Flyers

What Alain Vigneault thinks about the possibility of Nolan Patrick's return from migraine disorder

What Alain Vigneault thinks about the possibility of Nolan Patrick's return from migraine disorder

Nolan Patrick has said he expects to play this season.

General manager Chuck Fletcher has said he expects Patrick to play this season.

Alain Vigneault has a different mindset on the matter.

It's February and the Flyers had 29 games left in their playoff push entering Thursday. Vigneault is focused on what he has at his disposal, not what he might have.

Despite Patrick taking part in Wednesday's skills practice and Thursday's morning skate, the status of the 21-year-old center has not changed, according to the Flyers' head coach. Battling a daily fight with a migraine disorder, Patrick has not played in 2019-20 and has been out since the beginning of training camp. There is no set timeframe for his return.

"I think I told this to the fans a couple of days ago when we met the season ticket holders, my expectations are that Nolan’s not coming back," Vigneault said Thursday after morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center. "In my mind, he hasn’t been here since the beginning of the year and I’m moving forward that way. I work with the guys that are here.”

Vigneault said his expectation is not from a medical standpoint.

“No, this is just my thinking all the time," he said. "He hasn’t been here since Day 1. I’m going into this as if he’s not here. If ever it changes, somebody will let me know. But now he’s not available and I work with the guys that are available.”

Call it a head coach staying in the moment. Vigneault said he does not seek out Fletcher for potential updates on Patrick.

“Usually I get an email now and then," Vigneault said. 

He adjusts accordingly when he hears from Flyers director of sports medicine Jim McCrossin regarding a player's health.

"I focus on the guys that are good to go," Vigneault said, "and Jimmy’s the one that tells me who’s good to go.”

If or when Patrick does return, Vigneault will have a decision to make.

Right now, it's not a thought on the head coach's mind.

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Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Toughest player he has faced? Joel Farabee has shown he's ready for his answers

Joel Farabee was 5 years old when Sidney Crosby made his NHL debut.

One would understand if Farabee was nervous playing against the two-time Hart Memorial Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion for the first time as a teenage rookie in the NHL.

But Farabee has more than held his own against some of the league's biggest stars, which says a lot about the Flyers' 2018 first-round pick who just turned 20 years old in February.

“Wow, there are a lot of good players in the NHL," Farabee said Monday on NBC Sports Philadelphia's Flyers Talk podcast when asked who was the toughest player he has faced in 2019-20. "Just playing against Sidney Crosby a few times was really cool, I think he had a few points in both the games that I played in. You could see him in warmups and stuff like that, how focused he is and he’s such a good player, he sees the ice so well.

“Another player I’d say is Nathan MacKinnon, how good he is, how fast of a skater he is. Those are two guys I definitely get excited playing against just because of how good they are. I enjoy being on the ice with them.”

When the Flyers beat the Penguins, 3-0, on Jan. 21, Farabee played on a line with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek. That trio faced Crosby's line a bunch and No. 87 went scoreless as the Flyers shut out Pittsburgh.

The Flyers had no fear putting Farabee in such a situation. He also played on the same line Feb. 1, when the Flyers held MacKinnon to no points in a 6-3 win over the Avalanche.

In five combined games against the Penguins and Avalanche, Farabee has put up four points (two goals, two assists) — and his role grew with each matchup.

The path to his NHL dream prepared Farabee for those moments.

“Leaving to go to prep school at 14 I think it was, it was definitely totally different, I had never really lived away from home," Farabee said. "Being able to live away from home, play on a team really helped me out, it forced myself to rely on teammates. I think when I was really young, I was a really shy kid, didn’t really want to talk to people because I was so shy. Being away from home really taught me how to be an adult and how to grow up outside of hockey more or less playing hockey.”

And at 20 years old, Farabee is just getting started for the Flyers.

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Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

Flyers Talk podcast: Joel Farabee joins the crew to talk all things Flyers

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by special guest Joel Farabee.

From how Farabee is staying busy during the NHL hiatus to his bond with teammates, let's dive in:

1:30 — The Flyers' regular season would have finished by now

4:20 — Neutral site playoff games at smaller venues?

7:00 — More teams in the playoffs makes a lot of sense

13:35 — Farabee back home in upstate New York

15:00 — Cooking during the quarantine and life in the NHL

16:50 — Michael Raffl's haircut!

17:25 — Farabee "carrying" his teammates on Xbox

18:30 — Playing under a coach like Alain Vigneault

20:20 — Leaving home at 14 to pursue an NHL career

21:25 — Toughest players to compete against and the NHL adjustment

22:45 — Favorite road trip of the season

• 23:20 — Growing up a Philly sports fan

• 24:00 — Staying in shape during the stoppage

• 25:35 — Great to hear Flyers players in good spirits 

• 27:35 — An example of Emmer's Minnesota roots

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

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