Flyers weekly observations: No, you don't trade Shayne Gostisbehere, Travis Sanheim's production, more


The Flyers are on a five-game point streak (4-0-1) after losing two straight for the first time since Jan. 7-8.

Last week, they won three of four games and had to say goodbye to Wayne Simmonds.

With March underway, here are observations on the state of the team:

• The NHL trade deadline came and went with general manager Chuck Fletcher making only one move last Monday by sending Simmonds to the Predators.

Leading up to deadline day, some buzz actually generated about a potential trade of Shayne Gostisbehere — nothing firm, but the defenseman's name was out there.

A deal never happened and it's head-scratching as to why anyone who follows the Flyers would be so quick to trade away a player like Gostisbehere.

He's not just a power-play specialist.

He's 25 years old, he's elusive, he's dexterous and he gets the puck out of the defensive zone and up the ice. Oh, and he's under contract through 2022-23 on a cost-effective deal.

Sounds pretty good.

And it doesn't hurt that since 2015-16 he has more goals than John Carlson, Drew Doughty, Seth Jones and P.K. Subban, while ranking 15th among NHL defensemen in points.

• Travis Sanheim has been so good.

Who would have thought he'd be leading all Flyers blueliners in goals (nine) and points (29) with 16 games to go?

The production shouldn't be a crazy surprise to us, though. His size, skill and offensive ability are what drew the Flyers to him in 2014.

"Offense is my game and something I want to continue to develop going forward and bring to the next level," Sanheim said in July 2016.

It does make you wonder what he could have done last year in a full season or why he was sent down to Lehigh Valley in the first place, where he quickly proved he was above the AHL competition.

Was he really that behind in his defensive principles? And was Brandon Manning that much better of an option?

The 22-year-old Sanheim is now one of the team's best defensemen and the 28-year-old Manning is in the AHL after not panning out with the Blackhawks or Oilers.

• The Flyers entered Monday five points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot. Right now, they still need to jump two teams. has the Flyers with a 9.7 percent chance to make the postseason and gives them a 5.8 percent chance.

If the Flyers can pull it off, they'll have certainly earned it. Thirteen of their final 16 games are against teams currently in a playoff spot.

The teams they face are also playing well. The combined record of the clubs remaining on the Flyers' schedule is 93-61-16 since the start of February.

• It's cool to see the impact Simmonds had on the Flyers' youth.

We're seeing it from Travis Konecny, a tiny 21-year-old with first-round pedigree and a goal-scoring background. But he has mixed it up in the past two games, standing up for Nolan Patrick and also fighting Jordan Eberle.

"Simmer is one of those guys you don't want to mess with," Konecny said last Friday. "Teams probably look at us differently. We're still the same team in that we stick together. I think Simmer left a lot of that with us and taught us young guys to stick up for your teammates."

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