Analysis

NHL Power Rankings: Eastern Conference Taking Control

By Colin Likas
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 21, 2016; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; The New York Rangers celebrate an empty net goal by center Derek Stepan (middle) against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period at the PPG Paints Arena. The Rangers won 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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Nov 17, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) covers the puck as center Claude Giroux (28) ends up in the net against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Jets, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 17, 2016; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Flyers goalie Steve Mason (35) covers the puck as center Claude Giroux (28) ends up in the net against the Winnipeg Jets during the third period at Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers defeated the Jets, 5-2. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

No. 22: Philadelphia Flyers

Previous: 18th

Season record: 8-8-3

So many of these teams we’ve talked about haven’t scored a whole lot. That certainly hasn’t been a problem for the Flyers, as it usually isn’t. The big three of Claude Giroux (17 points), Jakub Voracek (17) and Wayne Simmonds (16) leads a group of seven skaters with at least 10 points.

Incredibly, everyone on the roster has at least one point (minus the goaltenders). So the problem again goes to the defense and goaltending.

Philly can tout Shayne Gostisbehere as the next great blueliner all it wants to (and he is a budding one), but until the team makes an actually commitment to its back end, it won’t be improving much.

Steve Mason (.886/3.12) and Michal Neuvirth (.859/3.54) just can’t get the job done behind a mostly meh blue line. And that’s the end of the story.

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