reason. Carter Hart is the wild card in all of our troubles in this organization, we just have done him zero favors over the last two seasons. Players were constantly cheating up ice, leaving the blue paint unattended for easy high percentage goals and leaving their goaltender out to dry.
If nothing else we now know that playing hard in front of Carter is the focus. Over the last 10 days or so players have mentioned the Flyers have transitioned from hard skating drills to implementing Tortorella’s system for the home opener.
John Tortorella: “We need to give Carter a little more support on how we play around him.” #Flyers— Flyers Nation (@FlyersNation) June 17, 2022
The Flyers will not be good this season but anyone watching will already know that. It’s about the process, watching young guns in spots they normally wouldn’t get, and hopefully watching this organization build some sliver of identity again.
The Devils are as light of an opening test as we could get in this league it seems… let’s take game one.
Prediction: 2-1 Flyers
Mandatory Credit: (AP Photo/Matt Rourke, File)