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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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