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3 Flyers thoughts: Talkin' 2020-21 division, a prospect's new goals, more originally appeared on NBC Sports Philadelphia
Thanksgiving is next week and the Flyers are in the thick of their offseason.
Still feels weird, right?
Traditionally, Turkey Day is followed by a Black Friday game at the Wells Fargo Center. In 2019-20, the Flyers played in Philadelphia on Black Friday for the 14th straight season.
Alas, times are different right now with the coronavirus pandemic, so let's get into three more Flyers thoughts.
1. Friends or foes
For safety and monetary reasons, the NHL could alleviate the length of travel by realigning divisions in 2020-21. According to a report this week by ESPN's Greg Wyshynski, a current concept under contemplation would place the Flyers in an East division with the Bruins, Sabres, Hurricanes, Devils, Islanders, Rangers and Capitals.
No Penguins would be undeniably odd and a bummer for many. But, interestingly, the Flyers have gone 7-9-3 against Pittsburgh over the past five seasons and lost to it in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs. Meanwhile, last regular season, the Flyers went a combined 15-4-3 against the clubs in their reported East grouping. The Flyers were impressively 16-4-4 with a plus-25 goal differential (90-65) in Metropolitan Division competition after going 10-16-2 the year prior.
The 2019-20 regular season feels like forever ago and teams change over an offseason, but those records above hold merit as they show how far the Flyers have come. We'll have to wait and see (something we've gotten used to in these times) on all of the logistics to the 2020-21 season, but the Flyers shouldn't lack confidence either way.
2. Happy in Halifax
Flyers prospect Elliot Desnoyers has continued his takeoff in Halifax.
With 12 goals in 16 games for the Mooseheads, the 2020 fifth-round pick has already topped his goal total from 2019-20, when he scored 11 over 61 games on the loaded Moncton Wildcats. With one more goal, he'll have a new junior career high.
Entering Saturday, the 18-year-old forward was third in the QMJHL with 25 points through 16 games.
Smart player that knows situations, finds gaps and goes to the net. But there's developing skill, too.
3. Thanksgiving turnaround
While there will be no hockey as Thanksgiving arrives this upcoming week, Flyers fans can be thankful for where their team looks to be and was last Turkey Day compared to the previous two.
At 2019 Thanksgiving, the Flyers were 13-7-5 and tied for ninth in the league with 31 points. They ended up going 10-2-4 with an NHL-best 24 points in November. By the end of the month, the Flyers had their most points (35) entering December since 1995-96.
In 2017-18 (8-9-5 record) and 2018-19 (9-10-2), the Flyers were in last place of the Metropolitan Division at Thanksgiving.