Flyers Training Camp: Observations From Saturday

lindblom 2

A day before the Philadelphia Flyers intrasquad scrimmage, the team takes back to the ice for day six of their training camp.

One day before the intrasquad scrimmage tomorrow, the Philadelphia Flyers took to the ice. Coaches have given different players opportunities at new positions and units throughout the week. Roster spots are still up for grabs four days from opening night versus the Pittsburgh Penguins. Here are a few observations from the sixth day of Flyers’ training camp:

Group A
Forwards: Konecny, Hayes, Giroux, Farabee, Couturier, Patrick, Lindblom, van Riemsdyk, Voracek
Defensemen: Myers, Sanheim, Hagg, Provorov, Gustafsson, Braun
Goaltenders: Elliott, Hart

Group B
Forwards: Andreoff, Laughton, Frost, Morin, Aube-Kubel, Bunnaman, Raffl, Sandin, Twarynski
Defensemen: Bigras, Wotherspoon, Prosser, Pouliot, Zamula, Friedman
Goaltenders: Sandstrom, Lyon, Ross

Group C
Forwards: Foerster, Wisdom, Willman
Defensemen: Wylie

Unfit to Play
Laczynski (core-muscle surgery)
Ustimenko (labrum surgery)
Ratcliffe (fractured rib)
Allison (unrevealed via NHL/NHLPA agreement)
Gostisbehere (unrevealed via NHL/NHLPA agreement)

Status of Gostisbehere and Allison

Per the agreement between the NHL and NHLPA, Shayne Gostisbehere’s status is unable to be revealed. That does not mean it is COVID-related. It’s unfair to jump to that conclusion. With Gostisbehere missing from today’s session, Justin Braun played on the top pair alongside Ivan Provorov. Since Wednesday, we’ve yet to see Philippe Myers on the first pairing.

As noted yesterday, Wade Allison did not participate in the scrimmage. He was a participant in yesterday’s practice sessions, however. Again, nothing more confirmed about Allison per the NHL and NHLPA agreement. His early exit from yesterday’s practice offers speculation that Allison may have suffered an injury. Both Allison and Gostisbehere will be unavailable in tomorrow’s intrasquad scrimmage.

Braun on the top line

As mentioned, Braun replaced Gostisbehere on the top pair with Provorov. It’s an interest-piquing tidbit because Gostisbehere had received all the first pair repetitions with Provorov since Wednesday. The lineup started to look like it was taking shape mid-week. Look for Braun to start with Provorov in the first pairing during the intrasquad scrimmage tomorrow.

Of course, this raises eyebrows about the usage of Myers. Amidst his contract extension, Myers seemed headed to the top pair with Provorov. That wasn’t the case during training camp. With Gostisbehere absent today, he wasn’t the second option either. Alain Vigneault could keep that second pair intact from 2019-2020.

Sanheim to the Flyers’ PK?

Yesterday, Travis Sanheim had a role on the second powerplay unit with Erik Gustafsson. Today, everything generally stayed the same on both powerplay units. The exception was Sanheim on the second team. Both powerplay groups today employed the format of four forwards and a defenseman. On the first unit was Provorov.

Vigneault has offered a few different variations of the second powerplay unit. Joel Farabee and Morgan Frost are two players who have been on rotation with Sanheim. Today, Farabee was primarily on the second team. Frost didn’t receive any repetitions, and Sanheim changed to the penalty kill.

Saturday’s Lineup Outlook

Different from previous starts to seasons is the split of Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, and Jakub Voracek. It’s a masterclass in spreading the wealth of quality depth. Philadelphia, quite frankly, has an elite group of forwards in the NHL. Gone are the days of being dependent on Giroux and Voracek to provide scoring. In this look, those three players are accentuating the positives throughout the rest of the lineup.

That is a nasty stack of dangerous forwards through the first three lines. The Flyers fourth line, not listed, still consists of capable players who could play on another team’s second and third lines (Scott Laughton, Frost, Nicolas Aube-Kubel, Michael Raffl). Any combination of those four makes for a vicious group of forwards from top to bottom.

Robert Hagg was on the third pairing today with Gustafsson. Yesterday, Egor Zamula had a rough session. He and Mark Friedman were on “Group B” today. With Gostisbehere absent today, Hagg is the rotating, extra defenseman.

The Flyers intra-squad scrimmage will be televised tomorrow at 7 PM on NBC Sports Philadelphia.

Mandatory Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre