Flyers

Flyers vs. Islanders preseason: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

Flyers vs. Islanders preseason: Live stream, storylines, game time and more

VOORHEES, N.J. — For the first time Monday night, Alain Vigneault will be behind the Flyers' bench and Kevin Hayes will rock the orange and black sweater at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers open their 2019-20 exhibition slate against the Islanders, starting a stretch of four preseason games in six days.

Let's get into the essentials:

When: 7 p.m. ET
Where: Wells Fargo Center
Broadcast: NBC Sports Philadelphia
Live stream: NBCSportsPhiladelphia.com and the NBC Sports MyTeams app

• Morgan Frost played just one preseason game last year.

This year, he was looking forward to a real shot. That opportunity will be pushed back by at least one game. The 2017 first-round pick was slated to center Isaac Ratcliffe and Joel Farabee but will miss the game because of a tweaked groin. Frost is considered day to day and the Flyers don't believe the injury is serious.

"He was able to finish practice [Sunday]," Vigneault said after morning skate. "Just being on the safe side, giving him today off and we'll see how he is [Tuesday]."

The Flyers play seven preseason games this year. The opening ones are important for players pushing to make the roster because it's early in the evaluation process and a prime chance to make a first impression. Could this hurt Frost's chances? Somewhat, given this was a good opportunity to play between two other talented prospects.

But it's nothing to make a huge deal over. The Flyers know Frost's game, they know his strengths and he'll get his crack at the roster. Tuesday's game is a big one if Frost can suit up.

"Given the fact that it's not serious and it's just day to day, we've got seven exhibition games, so he's going to get a chance to play," Vigneault said. "He's done real well so far, I really liked how he looked at our rookie camp and how he's looked so far. It was better for us to give him today off and hopefully [Tuesday] he'll be able to step back on the ice."

Jakub Voracek, who skated with Frost in the first two days of camp, agreed.

His position is a little bit different than some guys that try to make the team out of nowhere. There's a lot of hype about him and deservedly so. I hope it's nothing serious.

If it's only for a couple days, I'm sure he's going to have time to show up and play his type of game and show them he belongs here.

• The Flyers practiced their power play at morning skate. Here were the units that you can expect to see tonight.

First unit

Hayes, Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, Oskar Lindblom and Shayne Gostisbehere.

Second unit

Farabee, Ratcliffe, Cal O'Reilly, Philippe Myers and Egor Zamula.

Gostisbehere will have a lot to work with running the point and let's see if the size of van Riemsdyk, Hayes and Voracek causes problems for the Islanders.

Ratcliffe has some intriguing net-front potential and keep an eye on Farabee, who has turned heads in camp and can make plays in a variety ways.

• Interestingly, Vigneault is letting general manager Chuck Fletcher and assistant general manager Brent Flahr construct the lineups early in camp and for the first two preseason games.

It's good for Vigneault because he can gather a better grasp of the talent and also get a better feel for what the front office thinks of certain players.

"I've already told Chuck and Brent that they've got full latitude for the first two lineups and then after that, I'm going to get a little bit more involved with them and discuss what I'm seeing," Vigneault said. "But since I'm new, I'm going to trust their experience, I'm going to trust their feedback."

• Some league news:


Quotable

One of the things I've found throughout the years is people say that we make the decisions, but we really don't make the decisions. The players make the decisions for us by how they play, how they continue to improve. Tonight is the first test, the first opportunity for those guys to show that they can play at this level.

- Vigneault

Projected lineup

Forwards

James van Riemsdyk-Kevin Hayes-Jakub Voracek 
Isaac Ratcliffe-Cal O'Reilly-Joel Farabee 
Oskar Lindblom-German Rubtsov-Chris Stewart 
Kyle Criscuolo-Mikhail Vorobyev-Maksim Sushko

Defensemen

Shayne Gostisbehere-Justin Braun
Egor Zamula-Philippe Myers
Samuel Morin-Andy Welinski

Goalies

Brian Elliott
Alex Lyon

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Flyers sign prospect Linus Hogberg to entry-level contract

Flyers sign prospect Linus Hogberg to entry-level contract

One down, a few more to go?

The Flyers on Saturday signed prospect Linus Hogberg to an entry-level contract. The rights to Hogberg would have expired Monday if the Flyers didn't ink the 2016 fifth-round pick.

During 2019-20, Hogberg, a 21-year-old Swedish defenseman, had 14 points (five goals, nine assists) through 50 games with the Vaxjo Lakers playing against men in the SHL. The 6-foot-1, 176-pounder is regarded as a strong skater and intelligent passer.

Hogberg will start the 2020-21 season with AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. The Phantoms are gaining on the blue line with prospects Egor Zamula and Wyatte Wylie turning pro, as well.

(Joe Siville/Philadelphia Flyers)

Lehigh Valley could be gaining more with Wyatt Kalynuk and David Bernhardt, who remain unsigned. Bernhardt, another Swedish defenseman, needs to be signed by Monday or his rights will expire. It's uncertain if the Flyers will ink the 2016 seventh-round pick.

It appears Kalynuk has decided to forgo his senior season at Wisconsin as he plans to turn pro in 2020-21.

Kalynuk is an offensive-minded defenseman who has developed a ton with the Badgers. His rights were set to expire next summer. Now that he is leaving Wisconsin, it would be surprising if he's not signed soon by the Flyers.

"Philly has had lots of people here and been very instrumental in his growth as a player," Wisconsin head coach Tony Granato said. "I think when they drafted him, they recognized out of the gate that this guy could be a big part of their organization moving forward. They’ve been hands on, they’ve been here a lot, they’ve done it respectfully in a way that they’ve helped him a ton in preparing to get ready for the next step.”

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2020 NHL playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup Playoff games lose authenticity?

2020 NHL playoffs: Without fans, will Stanley Cup Playoff games lose authenticity?

Hockey has been on the mind all week and even the simple discussion of the 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs has excited fans for the return of their favorite sport — even if things are going to look different this time around. 

While the majority of new rules and procedures were laid out Tuesday thanks to commissioner Gary Bettman, there is still a lot of unknown territory. This format has never been done before, but having a plan in place is the first step to turning concepts into something tangible. 

One of the biggest changes won’t be the additional eight teams, the hub city locations or the fact the NHL has the potential to run into the late summer months, but rather the element — or lack thereof — of fan attendance. 

The safety of fans and players is without a doubt the biggest priority and as we adapt to the “new norm” for the foreseeable future, this is just one of the many things that will have to be endured. 

On the surface, it stinks. Surprisingly enough, you’re allowed to feel this way while also being excited for the hopeful return of the league and games. The Stanley Cup Playoffs are some of the most thrilling weeks in all of sports and a large portion of that is due to the atmosphere created by the fans rallying behind their favorite teams.

So without them in attendance, will games lose their authenticity and lower the overall level of interest? 

Absolutely not. 

Fans have been craving the moment they would have live sports to look forward to and even if that means they can’t physically be in the stands, it doesn’t take away the level of devotion they have.

Of course it will be different — there’s no denying that, but someone rightfully needs to be awarded the Stanley Cup for 2019-20. There are a handful of options to help fill the void, such as playing fan reaction videos on the arena vision screens during thrilling moments of a game. Hearing the “crowd” through the screen would certainly add a level of normalcy, though it wouldn’t fully replicate the atmosphere. 

There are new moments that fans could look forward to in regard to this as well — the sights and sounds that are often coated within cheers or boos. A crisp stop on skates, receiving a puck, solid check along the boards, chirps from one team to another and the celebrations following a goal. 

Also, if things are too quiet, there is a chance to get a look into life on the bench with the players. Hearing teammates interact with one another is always enjoyable when they are mic’d up for games, so imagine having that for a full 60 minutes? It’d be new for everyone, but what a fun concept it would be. 

This is a prime opportunity to view things glass half full, rather than finding negative aspects to this plan. There are still many moving parts before playoffs become a reality once again, but if things are truly done in a safe manner — I say make the most of the situation at hand and drop that puck. 

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