Is Flyers’ Yandle Ironman Streak Overly Protected?

April 25, 2013: The Flyers empty the bench and wave raise their sticks to salute the fans at the end of the game and conclusion of their season after an NHL Ice Hockey game between the Islanders and Flyers at Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

When a player’s on a streak, they usually perform at a high rate. A point streak, scoring streak, and a winning streak are just a few occurrences of a player finding their groove.

What about an ironman streak? When a player starts an impressively high number of consecutive games, this streak pops up in conversation. Is it an indication of a player performing at a high level? That depends on when you are asking.

Keith Yandle and Ivan Provorov have ironman streaks intact. Yandle remains eleven games away from tying Doug Jarvis. Half of this season would elapse before then.

At what point does performance mean more than a consecutive game record?

Leaguewide, Yandle is a highly praised individual based on his career. This season, he’s asked to carry the third pair against the Metropolitan Division, mostly with Nick Seeler and Kevin Connauton. Unfortunately, he was supposed to be more with Justin Braun. On a nightly basis, he’s turning the puck over or playing with a lack of energy compared to the opposition. Cam York ought to be inserted sooner rather than later.

Downward Trend

It seems that the Florida Panthers knew when the glass was half empty on Keith Yandle. They bought out his contract following last season. His contract featured a no-movement clause.

Following a season where teams faced the same divisional opponents eight times, Yandle looked like he rediscovered his balance. Last season, he played the best even-strength hockey of his career.

Courtesy: Hockey Reference

Now, he’s playing the worst even-strength hockey of his career. Unstable pairings don’t shoulder the entire blame. He isn’t living up to expectations. His performance a year ago is an example of fool’s gold, based on the high volume of playing familiar opponents.


When Chuck Fletcher signed Keith Yandle, the acquisition was a culture move. Yandle does bring a veteran presence to the locker room. His role, slated with Justin Braun, seemed like a brilliant decision. Then, the Ryan Ellis trickle-down effect caught up with the third pair.

No one expected Yandle to carry the third pair. Ideally, Ellis is healthy for more than four games, relieving Nick Seeler and Kevin Connauton. Yandle plays his best hockey when Ellis is in the lineup, allowing him to pair with Braun.

When paired with Seeler, Yandle is at his worst. He’s supposed to take on a more defensive role as Seeler aggressively thrusts into the offensive zone. It’s not a surprise he’s more balanced, comparably, with Connauton. Overall, Connauton and Seeler wouldn’t crack the lineup with Ellis is healthy. Yandle needs Braun on the third pair, and it’s happened less than a handful of times.

Based on expectations, Yandle hasn’t received a fair shake in terms of what we thought the lineup would be. Either way, is his time running out before he earns the ironman streak?

The Ironman Streak

Prioritizing wins over an ironman streak ought to be an easy decision.

Playing the most consecutive number of regular-season games has been brewing for Keith Yandle since March 26th, 2009. He’s almost secured the achievement, but Mike Yeo must prioritize the opportunity his team has to jump back into the Eastern Conference playoff picture.

Based on his performance this season, the leash should be short. Cam York is already on the taxi squad. The Philadelphia Flyers feel he is ready for another stint if traveling with the team. Will he replace Yandle? York naturally plays LD.

The recent substitution of Nick Seeler for Kevin Connauton allowed for rest at 3RD. Next time, York could be the recall. Whether that is with Yandle or in place of Yandle ought to be based squarely on the veteran’s performance.

(Photo Credit: Bill Streicher/Icon Sportswire)