So much for a lowkey homestand.
After ending a road trip with a victory in New Jersey, the focus shifted to the New York Rangers. Lost amid a busy weekend was an otherwise respectable effort by the Philadelphia Flyers in a 6-3 loss.
John Tortorella earned the ire of Keith Yandle. He followed a third-period Kevin Hayes benching against the New Jersey Devils with a healthy scratch versus the Rangers, sending a message about ‘playing the right way.’ Hayes commented yesterday about the ordeal:
“I’m never gonna’ say there’s a benefit to being benched. I’m sorry. I don’t think I should have been benched, but it’s not my decision. He’s a coach. I’m a player. He makes the lineup, he wants the best team on the ice to ultimately win, and that’s what he went with.”Kevin Hayes; 12/19/2022
Hayes returns to the lineup tonight as the Flyers host the Columbus Blue Jackets to finish a mini homestand. Yesterday, he joined the first powerplay unit. In the lineup, Hayes will play LW on the third line centered by Scott Laughton. Across the ice from Hayes will be Zack MacEwen.
Additionally, Cam Atkinson will not play this season. He will undergo season-ending neck surgery. Before Philadelphia took the show onto their recent road trip, Atkinson was trending towards a return after participating in a couple of practices. Nearing his projected return, Atkinson went on injured reserve. Wade Allison will return to the lineup versus the Blue Jackets, however.
Columbus Blue Jackets (10-19-2)
In 2022-2023, Columbus is 2-0-0 against the Flyers. Both of those victories took place at Nationwide Arena.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Blue Jackets, per Coby Maeir:
Jake Christiansen (-6, 16HIT, 4TK, 48.7%CF) will take his place on the bottom pair. He is a physical presence, notching six hits over his last handful of games. Christiansen actively shoots between the blue line and the faceoff circle, using the traffic in front of opposing goaltenders to his advantage.
Jack Roslovic (3G, 12A) centers the second line. He and Gustav Nyquist had the assists on the sole goal by Columbus. Kent Johnson scored on a rebound from a Jake Oettinger save on Roslovic. Roslovic is a crafty skater, finding chances often between the faceoff circles.
Philadelphia Flyers (10-15-7)
Besides the recent news surrounding Atkinson, it is worth mentioning that Lukas Sedlak is no longer with the team. He went back to the Czech Republic to be with his family, mulling over if he was happy to play NHL hockey. Philadelphia granted him his release via unconditional waivers.
Here’s the tentative lineup for the Flyers, per Charlie O’Connor:
James van Riemsdyk (5G, 6A) is creating offense with six points (3G, 3A) over the last five games. He is also on the trade block. He is nearly scoring at a point-per-game pace, adding to his trade value. His goal versus the Rangers began the scoring, a rarity. Philadelphia typically isn’t a scoring catalyst, which is required for a hot start tonight at the Wells Fargo Center.
Carter Hart (9-9-6, 2.82GAA, 91.3%SV) will start. In his career, he is 1-4-1 versus the Blue Jackets, dropping his last four against the club.
Place Your Bets
Philadelphia Flyers (-180)
Jack Roslovic o.5pts (-130)
James van Riemsdyk o.5pts (-140)
The Philadelphia Flyers host the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7pm. You can watch the game on NBC Sports Philadelphia and listen to the radio broadcast on 97.5 the Fanatic.
(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)