It’s that time of year again. Well actually, it’s past that time of year. The Philadelphia Flyers haven’t played a game in over three weeks.
Regardless of how long it’s been, here are the end of season grades for the 2018-19 Philadelphia Flyers. Let’s all just ignore the part where Wayne Simmonds is no longer on this list.
Justin Bailey: C
Bailey did a great job getting shuffled back and forth between the Flyers and the Phantoms, even if most of the time it was only a paper transaction. Hopefully next season he gets a permanent spot somewhere other than the Pennsylvania Turnpike.
Sean Couturier: A
Sean Couturier is one of the most underrated players in the league. He set career-highs in goals (33) and power play goals (8) and tied his career-high in points (76) this year. His ability to continue his dominance from the 2017-18 season is one of the few things that Flyers fans can be positive about from this season.
Claude Giroux: A
Claude Giroux will never get anything less than an A. Ever. He’s perfect and that’s that on that.
Ryan Hartman: C
Hartman had big shoes to fill as the return piece in an exchange for fan-favorite Wayne Simmonds. In an alternate timeline, maybe this could have been a great trade for both teams. As it is, Simmonds didn’t do much for the Predators and Hartman didn’t do much for the Flyers. Hartman showed promise, though, so we’ll wipe the slate clean and see what he can bring next year, assuming the Flyers choose to re-sign him.
Travis Konecny: B
The number one highlight of the entire Philadelphia Flyers 2018-19 season was Travis Konecny calling Penguins baddie Evgeni Malkin a “fuckin’ nerd” during the Stadium Series at Lincoln Financial Field. Thank God for whoever chose to mic him up for that game. He also tied his career-high in goals (24) and set a new career-high in points (49). He was one of few Flyers players to play in all 82 games of the season.
Scott Laughton: A
Laughton set career-highs in goals (12), assists (20), points (32), penalty minutes (53), games played (82) and death stares (uncountable). At times, he looked like the only player on the roster who bothered to show up for the game. You go, Glen Coco.
Oskar Lindblom: B
Lindblom’s season may be one of the most underrated on the Flyers roster. He stepped into a bigger role, including taking on responsibilities on the power play, and proved himself as a reliable middle-six wing that the Flyers can build for the future with.
Nolan Patrick: C
Injuries once again plagued Patrick’s season, but he still managed to essentially match his offensive production form his rookie year. The Flyers really need him to remain healthy and build chemistry with his linemates next year, though.
Michael Raffl: C
Raffl’s season, like Patrick’s, was plagued by injury. When he was healthy, though, Raffl was as expected- A reliable fourth liner.
James van Riemsdyk: C
For all that went wrong with JVR’s season, his numbers weren’t actually all that horrible. His 27 goals were tied for fourth-best in his career and his 48 points were his fifth-best. We all expected more from him, though. Injuries and Dave Hakstol’s inability to stick to one lineup for more than six seconds certainly played a role in the disappointment.
Phil Varone: Z
Varone doesn’t actually deserve a Z grade, we all just caught some Zs watching him play this season.
Jake Voracek: C
Voracek’s 20 goals and 66 points were on par for his production over the past few seasons. Unfortunately, like everyone else on the roster, the Flyers just needed more from him.
Shayne Gostisbehere: D
This one hurts to write because Shayne Gostisbehere is one of the better defensemen on this roster. He just really didn’t have a good year this year. We know he didn’t get along with Dave Hakstol’s system and his relationship with Scott Gordon seemed amicable at best towards the end of the season. Hopefully a new coaching staff next season will help turn him around and get him back to where we all know he can be.
Radko Gudas: C
Radko Gudas was only suspended for two games this season, a step in the right direction for him. He continued to contribute a physical presence on the Flyers’ back end and provided veteran stability at times when the Flyers’ young defense corps desperately needed it.
Robert Hagg: D
There isn’t much to say about Robert Hagg that hasn’t already been said around these parts before. He ain’t it, chief.
Andrew MacDonald: D
Andrew MacDonald deserves a step above a failing grade just because he was so horrible that his misuse and terrible performance directly correlated to Dave Hakstol finally getting the boot once Ron Hextall was no longer protecting him.
Phil Myers: B
Move over Mickelson and Kessel, there’s a new Phil the Thrill in town and he’s bigger than both of you. After such a long wait that Flyers fans were starting to get Sam Morin flashbacks, Myers finally made his NHL debut this season. He only scored two points in 21 games (a goal and an assist) but Myers certainly looked like a better long-term option than some of the Flyers’ other defensemen…
Ivan Provorov: C
The theme throughout this team this year was “underwhelming and underperforming” and top-defenseman Provorov was the best example of that. There’s no need for long-term concern, Provorov will no doubt bounce back and have a better 2019-20 season. But this year was rough all around and the Russian Machine was no exception.
Travis Sanheim: A
Travis Sanheim was one of the few bright spots on the Flyers this season. He made huge strides in his development and established himself as one of the Flyers’ top blueliners. He played in all 82 games and set career-highs in goals (9), assists (26) and points (35). He also took on power play responsibilities and was, hands down, the Flyers’ best defenseman.
Brian Elliott: D
Elliott was a victim of injuries and unfortunately just wasn’t able to contribute positively to the Flyers’ season. He does get a step above a failing grade, though, because his long-term injury allowed Carter Hart to get the opportunity to shine.
Carter Hart: B
The golden child has arrived and he’s even more baby-faced than we ever expected. He’s a professional to his core, despite his young age. He’s going to be a bigger superstar than the Metropolitan Division is ready for. The only reason Hart doesn’t get an A is because he only played 31 games. Blame Ron Hextall for that.
Michal Neuvirth doesn’t get a grade because Michal Neuvirth doesn’t exist.
Cam Talbot: C
There isn’t much to say here because there wasn’t a whole lot to grade Talbot on this season. Nothing was bad with him, but nothing was good. Hopefully the Flyers bring him back as Hart’s backup next season.