Kevin Hayes is listed as week-to-week. The Philadelphia Flyers might promote Morgan Frost from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Though the Philadelphia Flyers only recently lost back-to-back games for the first time in 2021-2022, the luster of the first ten games has expired.
During the first ten games, the Flyers held a 6-2-2 record. The Vancouver Canucks won in a shootout on opening night. Then, the Pittsburgh Penguins would escape with a win in overtime in the ninth game of the season. Philadelphia wasn’t necessarily “world-beaters,” but they were hanging towards the top of the NHL standings.
Following a solid ten-game stretch, the Flyers are trying to keep their head above water. Over the last six games, they’re 2-3-1.
Elite goaltending and defense help bail out offensive weaknesses if forwards are slumping. Philadelphia isn’t scoring often enough through regulation, and the powerplay rarely contributes. Chuck Fletcher, after further evaluation of Kevin Hayes, needs to think sharp.
Hayes’ status is week-to-week. We do know that he’ll travel with the team to Florida, but he won’t play. That sounds encouraging. Everyone was holding hold their breath, hoping he didn’t irritate his abdomen. How might the Flyers handle the Hayes situation?
Kevin Hayes: Week-to-Week
Week-to-week isn’t an awful status. Kevin Hayes didn’t come back too early against the Calgary Flames. What happened was unlucky, and the show goes on.
During the overtime victory versus the Flames, Kevin Hayes lost his footing between sticks. He returned to warm up in the third period and continued playing. Alain Vigneault figured he would have an update on Hayes’ status “48-72 hours.” This isn’t a definitive timetable for his recovery, but it’s an update nonetheless.
Unfortunately, Hayes will likely miss the next four games against top competition.
In the short term, it would make sense for Alain Vigneault to keep the same lineup. Some minor tweaks will happen, especially as he and Michel Therrien try to make sense of the powerplay. Max Willman will likely stay on the fourth line unless Patrick Brown returns earlier. The Flyers close out the week against the Lightning, Panthers, the Carolina Hurricanes, and New Jersey Devils. Next week, if the diagnosis doesn’t seem any more promising, Chuck Fletcher does have a decision to make.
A Call Up: Morgan Frost
Three days ago, Morgan Frost scored his third goal of the 2021-2022 AHL season. He has fifteen points this season. He’s not the goal scorer the Philadelphia Flyers need, but he can earn his way into a continuous role on the powerplay.
A scoring play is a scoring play, and an offensive spark is critical. Frost’s first five scoring plays of his career included three other powerplay contributors. When he arrived on the Flyers roster in 2019-2020, Frost immediately connected with Travis Konecny and Claude Giroux. That scoring tree branched out to James van Riemsdyk quickly after.
In another context, Frost makes more sense as a replacement for Kevin Hayes. He’s another smart penalty-killing forward with a nose for the net.
Frost scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game, then tallied a shorthanded marker in his second.
He didn’t make the starting roster out of camp, which surprised some. Joel Farabee encouraged Frost to keep working for his opportunity. Last season, Frost was bitten by the injury bug, receiving shoulder surgery. When he’s on the ice at the NHL level, Frost has provided quality minutes. Frost could get one more crack at securing an NHL role with Philadelphia.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre