Flyers

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault breaks down the hits, displeased with NHL's 3-game suspension for Joel Farabee

Flyers coach Alain Vigneault breaks down the hits, displeased with NHL's 3-game suspension for Joel Farabee

Chuck Fletcher was somewhat judicious and reticent when asked for his thoughts on the NHL Department of Player Safety’s three-game suspension given to Joel Farabee.

Alain Vigneault did not hold back.

Farabee, a 19-year-old rookie, was handed a game misconduct for interference on Mathieu Perreault during the Flyers' 7-3 defeat last Sunday to the Jets. Moments before he delivered his hard hit, Farabee was crosschecked from behind in front of Winnipeg’s net. His check came after Perreault passed the puck up the boards.

During the Flyers’ 4-3 win over the Senators on Dec. 7, Travis Konecny was drilled in open ice by 30-year-old Mark Borowiecki, a player with a history of suspensions. No penalty was called on the play and Borowiecki did not receive supplemental discipline.

Vigneault was left confounded after comparing both hits. When asked Tuesday if he was surprised by the number of games the NHL handed down on Farabee, the Flyers’ head coach said bluntly: “Yes.”

And he explained why:

“Initially on that play, if you watch it and if you listen to the explanation of the NHL, they say [Farabee] was pushed from behind. He was crosschecked from behind,” Vigneault said. “It should have been a penalty, we should have been going on the power play. The time between the puck being passed and the hit I think is 1.34 seconds, which is late. But T.K.’s one just a few days before that was 1.04. There’s .3-something seconds difference. One is nothing, one is a three-game suspension to a young man that has no history.

“Sometimes things are hard to figure out. You’ve just got to roll with it and deal with it. That’s the best explanation that I can give you.”

The Flyers, who were already undermanned at forward because of injuries, will miss Farabee all week — Tuesday vs. the Ducks (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP), Thursday vs. the Sabres (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and Saturday at the Senators (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP+).

“I’ve been in this game a long time, I’m not meaning this to sound flippant or anything, I don’t have an opinion. I don’t know," Fletcher said. "[Head of the NHL Department of Player Safety George Parros] and his staff work hard, they look at these things and have the experience to know previous hits. I don’t spend the time to the level he does to really comment. Obviously it’s a blow for us. If anything, I think this road trip showed how competitive [Farabee] is. Certainly might be as competitive a hockey player as we have — a 175-pound 19-year-old kid.

"He certainly earned the respect of everybody in that room and from us. … That’s a blow for us to lose him for three games, but that’s hockey.”

On Tuesday night, the Flyers will at least see the return of Konecny, who missed the club's 0-3-0 road trip with a concussion suffered on the hit from Borowiecki.

"I had the puck on my stick and he hit me," Konecny, the Flyers' leading scorer, said. "I wasn’t watching, I should know who’s on the ice at all times, you know that he’s definitely a player that’s going to take advantage of guys not looking. It’s my fault, I didn’t have my head up.

“Joel’s hit, it’s tough, it’s the NHL’s decision to make those calls. I feel like those two hits were a little different. I can’t really compare them."

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Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

Flyers Talk podcast: Analyzing scenarios for Stanley Cup Playoffs

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall are joined by Joe Fordyce, the Flyers Pre and Postgame Live producer.

From multiple interviews to the format of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, let's dive in:

1:25 — Kevin Hayes talks all things Flyers and the NHL stoppage

7:30 — No fans during the Stanley Cup Playoffs?

14:50 — An interview with Rick Tocchet and Keith Jones

18:00 — Should the NHL change the playoff format?

24:00 — Life without Flyers hockey right now

30:30 — Debating our all-time Flyers team

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Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Gritty all over the place, funny Penguins moments as Flyers roll their rival in NHL 20

Because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended the 2019-20 NHL season, the Flyers did not get a chance to beat the Penguins last Sunday in Philadelphia.

They did, however, dominate them on NHL 20 Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired a simulation with the great trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call.

The Flyers never trailed in beating Pittsburgh, 6-4, at the Wells Fargo Center.

Michael Raffl led the way with a pair of first-period goals. Kevin Hayes (one goal, one assist), James van Riemsdyk (one goal, one assist), Matt Niskanen (two assists), Travis Sanheim (two assists) and Nate Thompson (two assists) all had multi-point games.

Oh, and Gritty enjoyed the win. So did Claude Giroux.


Raffl's goals were massive in setting the tone during the opening 20 minutes. Despite allowing four markers, Carter Hart made a ton of timely saves, especially in the first period.

On Raffl's first goal, Penguins forward Conor Sheary got stuck right in the middle of the Flyers' celebration. Poor guy.

On Raffl's second goal, Penguins forward Evan Rodrigues tripped right over his goalie Matt Murray as the Flyers were celebrating.


A big storyline in the Flyers' win was Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin being held to no goals.

As you can see, there were some daring Penguins fans in attendance. We have a strong feeling they were welcomed kindly by Flyers fans.

Just like in real life, the Flyers were very defensive of the 21-year-old Hart. Get close to the kid, you've got problems.


Tyler Pitlick added clutch secondary scoring during the second period to give the Flyers a 3-1 edge.

Gritty, with the neck of an owl, enjoyed his view in the middle stanza.

"He's always got a good spot," Jackson said.

"He's usually got some popcorn to dump on a Penguins fan's head," Jones said.

Unfortunately, that did not happen (let's be real, it probably did).

Justin Braun, Hayes and van Riemsdyk (empty-netter) tallied goals in the final stanza to seal the Flyers' win. 

The Penguins' goals came from Brandon Tanev, Patric Hornqvist, Teddy Blueger and Marcus Pettersson.

That's not going to do it against this 2019-20 Flyers team, which has dominated in Philadelphia.

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