By Annie Ross
If you’re looking for a reason the Flyers have won five games in a row, try Wayne Simmonds.
When he gets a point, the Flyers win. When he does not score or assist in the game, the Flyers lose. It is as simple as that.
After Thursday’s 2-1 victory over the Buffalo Sabres, the Flyers are 13-11-7 with 33 points through 31 games.
In those 13 wins, Simmonds has at least one point in 10 of those games. The only games in which he did not score and the Flyers won were in Toronto on Oct. 28, versus Chicago on Nov. 9, and Thursday’s game against the Sabres.
In the 11 losses, Simmonds has yet to register a point, and in the 7 OT losses, he has one goal and three assists. Breaking down the numbers, when Simmonds registers a point, the Flyers have won 71% of their games (10-0-4 in such games). The Flyers have a 100% chance of getting at least one point from the game when Simmonds gets a point. If he does not, they win only 18% of the time (3-11-3).
Overall, Simmonds’ numbers are better in wins. He has logged only seven penalty minutes compared to 23 in losses. He is a plus-six in wins and a minus-10 in losses. Most players are positive in wins and negative in losses, but with Simmonds, it is very clear. Keep him on the ice. Keep him out of the box. Get him the puck to assist or score.
If you take a look back at Simmonds’ career, you will find that this trend has been consistent over the years. Last season, he had 35 points in 39 wins compared to just 19 points in 43 losses. Two seasons ago, he had 47 points in 41 wins for the playoff team compared to just 13 points in the 41 combined losses. For his career, he is a +127 in wins and -153 in losses. He has 287 points in 356 wins and only 130 points in 362 losses.
His importance and impact on the ice were on clear display in the 2015-16 season, and are on display once again this year.