Fan Mentality: Half Way There

The NHL season is officially half way through and a lot has happened over the past few months. Injuries, NHL debuts and the #OskarStrong movement have dominated the headlines, and the Flyers currently sit in the second Wild Card spot in the Eastern Conference.

Philly is Flyer asked Flyers fans to complete a survey after the first 20 games of the season. Now, we wanted to know how the fans are feeling through the first half (41 games). So we posted the same survey to find out what the general mentality is, and how it’s changed over the last 21 games. Some questions were multiple choice and some were open ended. Here are the results:

**Please note: We are not including every response to each open ended question, but rather the ones that best represent the overall response. For simplicity, multiple choice percentages have been rounded up to the nearest whole number.**

How do you feel about the Flyers so far this season?

Very Positive 13%

Positive 75%

Neutral 10%

Negative 3%

Very Negative 0%

For reference, here were the results of this question from the first quarter:

Very Positive 3%

Positive 68%

Neutral 24%

Negative 3%

Very Negative 3%

Despite the team’s recent struggles, the overall fan mentality is trending upwards. And for a good reason. With everything they’ve been through, including injuries, slumps and dealing with the news that one of their teammates has cancer, they’re still in a playoff position.

How do you feel about Alain Vigneault?

Very Positive 68%

Positive 30%

Neutral 0%

Negative 3%

Very Negative 0%

For reference, here were the results of this question from the first quarter:

Very Positive 41%

Positive 50%

Neutral 6%

Negative 0%

Very Negative 3%

This is a huge upward trend for head coach Alain Vigneault. The combination of “positive” and “very positive” votes account for 98% of the overall votes. AV has certainly earned this vote of confidence from the fans.

How do you feel about the Flyers’ leadership group? (Giroux, Couturier, Voracek, Hayes)

Very Positive 38%

Positive 45%

Neutral 18%

Negative 0%

Very Negative 0%

For reference, here were the results of this question from the first quarter:

Very Positive 6%

Positive 32%

Neutral 53%

Negative 6%

Very Negative 3%

Continuing on the trend of the halfway survey yielding more positive results than the quarter-season survey, the leadership group has also seen an increase in approval. There was no option for comment on this question, so there’s no way to know for sure why the approval has increased, but the overwhelming amount of love for Kevin Hayes undoubtably played a role in this result. Hayes, who probably should be mic’d up every single game for pure entertainment purposes, has finally found his way into a permanent spot in the hearts of the notoriously stingy Philadelphia fanbase. Couturier and Giroux are still high on Philly’s list of heroes, and even Voracek has been receiving less hate than usual lately.

Who has been the best off season addition so far? Why?

After the first quarter of the season, the fans overwhelmingly voted Matt Niskanen as the best off season addition. Steady Eddie received a large percentage of the votes in this survey again (24%), but he was largely out-voted by Kevin Hayes (59%). Here’s what some of the respondents had to say about Hayes:

@carlyw326: Hayes has been a wonderful mentor for the kids off the ice, and he’s really starting to contribute.

@codymajeres: I think Kevin Hayes has done a really nice job on the ice and has added depth to the forwards, allowing AV to mix lines up as necessary.

@AndHoagies: Tough call between Hayes and Niskanen. Hayes might be the bigger deal with Patrick’s migraines. He’s been stable, steady, and solidified the top 6. He makes big plays at opportune times. I would like a bit more offense, but he’s performing on pace for what he has done in recent years.

@Vinnieg_73: Kevin Hayes. I love watching him on the penalty kill and he’s a solid, big two way center who is awesome in the locker room.

@patdonaghy: Kevin Hayes. Especially with Patrick and now Lindblom out. Guy makes big plays. Very good on PK. Good locker room guy. Plays both ends of the ice very well.

@IncorrectFlyers: Kevin Hayes, both on ice production (higher than Matt Duchene who was seen over the summer as the better get along with PK improvement) and off the ice as he is the ideal man.

@BackOTNET: Kevin Hayes. He has made a tremendous impact on the penalty kill, has scored at a decent rate (about on pace with his career averages), and he’s above 50% in both 5-on-5 Corsi and xG%.

Other off season additions receiving votes included Alain Vigneault and Tyler Pitlick.

Who has been the best player under the age of 25 so far?

Joel Farabee 0%

Travis Konecny 60%

Phil Myers 3%

Ivan Provorov 20%

Travis Sanheim 0%

Carter Hart 18%

For reference, here were the results of this question from the first quarter:

Joel Farabee 6%

Travis Konecny 50%

Oskar Lindblom 26%

Carsen Twarynski 0%

Phil Myers 3%

Ivan Provorov 3%

Travis Sanheim 0%

Carter Hart 12%

It’s no surprise that the first-time NHL All Star is widely considered the team’s best youngster so far. Even after missing a few games with a concussion, Travis Konecny has been the Flyers’ most consistent scorer. He’s currently tied for second on the team in goals (12), second on the team in assists (24) and leads the team in points (36).

Who has been the MVP so far through 20 games? Why?

Once again, the overall response to this question is not a surprise. Konecny leads the pack with 36% of the votes, followed by Carter Hart and Sean Couturier (20% each). Here’s what some of the respondents had to say about TK:

@carlyw326: Travis Konecny is an excellent playmaker. He always sets stuff up and he can score goals. He’s really come to life now that he has good coaching and we’re finally starting to see what he can do.

@kurt_derr: TK has been the best player consistently throughout the 1st half.

@rebels_57: Travis Konecny. The 3 games he missed due to injury we were a completely different team.

@dunbaerrito: Konecny is an absolute firecracker on the ice and really gets the guys going and brings some really great energy to the team.

@PhilaBrianna: Travis Konecny. His contributions, energy, effort, all of it is hard to ignore.

@ThatGuy11920: Travis Konecny. He’s scoring a lot and driving every line he’s been on.

Other players receiving votes were Ivan Provorov, Kevin Hayes and Brian Elliott. After the first quarter, the answers to this question were mostly split between three main players: Couturier (24%), Konecny (48%) and Lindblom (21%).

Are the Flyers a playoff team?

Definitely Yes 38%

Barely 43%

Maybe 20%

Probably Not 0%

Definitely Not 0%

Unsure 0%

For reference, here were the results of this question from the first quarter:

Definitely Yes 32%

Barely 26%

Maybe 32%

Probably Not 3%

Definitely Not 3%

Unsure 3%

Once again, the responses to this question have increased in positivity. 81% of respondents think that the Flyers will make the playoffs, either comfortably or not.

What’s your biggest concern right now? Why?

There were a few popular answers to this question, including bottom-six depth, health, the team’s mental state regarding Oskar’s diagnosis, the inability to play three strong periods, and the struggles on the power play. But the overwhelming response to this question was the team’s inconsistency, especially while on the road. Here’s what some respondents had to say about their concerns:

@AndHoagies: Road record. We need to find a way to win away from the WFC. If we can’t, playoff hopes could dwindle and even if we make the playoffs, it’ll likely be a quick off season (sic).

@vinnieg_73: Playing bad on the road: You don’t win a Cup by only playing good at home.

@boodog_: The road play. They’re one of the worst teams in the league on the road but one of the best at home. They need to figure that out to be a true contender.

@AbbyScarde: Playing on the road is the biggest struggle because they consistently lose, which are valuable points lost.

@clynn1195: Inconsistency, like always. They can beat and compete with high quality teams but then lose to the Kings. They need to be better.

Is there anything else you want to add?

@Cmaenz18: We thought last off-season was a big one, I think this one is going to be even bigger. We know the clock is ticking on this core, and the time is NOW to go for it. Next year you have Frost, Farabee, Hart still on ELCs. This team is on the cusp, the right veteran add on D, to a 3rd line to solidify the roster could make all the difference.

@dunbaerrito: They’ve been dealing with a rough season, not only injury wise, but also maybe with some morale issues as well. Life is uncertain and it seems like it’d be hard for anyone to compartmentalize with everything that’s going on, and that’s normal. I think that they’re a strong, close-knit family of a team, and that is absolutely something that will help a team on the road to the cup. I have every faith that they can pull together and fight past anything that this season might throw at them.

@Jake_D_Reilly: I am glad Flyers hockey is fun to watch again. Watching all the young kids develop in front of our eyes is so much better than watching the AMacs and VandeVeldes of the world. Lets go Flyers!

@patdonaghy: I love the assistant coaches that are hired and I don’t think they get enough credit. Young team with exciting future. It’s great to see them get a chance. So glad Hakstol and Hextall are gone. Seems like a completely different culture that a fan can really get behind. Niskanen is an excellent player. Pitlick plays way better than his stats indicate, but would like to see more points. Really miss Lindblom. When I was teaching my son to watch hockey I told him to watch #23.

@zarrowood: AV is the shot in the arm this team needed at coach. I think he is more than capable of bringing this team together to win the Stanley Cup. I have a lot of confidence in this team night in and night out and this is only the first season under AV and the kids.

@ACEttinger, @Aveoluv, and @krf747: #OskarStrong

We will be back again with another fan survey after the 60th game of the season. If you would like to be a part of the article, make sure to check Philly is Flyer’s twitter account for the link to the survey!

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