A four-game winning streak has helped move Craig Berube's squad into a healthy playoff spot, although early-January play doesn't offer the same security as an early April calendar spot would.
The late-October trade that sent Max Talbot to Colorado for former Flyer Steve Downie was the only move general manager Paul Holmgren made during a period that was ripe with speculation about potential Philadelphia transactions. Holmgren's belief in the core of his team has thus far proven to be well-founded.
The organization determined that it had seen enough of Ilya Bryzgalov and subsequently bought him out last summer. Seeing 'Bryz' openly chide his defense at times during last Saturday's game against the Edmonton Oilers (during a 4-3 shootout victory) made no one long for days gone by.
Steve Mason and Ray Emery have been a sound tandem in net this season. Mason's unexpected starting slot, backed by Emery's full support, has removed emotion from the crease. The 'Razor' did dish out an early-November beat down on Washington Capitals fellow netminder Braden Holtby. But, that was the exception to this new 2013-14 rule.
While team defense hasn't been great, Berube's emphasis on zone control has enabled his squad to have a chance to win most games. That factor, along with Claude Giroux's emergence in recent weeks, offers ongoing hope that a sustained regular season points push will take place.