As the Flyers took the ice for practice this afternoon, all seemed well. The Flyers came back from being down three goals against Boston and won in a shootout. They’ve taken two of three games from top performers in the Eastern Conference. Philadelphia was flying pretty high heading into Tuesday afternoon.
Then this happened.
This isn’t meant to dramatize the situation. This doesn’t appear to be a severe injury. However, the ramifications of even a short-term absence of Hart could prove harsh. As Dave Isaac puts it, the Flyers could be in some deep trouble if Hart is out for any amount of time.
Pick your poison here. In order to ice an adequate lineup, the Flyers need to send back one of their younger skaters. The Flyers cannot call up a backup goalie unless they send down a player as well. While Justin Braun and Shayne Gostisbehere are still on the mend, it appears the player getting demoted will be a forward.
With Bunnaman getting called up recently, it doesn’t seem likely that they would be so eager to send him back this quickly. Pair that with the fact that he just scored his first NHL goal against Boston, and it likely isn’t happening. Bunnaman is a decent fit for that fourth line role the Flyers need to fill. It wouldn’t hurt them immensely to send him down and keep Farabee, but it’s less than ideal.
Joel Farabee is the more popular of the two choices to be sent down. As detailed in a previous piece, his ice time is dwindling, and his skillset is not that of a fourth-liner. Getting Farabee back to Lehigh Valley would get him more ice time in more situations. That is more of an advantage than playin 9-11 minutes a night at the NHL level.
So, What Happens Next?
While someone needs to be demoted regardless, the potential injury to Hart makes it that much easier to justify. According to Sam Carchidi and his source, the Flyers are already planning to play the Wednesday night game against St. Louis sans Carter Hart.
Although it hasn’t been confirmed, it seems likely that Lyon will back up Elliott against the Blues. That would mean that a corresponding move needs to be made. Expect that move to be made Wednesday when the update on Hart is given. According to Jordan Hall of NBCS Philadelphia, that update is coming Wednesday.
Mandatory Credit – Alex McIntyre