NHL

Future Flyers Report: Morgan Frost is starting to heat up, German Rubtsov hot on his tail

Future Flyers Report: Morgan Frost is starting to heat up, German Rubtsov hot on his tail

It’s time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers’ prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

• At the start of the season, Morgan Frost went through a three-game stretch without tallying a single point, though he did have his fair share of chances. It was only a matter of time before things started clicking. 

Friday night, just past the midway point of the first period, Frost tied things up for the Phantoms when they took on the Charlotte Checkers. This goal is only a taste of what the young center can do. 

He is currently on a four-game point streak (two goals, four assists) and it doesn’t look like things are slowing down anytime soon. This point streak ties him for the longest point streak of the season for the Phantoms. 

• It seems like German Rubtsov picked up right where he left off after an injury just 14 games into last season cut his year short. Just seven games into the 2019-20 season, Rubtsov is making his presence known. 

He currently has six points (two goals, four assists). That ties him for first in points alongside Frost. 

If Rubtsov can remain healthy for a full season, he’ll become a vital asset to the Phantoms’ success down the road. 

Quick hits

• Wade Allison recently sustained an upper-body injury. He did not play in either game this weekend for the Western Michigan Broncos. 

• Cam York was back in the lineup after missing three straight games because of a lower-body injury. He earned his first NCAA point with a secondary assist Friday night. In total, he had three assists on the weekend. 

• Tanner Laczynski had a goal and two assists for Ohio State Friday night. 

• Wyatte Wylie had himself a two-point night on Friday in Everett (one goal, one assist) to help his team to a 3-2 victory. 

• Mason Millman collected three points (two goals, one assist) with the Saginaw Spirit — one of them being the game-winning goal Sunday against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds. 

• Egor Zamula had a two-assist game Sunday with the Calgary Hitmen as the team picked up a 5-4 overtime victory against the Regina Pats in the Prairie Classic. 

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Flyers call up Mark Friedman for 2018-19 regular-season finale

Flyers call up Mark Friedman for 2018-19 regular-season finale

While the Flyers' 2018-19 season will come to an end Saturday, the NHL career of Mark Friedman will just begin.

The 2014 third-round draft pick is expected to make his NHL debut at the Wells Fargo Center against the Hurricanes (7 p.m./NBCSP) after being called up Friday from AHL affiliate Lehigh Valley. As a result, Philippe Myers was loaned to the Phantoms.

Friedman, a 23-year-old defenseman, plays a hard and physical game with the ability to draw penalties. He impressed in the preseason and was a plus-4 during the exhibition slate.

With Lehigh Valley this season, Friedman has five goals and 19 assists in 71 games.

The 5-foot-11, 185-pounder played three years of college hockey at Bowling Green, where he was a plus-21 in 121 games. Friedman brings some offensive potential but his primary focus is competing in his own end.

As for Myers, sending the 22-year-old down is not a big deal. The Phantoms have five games remaining. Myers was rewarded for his progress with a call-up in February. He now has 21 games of NHL exposure and will be ready to push for a full-time role in 2019-20.

Friedman gets his reward with a taste of the NHL before pushing alongside Myers in training camp.

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NHL playoff picture: Breaking down Flyers’ grim chances

NHL playoff picture: Breaking down Flyers’ grim chances

It was a game the Flyers absolutely needed to have. With the Canadiens directly above them in the standings, the Flyers missed out on a golden opportunity to close the gap between themselves and the Columbus Blue Jackets, who occupy the second wild card spot in the standings.    

A week ago, the Flyers trailed the Blue Jackets by just three points in the standings. Now the margin is six back with nine games remaining for both teams. However, by not holding the tiebreaker of regulation/overtime wins, the Flyers actually need to make up seven points in the standings.

Wild-card standings

Carolina      40-25-7 — 87 points, 10 GR, 38 ROW
Columbus   40-29-4 — 84 points, 9 GR, 39 ROW
———
Montreal     38-28-7 — 83 points, 9 GR, 35 ROW
Flyers          34-29-8 — 78 points, 9 GR, 32 ROW

Tuesday’s Games

PHI — L 3-1 vs. Montreal
CAR — W 3-2 (SO) vs. Pittsburgh
CBJ — L 4-2 at Calgary

• The Flyers scored less than two goals for the first time since Feb. 21 against the same Canadiens in Montreal. Right now, those two regulation losses against the Habs are the difference in the standings and being just two points out of the wild card.

• Former Flyer Justin Williams scored the game-tying goal with 1:56 remaining in regulation and defenseman Dougie Hamilton connected in the shootout as the Hurricanes move closer to ending the NHL’s longest playoff drought.
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• South Jersey’s Johnny Gaudreau scored his 35th goal of the season as the Blue Jackets began their three-game Western Canada road trip.

What are the odds? 

According to Sports Club Stats, the Flyers’ playoff odds dipped below one percent to 0.7, down from 2.6 percent after their thrilling overtime win in Pittsburgh.

The website Money Puck has the Flyers' odds at the same. However, they’ve increased their chances of winning the NHL Draft Lottery at 2.3 percent. 

What lies ahead? 

All four teams listed above return to action on Thursday.

The Flyers travel to Chicago to face the Blackhawks, who had won five straight before a 3-2 loss to Vancouver Monday night.  

The Canadiens host the New York Islanders, while the Blue Jackets travel north to face the Edmonton Oilers.

Carolina takes on Tampa Bay. The Lightning just clinched the President’s Trophy with the best record in the regular season.

Strength of schedule

According to PlayoffStatus.com, the Flyers’ schedule gets a little easier with games against the Maple Leafs and Penguins behind them. The Flyers now have the 10th-toughest schedule down the stretch with seven of their nine games against teams with better records.

• Blue Jackets — 9th
• Canadiens — 13th
• Hurricanes — 21st

Columbus still has a ton of miles to log with six of their remaining nine games on the road. Montreal has an extremely tough closing schedule as they play their last four games at Winnipeg, vs. Tampa Bay, at Washington and the finale against Toronto.   

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