Flyers Forward Sean Couturier Wins Selke Trophy

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

For several seasons, Sean Couturier’s name has come up among the top defensive forwards in the game. For the last couple of seasons, as the offensive side has come around, Couturier was getting recognized as one of the best two-way forwards in the game.

He finally has some hardware to show for that. Couturier was named the winner of the Frank J. Selke Memorial Trophy, presented annually to “the forward who best excels in the defensive aspects of the game," for the 2019-20 season on Thursday.

Couturier becomes the third Flyer to take home the award, the first since Dave Poulin in 1987. Bobby Clarke won the award in 1983.

Couturier scored 22 goals and had 59 points in 69 games played in the regular season. He also led the NHL with a 59.6 winning percentage in face-offs. 

Couturier won the award impressively ahead of Boston forward Patrice Bergeron and St. Louis forward Ryan O’Reilly. Couturier received 117 first-place votes and finished with 1,424 total voting points. Bergeron was second with 884 total voting points and 21 first-place votes. O’Reilly was third with 11 first-place votes. Anthony Cirelli and Mark Stone rounded out the top five of voting.

Couturier was a finalist for the Selke in 2018, finishing second to Anze Kopitar, and finished sixth in voting last season.

Flyers Notes: GM Chuck Fletcher’s Exit Day Interview

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

As with everything else that has gone on since the return of the NHL, this wasn’t your normal exit from the 2019-20 season. Following the Flyers unceremonious 4-0 loss in Game 7 to the Islanders in the second round, many players did not even return to Philadelphia and just returned to their hometowns. There were no exit interviews with players and the last we will hear from Alain Vigneault came in the moments following Game 7.

GM Chuck Fletcher put the wraps on the 2019-20 season with his exit day media availability on Thursday afternoon, discussing a range of topics. The overwhelming theme: there’s not a lot of room for flexibility around the league and don’t expect much to change in the next few months.

The flat cap is going to hamper a lot of the usual offseason activity. It’s not a good year to be a free agent and teams are more likely to look through the avenue of trading to make any notable improvements.

The Flyers don’t really have that flexibility. Sure, they can explore options through trade, but they don’t have the cap space - like a lot of teams - and Fletcher’s overwhelming theme was not wanting to divert from the philosophy of continuing to develop young talent. 

Here is a rundown on some of the notes from Fletcher’s exit day media availability.

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Alain Vigneault Runner Up to Bruce Cassidy for Jack Adams

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

As the Flyers started to rise through the ranks and move up in the standings, it was clear that a big part of the transformation of the team was behind the bench. Alain Vigneault helped bring winning hockey back to the Flyers.

When finalists for the NHL Awards were being announced, it was no surprise that Vigneault was there as one of the coaches up for the Jack Adams Award for coach of the year.

The winner of the Jack Adams Award was announced on Wednesday night, with Boston Bruins’ head coach Bruce Cassidy taking home the honor. Vigneault finished a close second in the voting. Columbus Blue Jackets’ head coach John Tortorella was the other finalist and finished third.

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Bobby Ryan Wins Masterton Trophy, Lindblom a Finalist

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

There were some local connections to the Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy finalist announcement in the months since hockey returned. Two of the three finalists had local ties.

On Monday, one of them took home the award. Cherry Hill, NJ native Bobby Ryan was named the winner of the Masterton Memorial Trophy, presented to the player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey. Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom was also a finalist.

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YWT: The Philadelphia Flyers Podcast - YWT #90 - Time of Reflection


The YWT Podcast is back for another week and it's a bit of a somber week for sure. The Flyers season came to an end on Saturday night, and as of recording on Sunday morning, there was very little time between Game 7 going final to react.

Kyle Collington and Kevin Durso spend this episode reflecting on the series against the Islanders and what went wrong for the Flyers. They also reflect on the season as a whole, the progress made, the uncertainty of the future and some of the early discussion surrounding potential offseason moves by looking at expiring contracts on the roster.

You can listen to this episode of the podcast below and be sure to subscribe on iTunes, Google Play, Spotify and Podbean

You can also watch the episode and subscribe to watch all episodes of the YWT Podcast on YouTube.

As always, we want you to follow the podcast on Twitter @YWTpodcast, follow Kevin Durso on Twitter @Kevin_Durso, and follow producer Mike Giletto Jr. on Twitter @Mike_Giletto.

A Flyers Season of Great Progress Meets a Future of Uncertainty

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The Flyers season ended on Saturday night in Game 7 against the Islanders.

That sentence brings about disappointment. It brings sadness. It brings a wonder of what might have been, maybe back in February and March when this team was on a roll, maybe in late July and early August when everything looked promising in the Round Robin.

That is all gone now. The 2019-20 season is over. The Flyers are not going to reach the promised land this year.

In most circumstances, the feeling of disappointment and sadness would linger for a few days. It hurt watching Game 7 play out - a 4-0 loss to an Islanders team that was simply better - it still hurt this morning and it will hurt tomorrow and this week as the conference finals begin without the Flyers there. But there was a growing sense of whether or not the season was a success, especially as Game 7 played out.

For a lot of people, there was this ultimately feeling of despair, a sense that things are not looking up for this team. That is just dead wrong. But why do people feel that way? Why do people feel like this wasn’t a success? Why do people feel like this team still has the exact same problems just over a year removed from making changes at GM and head coach?

The answer is relatively simple.

Continue reading "A Flyers Season of Great Progress Meets a Future of Uncertainty" »

Flyers 5: Takeaways from Game 7 of Flyers-Islanders

Well, it’s over. The Flyers return to the ice following four and a half months of a pause due to the pandemic that started with such promise has now come to an end at the hands of the New York Islanders in what was a grueling seven-game series. 

After back-to-back overtime wins to force Game 7, the Islanders simply had it in this game. They survived a push in the opening minutes by the Flyers, then took over, getting a goal on their second shot of the game and never looked back.

The Flyers never had the answers. They could never counter the Islanders desire to finish this series. So it goes in the playoffs sometimes.

Make no mistake, it’s disappointing, and this loss stings knowing the season is over, but there is a lot to take from this season. For now, let’s take a closer look at the game that did the Flyers in.

Here are 5 takeaways from Game 7 of Flyers-Islanders.

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Flyers Fall to Islanders in Game 7 to End Season

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

The comeback was nearly complete. The Flyers pushed the Islanders to the limit with overtime wins in Game 5 and Game 6 and had one game in front of them to potentially finish off another epic comeback.

It wasn't meant to be.

The Islanders struck for two goals in the first period and never looked back, holding the Flyers at bay all game and finishing off the series, as the Flyers season came to an end with a 4-0 loss to the Islanders in Game 7 on Saturday night.

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Round 2, Game 7 Preview: Flyers-Islanders

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

It all comes down to this. Game 7 to decide who goes to the Eastern Conference Final and who goes home.

For the Flyers, it has been quite the week to get here. Two overtime victories brought the series back from a 3-1 deficit to a 3-3 tie, forcing the decisive Game 7 on Saturday night.

For the Islanders, they are now with their backs against the wall. After two chances to close out the series, the Islanders now must win or they will go home after holding the 3-1 series lead following play on Sunday night.

If it's anything like the other games in this series, you can expect a close, hard-fought battle to the finish where only one thing is certain: this game will end with handshakes at center ice.

Game 7 is set for 7:30 p.m.

Continue reading "Round 2, Game 7 Preview: Flyers-Islanders" »

‘This Guy’s Heart, You Have To See It To Believe It’: Lindblom Lifts Flyers’ Spirits Again

By Kevin Durso, Sports Talk Philly editor 

Dec. 7, 2019. Everything in the world looks so normal when you look back to that day. The Flyers played an afternoon game on home ice. Scott Laughton scored the game-winning goal in a 4-3 win. Oskar Lindblom was on the ice. It was long before anybody knew what COVID-19 or bubbles and hub cities were.

That was 270 days ago. In that time, the world changed dramatically. We had to use terms like self-isolation. We learned what COVID-19 is and what it can do. We had to social distance and wear masks to protect those around us. And we had to stay at home a lot.

Oskar Lindblom’s world changed long before that though. His world changed just days after that game, when he was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. He faced a rare bone cancer and a rigorous chemotherapy to defeat the disease.

Lindblom was a warrior throughout, undergoing treatments and continuing to benefit his team with his smile and personality whenever he was up to making a visit to his teammates.

When the rest of the world seemed to stop in the wake of COVID-19, Lindblom kept going. His treatments continued. And while the NHL season remained paused in early July, Lindblom completed his treatments and was cancer free. His road to return was underway.

Continue reading "‘This Guy’s Heart, You Have To See It To Believe It’: Lindblom Lifts Flyers’ Spirits Again" »