Flyers

Joel Farabee growing up for Flyers as NHL playoff race heightens

Joel Farabee growing up for Flyers as NHL playoff race heightens

Joel Farabee had just polished off the first two-goal game of his NHL career.

He had just extended his point streak to a season-high five games, the best stretch of his rookie season.

The numbers were obvious — four goals and two assists through the five-game spree. He had three goals in his previous 37 games.

But Farabee knew one figure off the top of his head before he could even look at the box score from the Flyers' 6-3 win Saturday night over the Avalanche at the Wells Fargo Center (see observations).

This number was not next to his name. This number was alongside the Avalanche's superstar 24-year-old center Nathan MacKinnon.

Zero.

MacKinnon, a fast and physical force down the middle, came in with 72 points (30 goals, 42 assists) through 49 games. Farabee, playing on a line with Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek, helped keep MacKinnon scoreless.

As Farabee has enjoyed the offensive opportunity of playing on Couturier's line, he's embracing the defensive challenge that comes with it just as much. That is equally, if not more, important for the Flyers.

Absolutely," Farabee said Saturday night. "You get the opportunity to play against the best guys, you’re not going to want to let them score. Just staying on top of those guys. MacKinnon is probably one of the fastest guys in the league. I don’t think he had a point tonight, so I think that’s a win in our book.

We’re playing against some really good players. You’ve just got stay on top of your checks I think is the biggest thing. Obviously they’re good players, but we’re pretty good players, too. We have that confidence that we’re going to beat their best line.

Another win in the Flyers' book is watching Farabee's growth at a crucial juncture. The Feb. 24 trade deadline is nearing and 30 games remain in the Flyers' pursuit for the playoffs.

Many knew of Farabee's offensive package as he quickly climbed to the Flyers after being drafted 14th overall in 2018. What has kept him with the big club as a 19-year-old is his attention to detail and effort away from the puck. The qualities have paved the way for his offensive surge, which is coming just in time. The Flyers entered Sunday one point out of third place in the Metropolitan Division and holding the Eastern Conference's second wild-card spot.

The Flyers are looking for Farabee to be this type of a difference-maker the rest of the way. They are 13-1-3 when he records a point and 9-13-3 when he goes scoreless.

“I think people forget he's 19 years old," Kevin Hayes said. "I mean, I couldn't do what he's doing when I was 19. It’s impressive. ... He deserves to be here every single night."

For one night, he wasn't. With the Flyers in a roster and cap bind, Farabee was loaned to AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley and missed the team's 4-3 OT win over the Blues on Jan. 15.

Farabee called it a "reset button." He was back the very next game and has since gone on his point streak.

"You kind of need a little bit of a kick in the ass sometimes to get comfortable with it," Hayes said. "He works hard, he puts in the effort every day and it has shown. But you want to play every game. I'm sure when he was a healthy scratch, he wasn't too happy. It's an ego shot. That happened to me with [Alain Vigneault] my second year.

"You want to play every night, you want to go to battle with your teammates, and when you don't, I don't want to say embarrassing, but it's a shot to your ego for sure. I think he's responded fantastically."

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Flyers Talk podcast: Hearing from Carter Hart, discussing Brian Elliott's future

Flyers Talk podcast: Hearing from Carter Hart, discussing Brian Elliott's future

On the latest Flyers Talk podcast, NBC Sports Philadelphia's Katie Emmer and Jordan Hall discuss the goaltending situation and much more.

From Taryn Hatcher's interview with Carter Hart to the latest on the NHL hiatus, let's dive in:

1:10 — The latest on the 2019-20 NHL season

4:15 — Why the Flyers are in a good spot

8:10 — How do you prepare for this stoppage?

13:00 — Hart is a fit for Philly; is he the Flyers' MVP?

21:10 — Should the Flyers re-sign Brian Elliott?

26:35 — How Hart is staying busy during the break

33:00 — Hearing from Hart with Hatcher

36:00 — What to make of Hart's interview

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James van Riemsdyk erupts, a Scott Hartnell look-alike and Flyers crush Rangers in NHL 20

James van Riemsdyk erupts, a Scott Hartnell look-alike and Flyers crush Rangers in NHL 20

The Flyers had one more trip to Madison Square Garden on tap.

The game was originally scheduled for April 1 and would have given the Flyers an opportunity to complete a four-game regular-season series sweep of the Rangers.

However, because of the coronavirus outbreak, which has suspended the 2019-20 NHL season, the Flyers remain 3-0-0 against New York.

So, we decided to give the Flyers their shot at a sweep on NHL 20 Thursday night as NBC Sports Philadelphia aired a simulation with the amazing trio of Jim Jackson, Keith Jones and Taryn Hatcher on the call.

The Flyers jumped all over the chance by racing out to a monstrous lead and holding on to beat the Rangers, 6-4. James van Riemsdyk was a force with four points (two goals, two assists), while Nicolas Aube-Kubel (one goal, one assist), Claude Giroux (two assists), Ivan Provorov (two assists) and Travis Sanheim (two assists) had multi-point efforts.

By the way, how about Jackson's setup? Outstanding.

Leading the way, van Riemsdyk scored a second-period goal and a first-period power play tally. He was in his office for both of them.

After his second marker, van Riemsdyk had the look of "another goal, not a big deal."

After van Riemsdyk's first-period goal, Giroux came in from the top rope on his celebration. Provorov, a little nervous.

During the third period, Tyler Pitlick punctuated the blowout by making it 6-1. His rebound goal was so powerful, it ripped through the net.

In the first period, Carter Hart weathered the storm as the Rangers were all over him.

The Flyers had a chance to strike first thanks to the 21-year-old goalie. Jakub Voracek did the honors for the orange and black by slinging home a rebound past Henrik Lundqvist.

The sequence all started off a nice play by Justin Braun. Voracek was all smiles and then did some visualizing on the bench.


There was a bold and daring Flyers fan at MSG. Let's hope he got home safely. He enjoyed his New York trip.


As the MSG public address announcer was announcing van Riemsdyk's first-period goal, the Flyers scored again with Scott Laughton ballooning the lead to 3-0.

After the Rangers responded, the Flyers answered right back courtesy of Aube-Kubel.

Is it just me or does Aube-Kubel look like a clean-cut Scott Hartnell in NHL 20?


Anyway, the Flyers led 4-1 at first intermission and 5-1 at second intermission.

Ryan Strome scored two of New York's goals and Artemi Panarin added one, but the Flyers stayed in control throughout.

Let's consider that a sweep.

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