The result? Somehow, the Flyers would need to find a way to replace 73 goals. Clearly, there was no way that they would be able to continue to produce at the 3.15 goals-per-game pace they did last year, right?
So much for that. Through the first 14 games - more than 17 percent of their schedule - the Flyers lead the league with 56 goals scored, eight more than the next closest team.
Admittedly, 14 games is a limited sample size. And the Flyers have gotten some help from ridiculous outbursts like Saturday night's 9-2 win over Columbus and that 9-8 loss to Winnipeg on Oct. 27.
But an equally down-and-dirty calculation: At their 4 goals-per-game clip, the Flyers are on pace for 328 goals over 82 games That would be 66 goals more than the league's best offense last year and the most scored since the 1995-96 season.
The Flyers are on pace to tie a franchise record with 11 double-digit goal scorers in a season.
"We're a talented team," Simmonds said on Saturday. "From line one to line four, every one can score. It's nice."
Part of the reason the offseason calculations were so faulty is that they did not account for growth from Simmonds, Voracek and Schenn. Jaromir Jagr, not playing in the NHL in 3 years, was a wild card. Then, relative unknowns Sean Couturier and Matt Read were considered longshots to make the roster.
What is the most interesting part of these early November calculations? Schenn, who is nursing a foot fracture, has yet to score an NHL goal. And Simmonds and Voracek are barely on pace to set new career-highs in goals.
'GUS' GETTING COMFY
We'd like to see defenseman Erik Gustafsson stick around as long as possible, even after Chris Pronger returns from his scary eye injury, likely this week.
Gustafsson is the perfect candidate - relatively inexpensive on the cap and impressionable - to remain as the extra defenseman in case of injury.
Gustafsson, 22, picked up his first career point and was a ridiculous plus-6 on Saturday, the highest plus rating for a Flyers rookie since fellow Swede Thomas Eriksson was a plus-8 in a game in 1983-84.
In fact, you could have made a case for Gustafsson to make the team out of training camp, as he could have beaten both Matt Walker and Andreas Lilja for a spot.
Gustafsson's game has grown by leaps and bounds since his three-game cup of coffee last season, when he lacked the confidence to move the puck out of the zone with authority.
"[When] you come up here and you play with these big guys you've been watching on TV all of your life, I think it's normal to get nervous," Gustafsson said Saturday. "The more you get to be around here and the more you play out there, the more comfortable you get and I think, especially for the type of player I am, one who wants to make good passes, I think I need to be comfortable out there to make those passes and hold on to the puck for an extra second."
Across the commonwealth, no date has been set for Sidney Crosby's return to the Penguins, who continue to chug along and lead the Eastern Conference without him.
It appears that Crosby is close to returning, as he left the team's practice in Los Angeles on Friday - according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review - and flew back to Pittsburgh for a doctor's appointment in an attempt to be cleared for a comeback this week. Crosby has been skating in full-contact practices for nearly a month. He has not played since Jan. 5, missing the last 63 games with postconcussion symptoms.
The belief is that Crosby will make his season debut on Friday night in Pittsburgh against Dallas. Clearly for entertainment purposes only, gambling website Bodog.com is giving 3/2 odds for a return on or before Nov. 11 (Friday) and 1/2 odds for after Nov. 11.
The Flyers are three points back of Pittsburgh with one game in hand.
The Flyers, who start a three-game road trip on Wednesday in Tampa Bay, have the third-best road record (4-1-1) in the NHL . . . Both Chris Pronger (right eye) and Matt Read (upper body) could return to the ice as soon as Wednesday against the Lightning . . . According to general manager Paul Holmgren, forward Brayden Schenn (broken foot) is "doing well," and will have a 2-week checkup this week . . . Through Saturday, rookie Sean Couturier (plus-9) was tied for the second-highest plus/minus rating in the NHL . . . Claude Giroux is second in league scoring with 19 points.
2 of 3: Games in which the Flyers have chased an opponent's starting goaltender after less than 14 minutes. They torched Buffalo's Ryan Miller for three goals in 6:23 on Wednesday and victimized Columbus' Steve Mason for three goals in 13:09 on Saturday.
8: Number of Flyers to score a goal in Saturday's 9-2 romp of the Blue Jackets, tying a franchise record last achieved on Oct. 23, 1983.
9: The last time the Flyers scored nine goals in a game was Feb. 6, 1997, against Montreal.
27: Years since the Flyers led by a total of eight goals, as they did on Saturday, after two periods. The Flyers topped Vancouver, 13-2, on Oct. 18, 1984, and led 9-1 after 40 minutes.
"We were obviously just embarrassed - and embarrassed very quickly, time after time."
- Helpless Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel, after the Flyers pounded Columbus (2-11-1). Despite rampant rumors, Arniel was still the Blue Jackets' head coach yesterday at practice.
DID YOU KNOW?
-- That Sean Couturier's five goals make him the NHL goal-scoring leader born in the state of Arizona? Couturier was born in Phoenix while his father Sylvain was playing for the IHL's Roadrunners, but the family moved to New Brunswick, Canada, and Couturier represents Canada in national play.
-- James van Riemsdyk is 133 goals behind state of New Jersey leader Randy Wood. Flyers assistant coach Joe Mullen's 502 goals make him the all-time New York-born scorer.
After skating in six games over a stretch of 9 days, the Phantoms earned a gritty, 2-1 win in Springfield, Mass., on Friday, their only game on the docket for 13 days. The rest comes at a good time, since many of the Phantoms' top players - including Eric Wellwood, Harry Zolnierczyk, Zac Rinaldo and Erik Gustafsson - have been shuttling back and forth to Philadelphia to help the big club.
TWEET OF THE WEEK
"Well, glad @HarryZ87 [Harry Zolnierczyk] decided to bunk up to be my roommate. Too much personal time living alone. #abouttime #lovecompany"
- Flyers forward Matt Read (@read1mat) on Friday on Twitter.
- Frank Seravalli