October 01, 2014

PHILADELPHIA FLYERS:

LAST SEASON: 42-30-10, 94 points. Finished 3rd in Metropolitan Division. Sixth in Eastern Conference. Lost to New York Rangers in first round of playoffs.

COACH: Craig Berube, 2nd season with Flyers (42-27-10); 2nd overall in NHL.

ADDED: C R.J. Umberger, LW Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, D Michael Del Zotto

LOST: LW Scott Hartnell, RW Steve Downie, LW Tye McGinn, C Kris Newbury, D Erik Gustafsson, D Bruno Gervais

PLAYER TO WATCH: Flyers center Claude Giroux. Back earlier than expected from an unspecified lower-body injury, Giroux needs to be in top form if the Flyers expect to play deep into the postseason. Giroux was selected last season as a Hart Trophy finalist, the league's MVP award. He matched a career high with 28 goals and finished third in the NHL scoring race (86 points).

OUTLOOK: The Flyers need Steve Mason to play again like a true No. 1 goalie and for Giroux to play like an MVP candidate for the Flyers to have a shot at ending their Stanley Cup drought. The Flyers are 0 for the Cup since they won consecutive Cups in 1974 and 1975 and seemed poised to build a dynasty. Only the Toronto Maple Leafs (1966-67) have suffered longer than any other team that was won at least one Stanley Cup.

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