In the early stages of this lockout-shortened season, the Philadelphia Flyers' offensive woes have been a main cause of a 5-6-1 start. In just three of the twelve games played, the Flyers scorers have found the back of the net more than three times.
With Scott Hartnell, who scored a team-leading 37 goals last season, sidelined by a foot injury, Claude Giroux struggling to find the back of the net, and forwards such as James van Riemsdyk and Jaromir Jagr departing in the offseason, the Flyers need offensive contributions from several players.
The Flyers are currently ranked 20th in the NHL in goals so far this season. With 29 goals, they are averaging only 2.42 per game. Philadelphia finished last season ranked 2nd in the league scoring 260 goals (3.17 per game). Of course there is plenty of time for the offense to get going and for these numbers to impove, but this displays a simple comparison.
A four-game homestand in Philadelphia just came to an end this afternoon with a 4-3 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes. The Flyers went 3-0-1 in their time at home, losing only to the Panthers in a shootout. It was a very important set of games in terms of the Flyers turning their season around.
Today's 4-3 matinee win over Carolina was a perfect example of what the Flyers need from their forward every single game. The players who were expected to step up contributed greatly in the offensive efforts.
In the end of July, Jakub Voracek signed a 4 year, $17 million deal with the Flyers. In signing him to this deal, the Flyers expected that he would be a main contributor offensively. When the season commenced, Voracek was not playing well and saw decreases in ice time as a result. After putting up five points in the last four games, including goals in back-to-back games, hopefully Voracek is back on track.
Brayden Schenn, 21, has probably been the biggest disappointment so far this season. After starting off the season on the first line, he has just moved downward. Today, Schenn really stepped up his game putting up a three point afternoon, which consisted of a goal and two assists. If this game can get Brayden Schenn on a roll, it will greatly benefit the Flyers' offense.
Matt Read, arguably the most consistent forward this season, pitched in a goal to his team's efforts this afternoon. Leading the Flyers in goals with 5 and points with 9, Read needs to continue to produce offensively.
The game-winning goal, scored by Danny Briere, hopefully will get him back into putting the puck in the back of the net, as well.
This win over Carolina may prove to be a game that could turn the Flyers' offense around. Contributions were received from many players who have been struggling to put up points. Hopefully, just as individual cold streaks were ended, so too were the offensive struggles of the Flyers.
Andrew Dintino is a Featured Writer covering the Philadelphia Flyers for The Orange Update and Buzz on Broad. Follow him on twitter @AndrewD48 for the latest regarding the Flyers along with further analysis.