VOORHEES, N.J. — Flyers assistant coach Ian Laperriere had a joke for Joel Farabee to lighten the 19-year-old’s spirits following the rookie’s 12th NHL game.
“I think Lappy said I had more turnovers last night than I did in all the games before,” Farabee said with a slight smile Thursday.
By no means was Farabee OK with his performance during Wednesday night’s 2-1 shootout loss to the Capitals. He was quick to give the puck away three times instead of looking confident and comfortable with it on his stick, like the skilled winger typically does.
Farabee expects much more of himself and so do the Flyers. It’s why the youngster fully understood losing his spot on the first line Wednesday and playing only 52 seconds from the third period to the final horn. Farabee finished with his lowest ice time of the season at 11:51. The game marked his first true setback as an NHL player.
"Obviously my play wasn't good enough,” Farabee said. “If I was the coach, I wouldn't have put me out there. I’ve got to be better, too many turnovers. I’ve got to eliminate those, play smarter. You can’t turn over the puck against the Caps, they’re a really good team.
“Just trying to do too much, trying to make the pretty play instead of just taking your medicine, maybe getting the puck deep. I think a lot of my turnovers were right in the neutral zone, so just trying to make too many plays there. I think I just have to simplify now, go back to the basics and go from there.”
With how Farabee works, no one seems too worried about his ability to respond. The Flyers plan to show confidence in him this weekend over a road-home back-to-back set against the Senators Friday (7:30 ET/NBCSP+) and Islanders Saturday (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP).
“Lappy has already got five or six clips that he wants to show him,” Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault said Thursday. “Joel last night, for one of the few times, when he had the puck and he touched it, after he touched it, the other team had it. That’s not what we’ve seen from the young man. Sometimes guys are going to want to do well but have an off night. He had an off night last night but he’ll be right back at it [Friday] and I’m sure he’ll be real good for us.”
Farabee may have felt some pressure Wednesday night and it would be hard to fault the teenager if he did. He’s playing a game on national television against Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals. When Ovechkin scored 65 goals and 112 points in 2007-08, Farabee was 7 years old.
Farabee’s accountability is a positive and so too is the Flyers’ belief in him.
“You can’t have turnovers, it hurts the team when you turn over the puck,” Farabee said. “Honestly, I don’t think it’s the biggest deal for me. Just have to forget about it, refocus and focus on Ottawa now.
“Have to demand better for myself, have to help the team as much as I can. Refocus and get back at it.”
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