On Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers opened an eight-game homestand against the Washington Capitals — the first of two visits from Alex Ovechkin‘s crew before the end of February.
After seeing each other practically every week during last year’s pandemic-adjusted schedule, Washington and Philadelphia have met just once so far this season. At Capital One Arena on Nov. 6, the Flyers rode goals from Derick Brassard and Sean Couturier to a 2-1 road win, improving their record for the season to 6-2-2.
Ah, those were the days.
Now, of course, Couturier is out for the season following back surgery. And yet another attempt by Brassard to come back from a hip injury lasted just one game. He has been dealing with the issue since late November.
Sitting In Limbo
The Flyers picked up a point in their 5-4 overtime loss in Pittsburgh on Tuesday. But with a record of 15-24-9 heading into Thursday’s game, they’ve sunk to 13th place in the Eastern Conference.
Speaking to the media earlier this week, Claude Giroux put on a brave face when asked about trade speculation. “To be honest, I haven’t talked to (GM Chuck Fletcher) yet about any of this,” he said. “I’m sure we will at one point. But right now, I’m committed to this team, start winning some hockey games and keep working as a team here.”
On the ice, Giroux is backing up his words. The All-Star MVP gave the Flyers a rare early lead in Pittsburgh on Tuesday, tallying his 16th goal of the year, and led all Philadelphia forwards with 23:39 of ice time.
But in many ways, Giroux and the other Flyers are only biding their time until the March 21 trade deadline. With players like Justin Braun, Martin Jones and even Rasmus Ristolainen potentially on the move along with the captain, the roster could look quite different after the dust settles.
That should spell opportunity for some of Philadelphia’s prospects.
Bring On Brink
There’s a good chance Flyers fans will see Bobby Brink in orange and black for the first time before the end of the season.
The second-round pick from 2019 has a nose for the net, and could help provide some much-needed scoring punch.
Brink, 20, is currently a junior at the University of Denver. He leads his team with 44 points in 28 games, including 10 goals, which is tops in the entire NCAA.
With a record of 14-4-0-0-1-0, the Pioneers currently top the NCHC standings. They sit third in the latest men’s college hockey poll, behind Minnesota State and the University of Michigan. Brink’s season could very well extend to the Frozen Four, which is set to run April 7-9 in Boston.
As soon as Denver is eliminated from the college hockey playoffs, Brink will most likely be given the opportunity to turn pro and play some games with the Flyers, burning the first year of his entry-level contract along the way. With the later finish to this season, Philadelphia will have 10 games left in its regular-season schedule after the Frozen Four concludes.
Another collect prospect that the Flyers are hoping to sign is forward Noah Cates. Captain at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, the 23-year-old is on his way home from Beijing, where he scored one goal and wore an ‘A’ for Team USA at the Olympics.
Noah’s brother Jackson, of course, is already part of the Flyers organization, signed as a free agent one year ago. He has 10 points in 29 games with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms this year, and one goal in 11 games with the Flyers.
Fedotov Impresses At Olympics
Another prospect who has climbed back onto the radar of Flyers fans is mountainous goaltender Ivan Fedotov. He has played every minute in net so far for the Russian team at the Beijing Olympics, putting up a 3-1-0 record with a 1.72 goals-against average, .935 save percentage, and two shutouts in the preliminary round, against Switzerland and Denmark.
At 25, the 6’8″ stopper is now in his third season as a full-time KHL goalkeeper. This year, he has joined CSKA Moscow, where he has a 14-10-2 record with a .919 save percentage and 2.00 goals-against average.
Normally, Russian players’ obligations to their federation extend through the World Championship each spring. This year, the tournament isset to run from May 13-29 in Finland.
If Fedotov is named to the Russian team, which can also includes NHL players, it would be his first World Championship appearance.
Fedotov signed a two-year, two-way KHL contract back in May of 2020. If he hasn’t been extended, he could be free to sign with the Flyers this summer.
At the Olympics, the top-seeded Russian team is through to the semifinals. Finland will face Slovakia in the first semifinal on Thursday night (11:10 p.m. ET), with the Russians looking to punch their ticket to the gold-medal game against Sweden on Friday morning (8:10 a.m. ET).
Ep 42: Going Streaking, 84 Game Schedule, Ovechkin Watch, Holiday Funby Full Press Coverage on December 22, 2022 at 5:50 pm
In this episode, Jim and Chris talk notable point streaks in the NHL, the […]
Ep 40: Borje Salming Passing; Kris Letang, Roope Hintz, Top 5 Teamsby Full Press Coverage on December 2, 2022 at 12:45 am
Jim Biringer and Chris Wassel are back for another edition of Full Press […]
Ep 79: Bruins Are A Wagon, Pastrnak Contract, Krejci, Trade Deadlineby Full Press Coverage on January 18, 2023 at 6:35 pm
Ian and Chris evaluate the red-hot Bruins halfway through the season. In […]
Ep 78: Mitchell Miller Fiasco Reaction; What Do The Bruins Do Next?by Full Press Coverage on November 7, 2022 at 10:37 pm
Ian and Chris react to the Mitchell Miller signing fiasco and discuss what […]
S4Ep18 - The Mess That Is The Vancouver Canucks and What Is Nextby Jim Biringer on January 30, 2023 at 8:00 am
Jim is back for a fourth season of the Final Word of Hockey as he brings […]
S4Ep17 - Road Warriors - Devils, Kraken, Bruins, and Golden Knightsby Jim Biringer on January 24, 2023 at 7:00 am
Jim is back for a fourth season of the Final Word of Hockey with NHL […]
Episode #125: Rockford Offseason Makeover Successesby Full Press Coverage on January 19, 2023 at 5:04 pm
On this edition of The Calder Farmstead, Sean and Sarah discuss the news […]