Flyers

5 observations from Flyers development camp 3-on-3 tournament

5 observations from Flyers development camp 3-on-3 tournament

VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers development camp saved its biggest and best for last.

The 2018 edition ended Monday afternoon with the always-entertaining 3-on-3 tournament, which elicited the largest crowd of the five-day camp.

One of the two practice rinks at Flyers Skate Zone was split in half. As one game played, the next would follow shortly after on the opposite sheet of the ice.

There were plenty of highlights. Let's observe five that stuck out to us:

1. We've touched a ton on Joel Farabee, but it's hard not to — he's been that impressive.

The 14th overall pick in the 2018 draft flat out scores the puck and did so in the 3-on-3 tournament, netting four goals over four games for Team Clarke, who took home the championship.

The left winger is superbly accurate with his shot and puts the puck where he wants it to go, whether he's in close or around the perimeter. So when Farabee scores at a prolific rate, it's not because he's a volume shooter per se, but because he's grasped the intricacies of beating a goalie.

General manager Ron Hextall had an excellent explanation of Farabee's goal-scoring prowess. It's lengthy but worth putting the entire quote:

"He disguises whether it's a shot or a pass. He's got really quick hands and a lot of guys will come down, the goalie knows where they're going to shoot, they know exactly where they're going to shoot, right? So, you see goalies make a save and you go, 'Whoa, that was quick.' Well, it really wasn't because they read the puck off the stick blade rather than reacted to it. The puck is really hard to react to. Joel hides things — we call it deception. So, he's going to shoot the puck, he'll turn his hands real quick and bang and let it go. Or he'll open up for a shot and he'll pass the puck, so he's got a lot of deception. A lot of top guys in the league, you wonder why they score or how that pass went through. Well, they're showing hands to the defenseman, to the goalie — the little things that the naked eye doesn't see that they're doing, and Joel is one of those guys. His deception in his game is outstanding."

2. Ever since he was taken by the Flyers in the second round of the 2016 draft, Pascal Laberge has had a rough go in his development at the junior ranks.

His 2016-17 season was marred by a concussion stemming from a cheap shot.

This past year, he was traded midseason from the Victoriaville Tigres to the Quebec Remparts in the QMJHL. Overall, he finished with 47 points (17 goals, 30 assists) in 64 regular-season games.

But the 20-year-old center put his potential on display in the 3-on-3 tournament when he ripped off three goals in no more than a minute of action. Two of those markers came on snipes from the outside as Laberge scored a tournament-high five goals in three games for Team Ashbee.

He'll play his first season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in 2018-19 and it'll be interesting to see how his game adjusts to the AHL level.

"Pascal is highly skilled, he's got good size, he skates well," Hextall said. "Really good hands and vision. The consistency part has got to come around. He's turning pro this year, so time for Pascal certainly to take it to another level. As I said, he's got an awful lot of ability."

3. Isaac Ratcliffe will be a player to watch in training camp and during the season.

He surprises when you witness his 6-foot-6 frame and then exhibits all this skill that you don't often see for a guy his size. The left winger's hands and touch are legit, as you can watch here from Friday's drills.

The 2017 second-round pick scored 41 goals in 67 regular-season games last season for the OHL's Guelph Storm. On Monday, he tallied four for the champions, Team Clarke, and at one point smoothly went through his legs in traffic to get off a shot in close.

"We're standing out there yesterday going a guy that big shouldn’t have that good of hands — he's got good hands," Hextall said Sunday. "He moves really well for his size and his age. You look at a 19-year-old kid who's as tall as he is and as coordinated as he is, it's not the norm. We're excited about the prospects for him."

4. James De Haas and Wyatt Kalynuk are a few under-the-radar defensemen who had strong camps and made nice impressions in the 3-on-3 tournament.

De Haas, a 24-year-old signed by the Phantoms last summer, scored four goals.

"He was terrific. … He looked really good out there today," Hextall said. "A bit of an older guy. The steps he's taken the last 12 months, you go, 'Whoa.'"

Kalynuk, a 2017 seventh-round pick playing at Wisconsin, scored one and also potted a pretty shootout tally on Carter Hart. He was also impressive Saturday.

"He's a late-round pick and he's taken a step," Hextall said. "He was a very good player at Wisconsin last year. But you watch the way he skates and the way he reads the game and the way he passes the puck."

5. Felix Sandstrom, a 2015 third-round draft pick, made a handful of strong saves and was the championship-winning netminder.

The 21-year-old Swedish prospect will play another year in the SHL next season.

"We're very high on Felix," Hextall said. "He's a real competitor. He's a really hard worker. He's a great teammate and he's a great kid. You seem him today, he's a hungry hockey player right now."

Results
Here are the final goal tallies and goaltending stats from the tournament.

Philippe Myers, the camp's standout defensive prospect, did not participate because of a slight muscle pull.

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Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux star in much-needed win for Flyers over Hurricanes

Morgan Frost, Claude Giroux star in much-needed win for Flyers over Hurricanes

BOX SCORE

Call this one the Morgan Frost and Claude Giroux show.

In his second NHL game, Frost looked like the 100-point junior hockey stud he was with the OHL's Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. In his 842nd NHL game, Giroux looked like Giroux.

Together, the two pushed the Flyers to a much-needed 5-3 win Thursday night over the Hurricanes at PNC Arena.

The Flyers (11-7-4) halted a four-game losing streak. They have two regulation wins since Nov. 5, both against Carolina.

The Hurricanes (13-8-1) entered on a four-game winning streak in which they were scoring 5.25 goals per game.

• There was a chance Frost's call-up to the NHL would be a short one. The 20-year-old rookie isn't going anywhere for now with a roster move ahead.

Frost has lived up to the billing with three points and two goals in two games. He'll be centering Giroux and Travis Konecny at the Wells Fargo Center on Saturday.

An intriguing facet to Frost's game is the threat he poses playing shorthanded. His junior coaches liked him on the penalty kill because of the pressure he put on the opposition's power play. Frost scored eight shorthanded goals over his final two seasons with the Greyhounds.

His second career NHL goal came on the PK right off Giroux winning the faceoff.

Per NHL public relations, Frost is the sixth player in franchise history to score a goal in each of his first two career games, while the last Flyer to do it was David Laliberte in 2009.

The Flyers were looking for an offensive jolt and Frost has given them one through two games (see highlights).

• The Flyers played seven defensemen and healthy scratched forward Andy Andreoff, who seems like a soon-to-be roster casualty with the way Frost is playing.

Scott Laughton is expected to be activated off long-term injured reserve and return to the lineup Saturday. To make room for Laughton, cap-wise, the Flyers can place Andreoff on waivers for the purpose of the 28-year-old reporting to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

• Giroux had a Giroux game the Flyers have sorely needed. The Flyers' captain put up three or more points for the first time this season, notching two goals and two assists. His first marker was off a pretty feed from Konecny when the Flyers were in an early 2-0 hole. His second goal was the game-winner in the third period after a magnificent play by Frost.

Last season, Giroux had six games in which he scored three or more points. Before his big night, Giroux had one point (a goal) over the last six games.

• With the way he moves laterally, Ivan Provorov has become a real threat at the point when the Flyers' power play gets situated.

“If I can create space, get pressure toward me and dish it out, I will," Provorov said Nov. 4. "If both sides are taken away and I have a clear lane, I’m going to take that shot all day.”

The 22-year-old has been letting it rip — and accurately. During the first period, he scored his fourth man advantage goal of the season after scoring just two in his first three seasons.

Provorov has been a major positive after signing his new deal.

• Shayne Gostisbehere, on the other hand, was not particularly sharp and played only 10:57.

• Let's not forget how good Konecny was against the Hurricanes. He had three assists and with 15 helpers on the season, he is on his way to shattering his career high of 25 set last season.

• Give some credit to Brian Elliott, who recovered well after a bad start in which he allowed two goals in the game's opening five minutes. Elliott made a massive save late in regulation as Carolina was all over him eyeing an equalizer.

Elliott finished with 33 stops.

• The Flyers play five games in the next eight days, starting Saturday when they host Johnny Gaudreau and the Flames (1 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

 

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Flyers at Hurricanes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers at Hurricanes: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

The Flyers on Thursday night will look to avoid a season-worst fifth straight loss.

So far, they've lost four consecutive games twice. To avoid topping that, the Flyers (10-7-4) must beat the Hurricanes (13-7-1) on the road.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET with Flyers Pregame Live at 6:30 p.m. ET
Where: PNC Arena
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Alain Vigneault is trying everything and anything to spark his veterans.

On Monday, Vigneault said, “Whoever we’ve played with Coots has played well."

The Flyers' head coach is so desperate to get Jakub Voracek going that he's moving the winger to Sean Couturier's line with Oskar Lindblom.

After Vigneault put Voracek, Kevin Hayes and James van Riemsdyk together at the start of Tuesday's 5-2 loss to the Panthers, the trio has been split up, per NBC Sports Philadelphia's Taryn Hatcher. Hayes will center Joel Farabee and Tyler Pitlick, while van Riemsdyk heads to the fourth line with Michael Raffl and Andy Andreoff.

Will all of this work? At this point, the Flyers have to give it a shot. During the team's four-game losing streak, Claude Giroux, Voracek, Hayes and van Riemsdyk have combined for one goal and two assists.

"I expect more from James, I expect more from Kevin, I expect more from Jake as far as 5-on-5 play," Vigneault said Monday. "You’d ask those guys, they’d tell you the same thing. They need to be better for our team to get into the playoffs and we’re aware of that."

• The Flyers are scoring 2.18 goals per game on the road, fourth fewest in the NHL, while the power play is 4 for 37 (10.8 percent) away from home.

• The Hurricanes are scoring four goals per game at home, tied for the second most in the NHL. Carolina has won four straight contests, a stretch in which it has scored 5.25 goals per game.

• Outside of Ivan Provorov (three points), Flyers defensemen have scored three points during the Flyers' four-game skid.

• Just how valuable have Travis Konecny and Lindblom been to the Flyers this season?

The team is 0-3-3 when Konecny goes scoreless and 2-5-1 when Lindblom goes scoreless.

The two have gone scoreless in the same game only twice this season.

Projected lineup

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost-Travis Konecny
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Tyler Pitlick
James van Riemsdyk-Michael Raffl-Andy Andreoff

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Travis Sanheim-Philippe Myers

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

 

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