CALGARY, AB -- It’s been a tale of two seasons for the Philadelphia Flyers.
After firing head coach Peter Laviolette four days into the season, the Flyers started the season just 4-10-1. They have rebounded nicely to improve to 19-6-4 and into a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
Entering their New Year’s Eve clash against the Calgary Flames, Philadelphia is also 5-1-0 in its past six games as they’ve seemingly straightened out their early season bugs.
This Season: 19-16-4, 42 points (8th in East)
Last season: 23-22-3, 49 points (10th in East)
Notable Additions: G Yann Danis, G Ray Emery, C Vincent Lecavalier, C Kris Newbury, D Mark Streit
Notable Subtractions: C Daniel Briere, G Brian Boucher, G Ilya Bryzgalov, LW Ruslan Fedotenko, D Kurtis Foster, LW Simon Gagne, D Kent Huskins, RW Mike Knuble, D Andreas Lilja, D Danny Syvret, D Matt Walker
Flames Season Series Record: 0-0-0
It took Giroux 16 games to find the back of the net, but the 25-year-old has been tearing it up since. He has 10 goals in his last 23 contests and is currently riding a nine-game point streak, amassing 17 points in that span. Giroux has also recorded three consecutive multi-point efforts as he paces the Flyers with 26 assists and 37 points.
Couturier, Philadelphia’s first pick (No. 8) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft, has struggled to produce offensively of late. The 21-year-old veteran of 162 career NHL games has gone pointless in his last three and has just two points -- both goals -- in his past nine games. He hasn’t recorded a positive plus/minus rating in 11, too.
THREE PLAYERS TO WATCH
Though Voracek had a nine-game point streak snapped against the Vancouver Canucks on Monday, the 24-year-old shouldn’t be slumping for long. Though his first 29 games yielded just 12 points, the 6-foot-2, 214-pound winger has 15 points in his past 10.
Much like Voracek and Giroux, Simmonds has been red-hot of late, too. The 25-year-old has found the back of the net six times in the past four games and leads the Flyers with 12 goals. He’s also been Philadelphia’s third most productive forward with 24 points.
Few goaltenders have emerged this season in the fashion that Mason has. After joining the Flyers at last year’s trade deadline, the former Calder Trophy winner has blossomed. He’s 16-9-4 this season with a 2.38 goals against average and .922 save percentage. He’s not a guarantee to start against the Flames having played Monday in Vancouver.