Blogger's Breakouts - Philadelphia Flyers

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Today we have a very special guest, as our blogging team expert is Travis Hughes from SBN's Broad Street Hockey.  Travis is the man to blame responsible for giving FHS the chance to join SBN, so we're deeply indebted to him... which makes us wonder why he's doing us the favour here and not the other way around? 

We asked Travis nine fantasy related questions about the Flyers and the NHL in general.  Follow the jump to read his answers...

To see the rest of our Blogger's Breakouts click here for the main page.

 
Q1) Flyers Breakout of the Year?

Has to be Claude Giroux. He had an admirable year last year as a sophomore, but his 40-something points can obviously be improved upon. Of course, considering his linemates were a rookie who wasn't quite there yet and a grinder who simply couldn't keep up, it's hard to place too much blame on him.

In any event, James van Riemsdyk is a year older and if Giroux plays with him again, they'll both reap the benefits. Giroux should have a real breakout season this year.
 
Q2) Darkhorse Breakout on the Flyers?
 
I know it's kind of the same answer as the last one, but I'm going with JVR. All reports out of camp have him a bit stronger, a bit faster and a bit more equipped to deal with the rigors of a full NHL schedule. Think about it: before a year ago, Reemer had never played more than 37 games in a season. Last year he played 99. It's not hard to understand why he seemed to break down midway through the season last year.

He's better equipped now and, simply put, he's a better player. He might not be a huge darkhorse (depends on who you ask), but considering his season last year, I expect him to make serious strides in his sophomore season.
 
Q3) Breakdown Player on the Flyers?
 
As much as I hate to say it, I'm going to have to go with Michael Leighton (especially now that he's hurt). Honestly, he really could go either way, and I'm hoping and praying that last year wasn't a fluke, that goalie coach Jeff Reese really helped him realize his potential and that he's ready to improve upon that this year. But the numbers say that he's likely to regress, and if he does, well... that's bad news for the Flyers (and anybody who has him on their fantasy team).
 
Q4) League-Wide Breakout of the Year?
 
T.J. Oshie. He's slowly gotten better over the course of his career thus far and there's no reason why he shouldn't continue that climb. It helps that the Blues should be better this season, too.
 
Q5) Who are your First Five Picks in a Fantasy Draft? 
 
 
Q6) Best Value for Money Fantasy Goalie?
 
I want to say Jimmy Howard, but I'm going to go with Pekka Rinne just because I hate the Red Wings. And I love Rinne's game.
 
Q7) Taylor or Tyler?

Taylor, just because of the situation he's in. The pressure is obviously going to weigh heavy on both players, but deep down in the hearts of Oilers fans, they know this season doesn't matter. The current Bruins' core is slowly, season-by-season, losing their shot at a Cup. The Cup dreams are there this year, and because of that, everything Tyler does this season will be amplified.

Taylor, meanwhile, will have time to develop more as an NHL player before all that heat is thrown on him.  That'll help both his development and his short-term reputation.
 
Q8) Your Stanley Cup Pick?
 

I really think the Flyers will be right there again, but I'm going to go with a Western team and pick Vancouver. I just think they're finally ready to take that final leap. And while Chicago's demise may be overblown, I think the Canucks can actually beat them on the playoffs this year. 

BONUS) Who's the Flyers "Goalie of the Future"?... Bobrovsky? Eriksson? Riopel? Other? The Flyers don't look beyond the next five minutes when considering goalies?

Tough question. A lot of people are down on Paul Holmgren lately, but one thing is for sure: he's done a great job in rounding up talented goalie prospects. Everything sounds good about Joacim Eriksson, but we won't really know too much more about him until we see him in some Elitserien games. Sergei Bobrovsky looks great, too, and now that he's in North America the hype machine is really taking off. He might wind up with the team to start the season just as a numbers issue with Michael Leighton down for a month.

Nic Riopel is another guy who has a ton of potential, and he's absolutely destroyed the Quebec league in the last few years. The Flyers didn't give him much of a look in the preseason though (no chances in a game), which might suggest they're sour on him.

We don't know the answer to the question, but I'd put good money on at least one of these guys panning on and becoming the next great Flyers goaltender.... finally.

Thanks to Travis for his insight... I know all of you are already reading Broad Street Hockey, so I don't need to tell you again. 

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