Flyers

Justin Bailey called up by Flyers, expected to enter lineup soon

Justin Bailey called up by Flyers, expected to enter lineup soon

Chuck Fletcher continues to size up the Flyers' prospect pool with an emphasis on size.

A day after adding defenseman Philippe Myers (see story), the club promoted 6-foot-4 winger Justin Bailey from the Phantoms on Sunday.

"He’s played very well and I think Justin is certainly deserving of an opportunity and that’s something we will have to look at here pretty quickly,” Fletcher said Saturday.

Bailey has transitioned his way to the Flyers' organization rather quickly, scoring five goals and adding two assists in 10 games with Lehigh Valley.

Bailey was acquired from the Buffalo Sabres in a trade for Taylor Leier on Jan. 17.

The 2013 second-round pick of the Sabres never quite developed into an NHL regular, playing just 52 games over parts of three seasons.

Bailey admitted his lack of physicality for a player of his size at times has been a reason for his inconsistency.

However, expect interim head coach Scott Gordon to employ the 23-year-old right winger in a fourth-line role to bring a heavy, punishing presence to the Flyers' lineup.

While it’s uncertain when Gordon will utilize Bailey, the forward's presence would be beneficial against a team like the Penguins, who the Flyers play Monday.

The two teams will meet twice over the next two weeks as the Flyers make a playoff push, currently trailing their divisional rival by six points for the final wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference.

The Flyers won the only matchup with the Penguins, a 4-2 victory at PPG Paints Arena on Dec. 1, a game that saw Wayne Simmonds drop the gloves with Pens defenseman Jamie Oleksiak 1:54 into the first period (see story).

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Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

Why Flyers fans should be concerned about post-NHL All-Star break playoff chances

On Saturday, we broke down why Flyers fans should be hopeful for the post-All-Star break stretch. Today, we look at the reasons for concern.

Alain Vigneault has 11 playoff berths on his résumé. He knows the requisites for a postseason club and the Flyers have failed to look like one in a key aspect.

"As a team that considers themselves a playoff team, you need to have a good road record," Vigneault said last month.

The Flyers do not through 25 road games. As stingy as they have been at home, they've been the polar opposite away from home. On the road, the Flyers are 10-13-2, have a minus-30 goal differential and are allowing the NHL's second-most goals per game at 3.80.

The figures above are a major concern and the Flyers must stem the tide over their final 16 road games. Vigneault's team still has two trips to Washington, D.C., two to Tampa Bay, Florida, two to Madison Square Garden and one more to Pittsburgh. Those matchups with the Capitals, Lightning, Rangers and Penguins will be stiff tests.

Speaking of the schedule, the Flyers are battling in the NHL's deepest division and have 14 games remaining against Metro teams. The Flyers are in sixth place of the Metropolitan Division (three points out of third place) but would be in first place of the Pacific Division.

The Flyers will be challenged the rest of the way and so, too, will their depth at forward. The Flyers are a middle-of-the-pack scoring club (15th in the NHL with 3.06 goals per game) and without Oskar Lindblom (Ewing's sarcoma) and Nolan Patrick (migraine disorder).

Is the team's youth in the bottom six enough for the playoffs and a competitive shot? Or will (and can) general manager Chuck Fletcher add at the Feb. 24 trade deadline?

Big questions and we'll have answers soon.

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2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

2020 NHL All-Star Game: Flyers' Travis Konecny shows off his career-high stuff for Metropolitan Division

BOX SCORE

Travis Konecny stormed into the NHL All-Star break already with a new career high in assists. The Flyers' winger has 26 helpers and is projected to finish with 44, a sign of significant growth in a breakout 2019-20 season for the 22-year-old.

On Saturday night in the 2020 All-Star Game at Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Konecny put his facilitating on display during the 3-on-3 action featuring the world's best players. He finished with three assists in the Metropolitan Division's 9-5 semifinal loss to the Atlantic Division.

"I had a lot of fun," Konecny said Saturday, via Flyers senior director of public relations and communications Zack Hill. "It was pretty funny, I was watching my parents in the stands and my mom didn't understand why we weren't playing like a real game.

"It's my first game and it's her first time seeing it. I don't know if she was expecting me to be blocking shots and forechecking, stuff like that. I had a lot of fun with it.

"It was a really cool experience, getting to play with some players, too, that I usually won't get the chance to play with was fun."

Konecny playing in his first All-Star Game at 22 years old should be exciting for the Flyers. Claude Giroux was 23 years old for his first All-Star Game back in 2011. The future looks bright for Konecny, who signed a new six-year, $33 million contract back in mid-September.

With 17 goals and 43 points through 47 games, Konecny is eight goals and seven points away from setting career highs across the board.

A breakout, indeed.

Here are more sights and scenes from Konecny's first All-Star Game:

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