No team will revel more in the return of numerous players from the COVID-19 list than the Philadelphia Flyers.
They just don’t know when that will happen.
The depleted Flyers will look to avoid a sixth consecutive loss when they host the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday.
Philadelphia claimed a 2-0 lead Saturday against San Jose but ultimately fell 3-2 in overtime to the Sharks in its most recent game.
Key players such as captain Claude Giroux, Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny and Travis Sanheim have been out in the league’s health and safety protocol. Couple that with injured players such as Derick Brassard, Ryan Ellis and Sean Couturier and the Flyers have clearly been challenged.
It won’t get any easier against a strong Carolina team.
“We don’t want to get to the point where it’s too little too late,” said James van Riemsdyk, who scored both goals against the Sharks. “So certainly we’re going to have to start really stringing together some good hockey and some good results.”
The Flyers played well in stretches against San Jose but appeared to tire in the third when San Jose completely took over. The lack of healthy players could easily have been a factor, especially down the stretch.
“The self-inflicted harm that we’re doing to ourselves is something that we’ve got to get out of our system and something that we’ve got to prevent here,” Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said.
The Hurricanes will be searching for their sixth win in seven games when they visit Philadelphia.
Their five-game winning streak came to an end in a 4-3 overtime loss Saturday against the Florida Panthers. To be fair, the Hurricanes still earned a point with third-string goaltender Alex Lyon in the second leg of a back-to-back.
That’s how good Carolina has been this season.
Head coach Rod Brind’Amour was highly critical of his team despite the point.
“We were slow again tonight. Not good,” Brind’Amour said. “We had a lot of guys that did not play good, let’s just leave it at that. It was tough to find a handful of guys that you could say, ‘Wow, they’re on their game tonight.’ When you’re playing a team like that and we’re not sharp, that’s going to be tough. I give the guys credit though, for just digging in a little.
“The third period was better for sure. That kind of started looking like a semblance of a game, but you can’t just spot teams periods when you’re not very good, that’s not going to work,” he added.
Lyon, a former Flyer, made 32 saves to keep the Hurricanes close. It’s unclear if he’ll be back in the net against the Flyers.
Antti Raanta has been dealing with an injury and Frederik Andersen was given the night off.
“We threw him into the mix, and he was good,” Brind’Amour said of Lyon. “Yeah, he’d probably like to have that first one back, but he dug in and made some real big saves and allowed us to get back in the game and have a chance to maybe squeak it out.”
–Field Level Media