Flyers

Another injury, multiple roster moves test that 'playoff feel' for Flyers

Another injury, multiple roster moves test that 'playoff feel' for Flyers

When the Feb. 24 trade deadline passed, general manager Chuck Fletcher mentioned the importance of adding depth because hockey happens.

Freak plays, bad bounces, bumps and bruises.

Hockey has happened for the Flyers in a span of 16 days since the deadline, when the team acquired forwards Derek Grant and Nate Thompson.

The two roster casualties for those additions are already back with the big club. Joel Farabee returned when James van Riemsdyk went down last week with a broken right index finger, while Connor Bunnaman was recalled Wednesday because of a left knee sprain for Thompson, who will miss a minimum of two weeks after suffering the injury during the first period of the Flyers' 2-0 loss Tuesday to the Bruins.

With Philippe Myers' right knee injury, Mark Friedman was also called up Wednesday to give the Flyers an extra defenseman.

Fletcher's deadline work is looking more and more important by the day (or injury).

"That’s exactly it," Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Wednesday after practice. "Since that time, we’ve lost a couple players. For me, this is next man up. Guys have got to play, have got to play well. Some guys are going to get opportunities to get a little more ice time, a little bigger role. That’s what they need to do."

Thompson was playing fourth-line center and killing penalties. Bunnaman has played very little shorthanded during his 21 games with the Flyers, so players like Grant, Scott Laughton, Michael Raffl and Tyler Pitlick will have to eat up more PK minutes. Claude Giroux, who has played only 1:36 minutes shorthanded through seven games since the deadline, could be asked to take back some PK responsibilities, especially with his strengths in the faceoff circle.

Shayne Gostisbehere is back on the power play, while Travis Sanheim will need to chip in further at shorthanded and 5-on-5.

Everyone has to adjust. The Flyers, who are 19-6-1 since Jan. 8 and 6-1-0 since the deadline, believe they can keep things rolling. They have no reason not to believe.

“Playoff feel has been around this locker room for over a month now," Kevin Hayes said. "I remember coming off the All-Star break, I think we were in the second wild card maybe, we might not have even been in the playoffs. We knew it was going to be time to strap in and figure it out and determine what type of team we were going to be. I think a lot of that has to do with our extra players. It’s competition every night where if you’re not playing the right way consistently, you’re going to be out of the lineup.

"I feel like we have guys in Lehigh, guys that are up here that don’t play as much that can come in, step in and play.

"We have a lot of confidence in this group, it’s a fun feeling, it’s a great feeling, it’s a feeling you don’t have every year. It’s something that we’re all looking forward to."

Here's a look at the Flyers' projected lineup leading into Thursday night's road game against the Lightning (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).

Forwards

Claude Giroux-Sean Couturier-Jakub Voracek
Joel Farabee-Kevin Hayes-Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton-Derek Grant-Tyler Pitlick
Michael Raffl-Connor Bunnaman-Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Defensemen

Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
Travis Sanheim-Justin Braun
Shayne Gostisbehere-Robert Hagg

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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Flyers Talk podcast: Good news for Flyers as NHL's 24-team plan continues to take shape

Flyers Talk podcast: Good news for Flyers as NHL's 24-team plan continues to take shape

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall analyze some good developments for the orange and black.

From breaking down the 24-team tournament and discussing the NHL's timeline, let's dive in:

1:00 — The latest on the NHL's 24-team format

3:30 — Why the Flyers are in a promising spot

9:40 — A breakdown of the timeline for a potential resumption

15:00 — What should we make of Max Kellerman's hot take?

18:30 — Claude Giroux sends powerful and important message

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Claude Giroux puts ESPN's Max Kellerman in his place for bad hot take on hockey

Claude Giroux puts ESPN's Max Kellerman in his place for bad hot take on hockey

Claude Giroux delivered an important message Wednesday night.

On Friday morning, he delivered a knockout.

Max Kellerman had a piping hot take about hockey Wednesday on ESPN's "First Take."

Anybody surprised? No? OK, so here it was:

Listen, I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings, but in the United States of America, no one really cares about hockey. You know, the old joke is every town has 20,000 hockey fans, they all have season tickets, so the arenas are always sold out but the TV ratings don’t do anything. So it’s not one of the four major team sports.

Giroux, the Flyers' captain and one of the NHL's stars over the last decade, had an appropriate response.

Perfectly done. Giroux subtly put Kellerman in his place and clearly laughed it off, as should all hockey fans. Hockey fans are rabid and protective of their game, so Kellerman knew he could get a rise out of them. Nobody should let him accomplish that.

Why was Kellerman's take asinine? Our friend Joe Haggerty from NBC Sports Boston outlined that right here.

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