Flyers in different company at Thanksgiving after win over Blue Jackets

Flyers in different company at Thanksgiving after win over Blue Jackets


The Flyers will enjoy their Thanksgiving turkey.

At Nationwide Arena Wednesday night, the Flyers grinded out a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets, a game that required plenty of resolve to close the door in the third period.

Alain Vigneault's club has been impressive during a busy November. The Flyers (13-7-5) have earned at least a point in 12 of 14 games this month (8-2-4). In November, only one NHL team has more points than the Flyers' 20 — the Stars with 21.

The victory was the Flyers' second over the Blue Jackets (10-10-4) this season as they improved to 6-2-2 against the Metropolitan Division.

• Give some props to the coaching staff and front office.

The Flyers have their most wins at Thanksgiving since 2010-11, when the team was 15-6-2 on Turkey Day.

In 2018-19, the Flyers were in last place on Thanksgiving with a 9-10-2 record.

In 2017-18, they were also in last place on Thanksgiving with an 8-9-5 mark.

In 2019-20, they are improved and it should be refreshing to see for fans after the Flyers went a combined 23-29-14 over their past five Novembers.

• Claude Giroux's game-winning goal in the second period was clutch. The power play was scuffling and needed to finally cash in, which it did on its fifth opportunity (see highlights).

• These kind of passes are why so many gushed about Joel Farabee's skill and hands ever since he was taken by the Flyers in the first round of the 2018 draft. The rookie winger has two assists over the last three games, good confidence boosts for the 19-year-old.

• Did James van Riemsdyk earn himself a promotion in the lineup?

He was strong against the Blue Jackets, picking up his first point in nine games on Tyler Pitlick's impressive first-period goal. JVR was also planted in front, where he's at his best, on Giroux's goal.

Given the Flyers won, the lineup very well could look the same Friday at the Wells Fargo Center. As Scott Laughton's right index finger starts to feel better and the 25-year-old forward is able to comfortably take faceoffs, the Flyers could move van Riemsdyk up to the third line.

Then again, Vigneault has liked Laughton's chemistry with Kevin Hayes on the third unit, so van Riemsdyk could stick on that fourth line a little longer.

• Flyers goaltending has been great this month.

Carter Hart is 5-2-2 with a 2.05 goals-against average, allowing two or fewer goals in seven of his nine November starts.

Brian Elliott was clutch with a 15-save third period against Columbus and is 3-0-2 with a 2.28 goals-against average in November.

At this point last season, the Flyers didn't get that production in net.

• Real positive stuff from Pitlick and Laughton, two forwards that constantly skate hard and make a difference with their effort. Against the Blue Jackets, they also provided goals.

• During the first period, Farabee took a ridiculous crosscheck to the back from Pierre-Luc Dubois as both players were just about to get to their respective benches following a shift. No penalty was called and the Flyers were justifiably unhappy.

The opening stanza, as a whole, was not great for the Flyers. After Pitlick's late equalizer, the Flyers allowed a bad goal less than a minute later when they watched Gustav Nyquist hang out behind the net.

The Flyers bounced back with a strong second period and finished things off in the third.

• The Flyers practice at 12:30 p.m. on Thanksgiving in Voorhees, New Jersey, before finishing a 16-game November with a back-to-back set. The Flyers host the Red Wings Friday (4 p.m. ET/NBCSP) and visit the Canadiens Saturday (3 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Shayne Gostisbehere could see his return to the lineup in one of those two games.


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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

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Flyers' Oskar Lindblom diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma

Oskar Lindblom, a 23-year-old forward on the Flyers, is expected to miss the remainder of the 2019-20 season after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, the team announced Friday afternoon.

Ewing’s sarcoma is a rare form of cancer that occurs in bones or in the soft tissue around the bones.

Below is a statement from Flyers president of hockey operations and general manager Chuck Fletcher:

Philadelphia Flyers forward Oskar Lindblom has been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma by leading specialists at the University of Pennsylvania. He will undergo further testing and evaluation next week and begin treatment immediately thereafter. He is not expected to return to play for the remainder of the season. The Flyers will do everything possible to support Oskar and assist him in securing the best care available. Out of respect for Oskar and his family, the team will have no further comment at this time and asks that Oskar be afforded a period of privacy so that he may focus his efforts on his treatment and a return to full health.

Lindblom, a native of Sweden, had been one of the Flyers’ top players through 30 games, scoring 11 goals and 18 points.

He was selected by the Flyers in the fifth round of the 2014 draft and has blossomed into a promising player.

Always smiling, positive and humble, Lindblom is beloved by his teammates. His rise from a fifth-round pick to a difference-making player has been a product of hard work.

After scoring 17 goals last season, sixth most among NHL rookies, Lindblom went back to Gävle, Sweden, to train all summer with his old team Brynäs IF.

"It’s like five minutes from my house," Lindblom said during training camp.

“It was nice to be back home for a bit, just relaxed, had some time with friends and family, so it was great.”

It didn't take long for the Flyers' new coaching staff to fall in love with Lindblom's game as the winger raced out of the chute, scoring in the team's season opener and playing a major role ever since.

“I didn’t know much about Oskar before coming here, but what I’ve found is a real smart, two-way player, hard-working young man," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Oct. 26.

In the summer of 2017, Lindblom talked about his climb within the Flyers' system.

"I just think about it by myself, like fifth-rounder, I just felt like I can play and I can be on this level," Lindblom said.

By the age of 23, he has more than made it on the highest level.

Below is the outpouring of support for Lindblom, via social media:

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Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip

Shorthanded Flyers can't keep up with Avalanche to begin road trip


From the moment it was announced that Oskar Lindblom would miss Wednesday night's game, the Flyers' chances at Pepsi Center felt bleak.

No Lindblom, no Travis Konecny and facing the NHL's highest-scoring team in its building was not a promising script for the Flyers, who lost to the Avalanche, 3-1.

In stretches this season, the Flyers have struggled to bury goals. And that has been with Lindblom and Konecny — their two leading goal-scorers at 11 apiece — in the lineup.

The Flyers (17-9-5) did some good things but Colorado finished plays behind its world class talent up top.

The Avalanche (20-8-3) are on an eight-game point streak (7-0-1) in which they've scored 4.13 goals per game.

• Without Konecny (concussion) and Lindblom (upper body), the Flyers had difficulty putting the puck in the net. They were going to have to put up some goals against the Avalanche, who entered scoring an NHL-best 3.70 goals per game. For the second time in the last three games, the Flyers scored only one goal.

The lone tally came from Claude Giroux when the Flyers were trailing 3-0 with just over five minutes remaining in regulation.

• Following a first period in which they survived, especially in the back half of it thanks to Carter Hart, the Flyers actually played a solid second period. At one point during the middle stanza, the Flyers were outshooting Colorado 11-0.

But as the Flyers kept pushing to no avail, the Avalanche changed the whole complexion of the period with one play by their two best weapons. Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen hooked up for a nasty marker to make it 2-0 with 3:55 left in the period, a deflating goal to allow for the Flyers (see highlights).

Considering Colorado was 14-0-1 when leading after the middle period, the Flyers were in a serious hole, even after a hard-working period.

• Hart, who entered 8-2-2 with a 1.96 goals-against average and .928 save percentage over his last 12 starts, faced the Avalanche for the first time in his career.

He made a highlight-reel save and gave the Flyers a fighting chance in tough circumstances.

The 21-year-old has been impressive during the first period all season long, allowing the Flyers to find their legs and rhythm. He converted 12 of his 24 saves in the opening stanza against Colorado.

On the Avalanche's first-period goal, Scott Laughton won a defensive zone faceoff but the Flyers failed to clear the puck, resulting in Matt Calvert's tally.

Rantanen added his second goal early in the third period and that was pretty much the game.

Colorado goalie Pavel Francouz, who came in 5-0-1 with a 2.36 goals-against average and .926 save percentage over his last eight games (six starts), finished with 32 stops.

• When Philippe Myers (back spasms, day to day) is ready to return, Robert Hagg should be the odd man out on defense. Shayne Gostisbehere has found some of his offensive mojo and Myers has shown way too much promise to be sitting when healthy.

A stay-at-home guy like Hagg was far too noticeable against the Avalanche. He committed a penalty and was a minus-2 in 15:21 minutes.

• David Kase was summoned to Denver this morning to make his NHL debut and become the ninth rookie to play for the Flyers this season

The 22-year-old winger had a nice scoring chance and two shots in 7:47 minutes. 

• The Flyers head to the old stomping grounds of general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr when they visit the Wild on Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Fletcher was the GM in Minnesota from 2009 to 2018 and Flahr was his AGM from 2010 to 2018.

The Flyers have not lost consecutive games in regulation since Oct. 27-29.

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