1. Which Ilya Bryzgalov will they get? The goaltender was an enigma in his first season with the Flyers, but he's capable of being among the league's best.

2. Will the defense be good enough? The Flyers failed to replace Chris Pronger with another elite blue-liner, and they have age and injury issues as well.

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3. Will anyone have a sophomore slump? Five of the Flyers' top 12 forwards were rookies last season, and they can't afford for someone such as Matt Read (24 goals) to suffer a dropoff.

4. How will they deal with the compact season? Peter Laviolette, like every other coach in the league, will have to try to keep his team healthy but prepared.

5. Can Claude Giroux stay at an elite level? The new captain was called the best player in the world by Laviolette last season, and the Flyers need him to be a Hart Trophy candidate again.

Jason Mazda

JMazda@pressofac.com

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