Flyers

Flyers mascot Gritty is all about the Kentucky Derby

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Gritty's official Twitter account

Flyers mascot Gritty is all about the Kentucky Derby

When the Kentucky Derby rolls around, we all show our excitement in different ways.

Some head to the track, some place wagers, some gather with friends at a local establishment.

Gritty expressed his excitement ... in his own special way.

After all, this is the orange fella's first Derby. Accompanied by one of his secret service agents, Gritty hit the farm and did things. The guy is a grinder, just puts in the work until the job is done.

The 2019 Kentucky Derby coverage begins Saturday at 2:30 p.m. ET on NBC.

We know Gritty will be watching somewhere — the Wells Fargo Center, the farm, somewhere.

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Flyers vs. Golden Knights: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Golden Knights: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

It's Joel Farabee time.

The prospect everyone wants to see will make his NHL debut Monday night when the Flyers (2-3-1) host the Golden Knights (6-3-0).

Let's get into the essentials:

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

• The Flyers have been pleased with their work at both ends of the ice (see story). Alain Vigneault's team has put up the NHL's third-most shots per game with 36.2 while allowing the league's fewest per game at 26.

But the Flyers, with 15 goals through six games, need somebody to make a play. That's why Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev were called up Sunday night (see story).

"In Misha’s case, we’ve been looking for a guy to play that fourth-line center spot that would give us a little bit more balance," Vigneault said Monday after morning skate, "while Joel has got a tremendous amount of skill and he’s also a very smart hockey player."

Farabee can deliver goals on pure skill and understands how to score in a variety of ways. He was dynamic with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley, netting three goals and an assist in four games.

Can he be the Flyers' spark plug?

"I definitely feel a lot more comfortable," Farabee said. "Stickhandling in tight and stuff like, I feel a lot more comfortable. I’m not afraid to try certain plays, I’ve got more confidence. Going down there definitely helped a lot and I’m sure it will help me tonight."

• Farabee will play on the first power play unit and why not?

"If we’re going to call up a young player like that, with that amount of skill, we’re going to put him in a position and in a role where he can have success," Vigneault said.

“He’s an offensive, gifted player that plays smart at both ends of the rink.”

Shayne Gostisbehere will be back running the point of the man advantage after Ivan Provorov did so in Saturday's 4-1 loss to the Stars. Gostisbehere is scoreless through the first six games of the season for the first time in his career.

• The Flyers are looking to snap a four-game losing streak. They haven't lost five straight games in October since the 2008-09 season, when the Flyers dropped their opening six games.

• The Golden Knights' penalty kill is 33 for 35 with an NHL-best 94.3 percentage.

Quotable

Last two games, I know we didn't have the result we wanted, we lost both games, but if you really look into the game, if you understand the game, you understand that we played great games.

- Claude Giroux after the Flyers outshot the opposition 91-38 but lost by a combined score of 10-4 in the past two games

Projected lineup

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Claude Giroux-Jakub Voracek
Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Travis Konecny
Scott Laughton-Kevin Hayes-Joel Farabee
Michael Raffl-Mikhail Vorobyev-Chris Stewart

Defensemen

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

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Carter Hart

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    What to make of Flyers' roster moves, which have Joel Farabee on his way

    What to make of Flyers' roster moves, which have Joel Farabee on his way

    The Flyers challenged Joel Farabee.

    The 19-year-old needed only four games to answer that challenge.

    “It won't be long in the American League if he does start there,” USNTDP coach John Wroblewski said in March.

    Farabee is on his way to the big club as the Flyers called up the 2018 first-round pick Sunday night, along with Mikhail Vorobyev. As a result, the Flyers sent rookie Carsen Twarynski to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley.

    Twarynski handled himself well over six games in a bottom-six role and this isn’t a demotion for the 21-year-old.

    This is about the Flyers needing an early offensive jolt after losing four straight games. The Flyers outshot the opposition 91-38 over the past two games but were outscored by a combined 10-4 in consecutive regulation losses.

    “At the end of the day right now, we’re having a challenging time as a group finding the back of the net,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Saturday night.

    Here comes Farabee, a point-producing winger who is a versatile goal-scorer that can play in a variety of roles. After somewhat surprisingly not cracking the Flyers’ season-opening roster, Farabee went to the Phantoms oozing with motivation.

    He ripped off three goals in his first three games as a pro and added an assist Saturday night.

    That was enough to tell general manager Chuck Fletcher the time was now for his call-up, especially with the Flyers having a difficult time putting the puck in the net and lacking some offensive depth.

    “I had a good talk with Joel up in Europe about if he goes to Lehigh Valley with the right mindset, the right work ethic, the willingness to get better and get his game to where it needs to be, there's no doubt in my mind that at some point, if he plays well there, we'll probably see him back here,” Vigneault said Oct. 8.

    Farabee will make his NHL debut Monday against the Golden Knights at the Wells Fargo Center (7 p.m./NBCSP). Expect to see Vorobyev in the lineup, as well. The 22-year-old also brings an element of skill and playmaking. The center can play on the penalty kill and totaled two goals and two assists in five games with Lehigh Valley.

    Farabee has proven to be a quick starter and riser. During his draft year with the U.S. under-18 team, he put up four goals and two assists in his opening three games. As a freshman with Boston University last season, Farabee had three goals and three assists through his first eight games.

    Let’s see how quickly he can impact the Flyers.

    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.

    More on the Flyers