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NHL predictions: Will the Flyers make the playoffs? Who will win the Stanley Cup? How many goals will Claude Giroux score?

Ahead of the season opener, our Flyers reporters give their predictions for the 2021-22 season.

Claude Giroux enters 2021-22 in the final year of a contract. Could a big season keep him with the Flyers beyond this season?
Claude Giroux enters 2021-22 in the final year of a contract. Could a big season keep him with the Flyers beyond this season?Read moreYONG KIM / Staff Photographer

The Flyers, coming off a disappointing season, begin their quest to win their first Stanley Cup since 1975 on Friday against Vancouver.

They made numerous offseason changes after suffering through a 25-23-8 season and missing the playoffs, bringing in Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, Cam Atkinson, and Keith Yandle. The team alternated missing and making the playoffs the last 10 years, and has not missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons since 1992-93 and 1993-94.

How will they do in 2021-22?

Here are our predictions for the Flyers and the NHL as a whole:

» READ MORE: Flyers enter the season looking to erase last year's disappointment

What will the Flyers’ regular-season record be?

  1. Sam Carchidi: 41-30-11 (93 points).

  2. Giana Han: 43-31-8 (96 points).

  3. Olivia Reiner: 41-29-12 (94 points).

Where will the Flyers finish in the Metropolitan Division?

  1. Carchidi: Fifth place.

  2. Han: Fifth place.

  3. Reiner: Fifth place.

Will the Flyers make the playoffs and why or why not?

  1. Carchidi: They will just miss. I think four teams will qualify in both the Metro and the Atlantic, and the Rangers’ offensive edge over the Flyers will enable them to barely sneak into the playoffs.

  2. Han: I think they’ll make it as a wild card to continue their streak of alternating years. The reworked roster makes more sense on paper and has better chemistry, which will help push them past last year’s results.

  3. Reiner: No. The Flyers will make a vast improvement on last season’s finish, but the steep competition in the Metro will make it challenging for them to earn a playoff berth.

How many playoff rounds will the Flyers win?

  1. Carchidi: None.

  2. Han: None.

  3. Reiner: None.

Who will lead the Flyers in scoring (points)?

  1. Carchidi: Sean Couturier, 77 points.

  2. Han: Couturier, 70 points.

  3. Reiner: Couturier, 76 points.

Who will lead the Flyers in goals?

  1. Carchidi: Couturier, 28 goals.

  2. Han: Couturier, 25 goals.

  3. Reiner: Atkinson, 29 goals.

Who will be the Flyers’ team MVP?

  1. Carchidi: Couturier for the fourth straight season.

  2. Han: Couturier. He’s the team’s best player and fresh off a contract extension, he is the new face of the franchise.

  3. Reiner: Couturier, whose strong two-way play will be one of the Flyers’ greatest assets this season.

What will be Carter Hart’s goals-against average and save percentage?

  1. Carchidi: 2.49 GAA, .916 save percentage.

  2. Han: 2.90 GAA, .904 save percentage.

  3. Reiner: 2.89 GAA, .918 save percentage.

How many goals and points will Claude Giroux collect?

  1. Carchidi: 21 goals, 64 points.

  2. Han: 23 goals, 60 points.

  3. Reiner: 20 goals, 65 points.

» READ MORE: In Carter Hart the Flyers (still) trust

Who will be the Flyers’ best offseason addition?

  1. Carchidi: Ellis, who will stabilize the defense.

  2. Han: Ellis. His skill set and chemistry with Ivan Provorov will help both players improve and anchor the team’s defense.

  3. Reiner: Ellis, whose presence will elevate the play of partner Ivan Provorov and make them a top pairing in the league.

Fearless prediction?

  1. Carchidi: The Panthers, not two-time defending Stanley Cup champion Tampa Bay, will be the best team from Florida in the Atlantic Division.

  2. Han: Rasmus Ristolainen proves to be a good trade acquisition despite initial negativity. His style fits Philadelphia better, and he draws on the excitement of the fans when he makes big hits to become a valuable asset to the defense.

  3. Reiner: The Flyers will recall defenseman Cam York from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms at some point this season and he’ll score his first NHL goal in his first NHL game this season.

Who will be in the Stanley Cup Finals and win it all?

  1. Carchidi: Islanders over Avalanche.

  2. Han: Avalanche over Islanders.

  3. Reiner: Islanders over Avalanche.

Who will be the NHL MVP?

  1. Carchidi: Nathan MacKinnon, Colorado. A Hart finalist each of the last two seasons, MacKinnon, who missed Colorado’s opener after contracting COVID-19, will again be the heart and soul of an Avs team that should be a strong Stanley Cup contender.

  2. Han: Connor McDavid, Edmonton. After putting up an unfathomable 105 points in a 56-game season, a return to normalcy — and an 82-game season — could see McDavid reach even greater heights.

  3. Reiner: Connor McDavid, Edmonton. It will be a big year for McDavid, who will have opportunities to make a run for the Stanley Cup with the Oilers and to compete for a gold medal at the Olympics with Team Canada.

Who will be the Vezina Trophy winner?

  1. Carchidi: Semyon Varlamov, New York Islanders, provided his preseason injury is just minor. If the injury lingers, I’ll go with the Isles’ Ilya Sorokin. (Notice a trend?)

  2. Han: Andrei Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay. Vasilevski is simply in a class of his own. He demonstrated it during one of the most difficult years in sports and there’s no reason to believe his run of dominance won’t continue.

  3. Reiner: Vasilevskiy, Tampa Bay. A Vezina finalist in each of the last four seasons (and winner in 2018-19), Vasilevskiy is the foundation for the Lightning’s recent success. He’ll continue to play a critical role for the Bolts through the regular season and the playoffs as they attempt a three-peat.

» READ MORE: How the Flyers' Metro Division rivals stack up

Who will be rookie of the year?

  1. Carchidi: Jeremy Swayman, Boston. The Alaska native, 22, was brilliant in 10 games last season with the Bruins (1.50 GAA, .945 SV%) and looks like the real deal.

  2. Han: Cole Caufield, Montreal. Caufield got his feet wet at the NHL level during the Canadiens’ run to the Stanley Cup Final and excelled as a goal-scorer at every previous level.

  3. Reiner: Caufield, Montreal. In an abbreviated showing last season, Caufield scored five points (four goals, one assist) in 10 regular-season games and 12 points (four goals, eight assists) in 22 playoff games. With a full schedule ahead of him, the 20-year-old is in a position to find more success.

Will the expansion Seattle Kraken make the playoffs?

  1. Carchidi: No. Sorry, Dave Hakstol.

  2. Han: Yes. The Kraken have mastered the saying, “You look good, you play good,” so far this season.

  3. Reiner: Yes. Let’s get Kraken.