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THE END... AND A NEW BEGINNING

by Anthony SanFilippo / Philadelphia Flyers

In the end, the Flyers lost a series that they’ll insist they should of won.

In the end, they’ll have to chew on missed chances – like Claude Giroux’s shank in the second period of the 2-1 loss in Game 7 to the New York Rangers with a yawning net staring at him.

They’ll have to question why they passed on so many chances to shoot the puck to try to make that extra pass that didn’t need to be made.

They’ll have to wonder how their raging inconsistency in the playoffs was the fact that they couldn’t play a full 60-minute game.

And while they will definitely feel the sting of those and other little mistakes and missed opportunities in the series, the Flyers have a lot to look forward to moving forward.

They have the three most important pieces in place – A dynamic star, a top notch goaltender and a heck of a head coach.

We already knew about Claude Giroux, who could well be a Hart Trophy finalist tomorrow, but we didn’t know about Mason or Berube.

Well, Mason was the best player in the opening round series – on either team. He proved that when thrust into the spotlight, he could handle the pressure.

And Berube proved to be a cerebral, smart, likeable coach who the players loved playing for as well.

The Flyers are set in that regard.

There are other players that took big strides this season. Wayne Simmonds is a top end power forward. Sean Couturier and Matt Read proved to be one of the best shutdown forward pairs in the sport.

Jake Voracek isn’t going anywhere soon, Jason Akeson probably opened some eyes with his fine play in the playoffs, and Michael Raffl will be a mainstay next season.

Then there are the prospects who will garner serious consideration next season – like Scott Laughton and Shayne Gostisbehere.

There are decisions to be made for sure – Kimmo Timonen has to decide if he wants to play another year. Guys like Adam Hall and Ray Emery are unrestricted free agents and then there is Brayden Schenn who is a restricted free agent.

There will be a lot of decisions that need to be made in the next six weeks before the draft conversation ramps up and takes place here at the Wells Fargo Center.

And we’ll be right here to bring all of them to you.

Until then, it’s been a heck of a season. Nothing really turned out as expected. But then again, the unexpected is part of the charm of the sport.

Thanks for coming by this site and blog as often as you have and we look forward to having more new and exciting content and features for you in the months ahead.

And even though this team will be different when it next takes the ice in the fall, it certainly will have the likeable personality that permeated out of that locker room this season.

“I’m proud of them,” Berube said in his post-series press conference. “They’re a great bunch of guys and there’s a lot of character in our locker room.”

And for a team that is coming of age, you couldn’t ask for much more.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @InsideTheFlyers

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