About Kirk

I grew up in Springfield, Delaware County. From about two-years-old on, sports were my thing. If I wasn't watching them, I was outside in the yard, street, park, wherever, playing them. I had an immediate love for the Flyers and Phillies and have followed both as long as I can remember. I moved to Maine a few years back, chasing a dream to work in sports. I'm still following that dream and Sons of Saxer is the perfect place for that path to continue.

Flyers Preview 2017-18

The Flyers open up their season with a West Coast swing

It’s finally time.  Hockey is back.

Cue the angels singing.

Cue the celebrations.

Philly will be….well, honestly, the Eagles are in season, so most of Philly is preoccupied.  I, on the other hand, am chomping at the bit to see what the NHL season has in store.

Don’t read my excitement the wrong way.  I don’t have high hopes for this Flyers squad.  I think they’ll be a bubble playoff team again.  But their infusion of talented youth has them moving in the right direction and I wouldn’t be surprised if that youth movement turned a few heads.

Let’s take a look at the squad and where its strengths, and weaknesses, lie.

The biggest aspects of the Flyers offense are the top line and the addition of their first round pick from this year.  Claude Giroux has centered the top line for the last several years, but in the preseason, he played wing and will likely start out as a flank with Sean Couturier in the middle.  It may free up Giroux from his defensive responsibilities, which may in turn help him pick up his production.

The other big news is Nolan Patrick centering the second line.  The second-overall pick was expected to make the team, but it’s still good news that he did.  He didn’t have the best jump in preseason, but he’s still overcoming offseason surgery.  Hopefully the youngster will get some jump—if he does, he could have a heck of a year.

Defensively, the Flyers have gotten younger, fast.  Robert Hagg is definitely playing on the blue line and one of either Samuel Morin or Travis Sanheim will be up there too.  Both will be up for a time as Shayne Gostisbehere may have gotten hurt in the final preseason game.  It doesn’t seem to be serious, but the team has been pretty mum about it.  Sanheim will likely be the one heading to the AHL.  It’s not because he didn’t play well, but they’re chock full of blue liners and some time in the AHL will only help to continue his development.

The new guys will be joining Ivan Provorov and Ghost, giving them plenty of youth back there.  Andrew MacDonald is still (unfortunately) back there too, along with Radko Gudas and Brandon Manning.  Manning is likely the odd man out for much of the season, but don’t be surprised to see him still get some game action.

There’s lots of hope both offensively and defensively.  Then you get to the goalies and…well, why would the Flyers want to improve there?

Honestly, the Flyers are banking on some of their prospects panning out.  Carter Hart is a big hopeful and Felix Sandstrom has looked really good in Sweden.  They there’s the former Yale standout Alex Lyon.  Ron Hextall is bidding his time and using his acquisition Brian Elliot and Michal Neuvrith to span the gap unti they’re ready.

Elliot was BAD to start last season in Calgary but bounced back strong.  His numbers in the playoffs fell off again, so it’s hard to tell how he might play.

Meanwhile, Neuvirth is looking to get back into form from two years ago.  Last year he was unimpressive, though he shows moments of brilliance.

Overall, the team should be improved.  Without Matt Read in the lineup (in the AHL) and a new-look fourth line with lots of potential, they should improve on their point total from last year.  I can’t see them being any more than a bubble playoff team again.  Pittsburgh, Washington, Columbus and the New York Rangers are all better teams.

If I had to guess, they’ll finish in the 90-point range and again be on the outside looking in come mid-April.

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Flyers: Five Games to Watch in 2017-18

It’s only August, but I’m jonesing for some hockey.

Maybe it’s because I basically live in Canada or because watching Game of Thrones has me thinking about ice, but I’m impatiently waiting for the puck to drop on the new season.  So, with about two months to go before the Flyers open up their new campaign, here’s five games to circle on your calendar.

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Game of Thrones: ‘The Queen’s Justice’ React

Episode Three of Season Seven has just aired.  Obviously, if you haven’t watched, stop reading.  There’s spoilers ahead.

The moment we’ve all been waiting for.  Jon and Daenerys.  They would be great together.  But they’re niece and nephew.  I’m not into that Lannister shit.

Davos nearly spilled the beans about Jon’s rebirth.  C’mon, Onion Knight, keep your cool.

Cersei just got her rocks off killing that Sand Snake.  I get why she wanted it.  Still hate her.

Tyron’s quotes.  He’s the man.

Did you see the look Dany gave Jon.  DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT, HE’S YOUR RELATIVE.

I’m surprised they brought Bran back into the fold.  But that was heartwarming.

Bran is creeping me out.  I don’t care if you’re the Three-Eyed Raven, you don’t need to be so creepy.

SAM DID IT.

Slughorn is not amused.  Don’t fuck with the Potions Master, Tarly.  But you didn’t fuck up.  So we good.

You’re still our little bitch.  You’re basically a freshman, but worse.

Casterly Rock is Helm’s Deep, but not as epic.

If the Unsullied are half the warriors they’re supposed to be in the book, they’ll take Casterly Rock with like ten percent casualties.

Damn, I was excited to see the Lannisters go down.  At least we know why they didn’t go balls to the walls with the battle.

Cersei made some smart moves.  This chess match will be incredible.

Queen of Thorns going toe-to-toe with Tyrion for best lines

“I want her to know it was me.”  Olenna, you’re cold. Jamie regrets letting you die peacefully.

I know that’s not a lot, but I’m new at this. Not quite as action-packed as some may hope, but the plot builds further and the story is moving.  The on-coming war will be insane.