Flyers

Flyers stock watch: Shayne Gostisbehere needs to provide more offensively

Flyers stock watch: Shayne Gostisbehere needs to provide more offensively

While the Flyers have plugged some of the early-season holes that they started the year with, they still aren’t generating the desired results with a 4-6-0 record.  

At the 10-game mark, let’s take a look at whose stock is on the rise and which players have seen their stock take a dip over the past few weeks.

Stock up

Scott Laughton
Hands down the most consistent two-way forward on the team this season, Laughton continues to earn Dave Hakstol’s trust and additional playing time to go with it. The Flyers' 2012 first-round pick is currently third behind Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek with five even-strength points. Laughton’s hustle to backcheck and break up Brad Marchand on a 2-on-1 kept the game scoreless in the opening period Thursday night. Laughton also has shown the flexibility to move up and down the lineup and from wing to center.

Travis Sanheim
Despite the losses, have you noticed Sanheim’s increased involvement in the offense over the past two games? The Flyers' second-year defenseman has nine shots on net in his last two games. Hakstol has talked about a spike in confidence, which has allowed Sanheim to jump into the rush and skate the puck into the offensive zone when the opportunity presents itself. He’s also played steady on the defensive side of the ice by simply not trying to do too much. Sanheim is using his size to keep attackers to the outside. With five assists through 10 games, Sanheim is already halfway to matching his point total from his rookie season.

Stock down

Mikhail Vorobyev
Vorobyev has now been a healthy scratch for the past four games after his previous four proved to be his “Welcome to the NHL” moment, and Hakstol made it clear what he’s looking for out of the rookie center.

“More tenacity on pucks. Little bit quicker play defensively without the puck. That needs to happen now,” Hakstol said.

The Flyers' head coach had every intention of playing Vorobyev in Boston before he second-guessed that decision and stuck with his previous third line. Saturday against the Islanders appears to be Vorobyev’s next chance to prove he belongs.  

Shayne Gostisbehere
Gostisbehere has a team-worst minus-6 rating, which can be tied to playing on the top pair with Ivan Provorov. "Ghost" has also performed a disappearing act in the offensive zone lately. Much of that can be attributed to the Flyers' ineffective power play, which has gone 1 for 17 over its last six games. However, Gostisbehere also has the same number of even-strength points (one) as Christian Folin. For a team that wants to generate offense from its back end, Ghost is the guy who has to be that spark plug and right now, he’s gone four straight games without a point.  

Wayne Simmonds
The eye test suggests the "Wayne Train" simply doesn’t look like himself lately, and you have to wonder if he’s completely healed from everything he put his body through last season. Simmonds has one goal (an empty-netter) in his last four games with a minus-6 rating and his 4.78 goals against at even strength is the worst among all Flyers forwards. You have to wonder if Hakstol should switch up his power-play personnel just to find some sort of spark, which might include replacing Simmonds with Nolan Patrick.

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Flyers' Radko Gudas receives 2-game suspension, opening door for Philippe Myers

Flyers' Radko Gudas receives 2-game suspension, opening door for Philippe Myers

Radko Gudas was burned by his reputation Wednesday and it will cost him from playing in two of the Flyers' biggest games this season.

The NHL's Department of Player Safety handed down a two-game suspension for Gudas' high-sticking infraction to the head of Lightning forward Nikita Kucherov during the third period of the Flyers' 5-2 loss Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center.

Gudas is classified as a repeat offender under the terms of the CBA and his history of such penalties bit him in this circumstance, as he'll miss Thursday's road game against the Canadiens and Saturday's Stadium Series game against the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field. 

On top of the suspension, the Flyers' defenseman will also forfeit $81,707.32.

Here was the review and reasoning behind the decision from the NHL's Department of Player Safety:

While we agree with Gudas' assertion that this slash is not excessively forceful or violent, this is an intentional play by Gudas. A player who intentionally brings his stick down onto the head of an opponent with a two-handed slashing motion can expect to be penalized by the on-ice officials and, in most cases, be met with some form of supplemental discipline be it a warning, a fine or a suspension.

What causes this play to rise to the level of a suspension is Gudas' disciplinary history, specifically his history of similar behavior.

Prior to this incident, Gudas had been hit with suspensions of 10 games (2017-18), six games (2016-17) and three games (2015-16).

The 28-year-old has cleaned up his play significantly this season, becoming one of the Flyers' most reliable defensemen. Gudas owns a team-best plus-12 rating and his penalties have been down compared to years past. He also plays the Flyers' second-most penalty-kill minutes (159:16), while leading the team in hits (197) and blocking the third-most shots (101).

His absence opens the door for 22-year-old prospect Philippe Myers, who has played just one NHL game — his debut last weekend. It marks a huge opportunity for Myers to prove himself to the coaching staff and general manager Chuck Fletcher.

"Phil Myers can help this team win right now, too," Fletcher said Feb. 9.

"He's still a young man and really, his key time will be next year at training camp and earning a full-time spot for a full season. But right now, if we can get him some experience, practice seems great, being around the team is great, if he can get some games, that'll only help him as he prepares for next year."

The Flyers entered Wednesday six points out of the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot with 22 games remaining. Two teams they're chasing in the playoff hunt are the Canadiens and Penguins, both of whom have 71 points compared to the Flyers' 63.

Meanwhile, Gudas wasn't the Flyers' only defenseman in trouble Wednesday. Robert Hagg was fined $3,091.40 for interference on Cedric Paquette during Tuesday's game.

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Scott Hartnell, other fan favorites highlight Flyers alumni game for 2019 Stadium Series weekend

Scott Hartnell, other fan favorites highlight Flyers alumni game for 2019 Stadium Series weekend

What makes the Stadium Series that much more fun is how it brings the families and alumni together for the weekend.

The Flyers' alumni showdown for this year's event should be plenty of fun.

On Wednesday, the roster was announced for the game, which will be held Friday at 7 p.m. on Penn's campus at the Class of '23 Arena. 

Many fan favorites will suit up, including Scott Hartnell, who has been a busy man since retiring in October. Hartnell was honored by the Flyers in December and was officially named an on-air analyst Wednesday for the NHL Network.

Here are the former Flyers that will play Friday against alumni from the Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation.

Forwards

• Riley Cote, Brian Propp, Danny Briere, Todd Fedoruk, Scott Hartnell, Mitch Lamoureux, Dave Brown

Defensemen

• Brad Marsh, Joe Watson, Terry Carkner, Doug Crossman, Kjell Samuelsson, Jim Watson, Nick Schultz, Kimmo Timonen

Goaltender

• Brian Boucher

Paul Holmgren, Bob Kelly and Bill Barber are set to coach the team, while Bernie Parent, Dave Schultz, Bill Clement and Reggie Leach will be in attendance.

For fans interested in attending the game, tickets can be purchased right here.

Meanwhile, the current Flyers will also hit the ice Friday for a 6 p.m. practice at Lincoln Financial Field in preparation for Saturday's 8 p.m. game against the Penguins.

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