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Consecutive wins for Saints, who host Eagles on Sunday

Flyers Notebook: Same old look

Posted by Eric Fisher On October 16

The Flyers didn’t make many personnel changes from last season. The big change was supposed to be the development of younger players rather than the addition of new faces.

The major exception was the addition of forward James van Riemsdyk, but the Flyers have already lost both JVR and one of their most promising young players to injury.

In just the second game of the season, van Riemsdyk sustained a “lower body injury.” The expectation is that he will miss 5-6 weeks.

Center Nolan Patrick, the second overall pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, was being counted upon to take a major step forward this season. This wasn’t based upon wishful thinking. Patrick was much more effective after the All-Star break than he was during the first half of his rookie season. But Patrick, who sustained a concussion last season, is sidelined 7-10 days after suffering an “upper body injury” during last Wednesday’s 7-4 victory over the Senators.

Those injuries leaves the Flyers without their major offseason addition and a promising young center. In other words, their forward lines appear to be worse off during the early potion of this young season than they were at the end of last season.

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WEAL OPPORTUNITY: One of the beneficiaries of the injuries to James van Riemsdyk and Nolan Patrick is Jordan Weal. He played the game after the van Riemsdyk injury, but was back on the sidelines the next game after an 8-2 loss to the Sharks. With Patrick’s injury, not only is Weal back in the lineup, but he is centering the second line.

After turning a lot of heads with his speed when he first joined the Flyers, Weal had a disappointing 2017-18 season and wasn’t impressive during the preseason. He needs to take advantage of the golden opportunity presented to him.

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SLOW STARTS: The Flyers have allowed the opposition to score first in every game this season. In every game except Saturday’s 1-0 loss to the Golden Knights, the opponent has not only scored first, but has scored within the game’s first 10 minutes. It’s difficult to play from behind in every game.

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PICKARD WINS DEBUT: It didn’t take long for Calvin Pickard to be throw into the fire. With the Flyers facing back-to-back games, and with Brian Elliott being shelled in an 8-2 loss to the Sharks in the home opener, Pickard got the start Wednesday night.

Picked up from the Maple Leafs on waivers just before the start of the season, Pickard wasn’t spectacular against the Senators, but he made 31 saves, which was good enough to earn a 7-4 win in his Flyers debut. With Michal Neuvirth prone to injuries, it will be interesting to see if the Flyers keep Pickard as their primary backup goalie. It’s also possible that the Flyers could groom Pickard to be Carter Hart’s backup the next few years rather than Elliott or Neuvirth.

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HIGH FIVE: Jakub Voracek compiled five points during the Flyers’ 7-4 victory over the Senators last Wednesday. He had two goals and three assists. Not surprisingly, Voracek leads the Flyers in assists with six.

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GOAL-ORIENTED: Would anyone have predicted that after five games Scott Laughton is tie for the team lead in goals? Laughton, playing primarily at left wing instead of center, has three goals, tying him with Wayne Simmonds.

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ODD SCHEDULE: The Flyers faced Las Vegas twice in their first five games, but have yet to play a team from their own division. The Senators are the only Eastern Conference team the Flyers faced during their first five games. The Flyers’ first game against a Metropolitan Division opponent will be Thursday (7 p.m.) at Columbus.

 

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MISSING THE POINT: It’s difficult to believe that defenseman Ivan Provorov doesn’t have a point in the Flyers’ first five games.

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CARNIVAL TIME: The Flyers Wives Carnival, one of the great events in Philadelphia sports, will take place on Sun., Nov. 18. Tickets are available.

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HOT STARTS: The Maple Leafs are 6-1 after seven games. That’s the best record in the NHL, although the Predators (5-1) could equal that mark with a win in their next game.

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LOOKAHEAD: The Flyers host the Panthers on Tuesday (7 p.m.) before going on the road Thursday (7 p.m.) to face the Blue Jackets. The Flyers will then return home for games Saturday (1 p.m.) against the Devils and Monday (7 p.m.) against the Avalanche.

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