Nolan Patrick

Getty

Flyers’ Nolan Patrick getting closer to a return

4 Comments

Sidelined since the end of October and having missed eight games already due to a concussion the Philadelphia Flyers are hoping to get rookie center Nolan Patrick back in the lineup this week.

Patrick was finally able to return to practice on Monday and is getting closer to a return.

He will not be able to play in Tuesday’s game against the Minnesota Wild, but the Flyers are hopeful he will be able to play on Thursday against the Winnipeg Jets, his hometown team.

He will accompany the team on the upcoming road trip.

“It’s early in the process,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said on Monday, via NBC Philadelphia. “He’s on the front end of conditioning, timing and there’s a lot of things that have to come back to game level. That’s no different for any player, but certainly for a young player, he’s at the front end of that and he’ll continue to work hard at that.”

Patrick, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2017 NHL draft, has appeared in nine games this season scoring one goal to go with two assists.

Flyers head into short trip with injury issues

Getty
2 Comments

The Philadelphia Flyers are hurting, and not just in terms of their pride after being the first team to lose to the Arizona Coyotes this season.

They got a round of bad injury updates on Tuesday, as Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports: Nolan Patrick and Shayne Gostisbehere are unavailable for their upcoming road trip, while hulking young defenseman Samuel Morin is out for two weeks.

In some ways, that sounds a little worse than it might be, as the Flyers’ road trip only lasts two games (at Blackhawks on Wednesday, then visiting the Blues on Thursday). If those two can manage a return soon, it wouldn’t be that bad. Naturally, that remains to be seen.

The Morin update, via Carchidi, is a little odd and very “hockey.”

“Sam’s a tough guy, and he didn’t disclose 100 percent of his injury because he plays through things,” Flyers GM Ron Hextall said. “He has a little nick that’s going to keep him out a bit — not days, maybe a couple weeks.”

For a while, it was reasonable to spin some Flyers injuries (particularly that of Andrew MacDonald) as potential blessings in disguise, as they potentially opened the door for young players to get some reps. Sometimes things don’t pan out so well, as Morin was conceivably one of those youngsters who might have benefited from a chance that’s at least placed on hold.

On the bright side, the Flyers will enjoy a reasonably friendly home schedule starting this weekend. They’ll play three in a row and five of seven in Philly from Nov. 4-21.

If they’re lucky enough to get Gostisbehere and/or Patrick back during that stretch, the Flyers might be able to start to improve upon their murky start, as they currently stand at 6-5-1.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Report: No fine or suspension for hit that injured Flyers’ Gostisbehere

11 Comments

It looks like nothing but an injury will come from the hit that Toronto Maple Leafs forward Leo Komarov delivered on Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere during Saturday’s 4-2 Philly win.

There was no penalty on the play during the contest itself, and David Isaac of the Courier Post reports that the hit will not result in a fine or a suspension.

(Watch the check in question in the video above this post’s headline.)

The Flyers haven’t provided an additional update on Sunday after announcing that he wouldn’t return to last night’s game because of an upper-body injury. Gostisbehere joins Nolan Patrick as Flyers with upper-body issues, while fellow defenseman Andrew MacDonald is sidelined as well.

Such injury issues could open the door for Samuel Morin.

This is that much more unfortunate because things looked to be up in a big way for “Ghost Bear” (or is it “Ghostbear?”). His possession stats have been positive, and he’s already scored a whopping 13 points in just 11 regular-season games.

Gostisbehere has been an integral part of the Flyers’ well-oiled machine of a power play, collecting eight of his 13 points on the man advantage. Flyers coach Dave Hakstol wasn’t happy with the hit, as Isaac reported last night:

“It’s a tough hit. It’s one that’s got to be looked at,” Hakstol said. “It’s a hit in the numbers and it’s a tough hit for our player.”

Plenty of others believed that it should have at least drawn a penalty.

While Komarov explained to TSN’s Mark Masters that it was a “normal situation” as far as the question of “seeing the numbers” on Ghost goes, he did concede that a penalty might have been appropriate.

Back in Feb. 2016, Komarov received a three-game suspension for elbowing Ryan McDonagh of the New York Rangers. He’s been on the other side of a questionable hit, too, missing multiple games in 2014 with a concussion.

This situation will not factor into his suspension history, whether Flyers fans believe that it should or not.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Nolan Patrick is missing Flyers games, after all

Overall, it might be still true that Nolan Patrick and the Philadelphia Flyers dodged a bullet. Considering how shaken up he was thanks to a hit by Chris Wagner of the Anaheim Ducks, early – and ultimately hasty – optimism still strikes as a plus in the bigger picture.

Patrick thought he might play on Thursday, but that didn’t work out, and it appears as though the second pick of the 2017 NHL Draft will miss Saturday’s contest (at the Toronto Maple Leafs), too.

As NBC Sports Philadelphia notes, Patrick indicates that some of the delay may come down to concussion protocols.

“It’s my first time that I’ve ever had any kind of injury like this before,” Patrick said Friday. “It’s a lot of protocol things you have to go through. I think the league is pretty big on that kind of stuff. There’s a few things I’ve got to do first. I’m feeling good though.”

Considering how different these issues are from his hernia/lower-body ailments from 2016-17, it’s probably not fair to worry about Patrick’s overall sturdiness.

You can’t blame Patrick if he’s feeling a little frustrated with his recent luck, though. Overall, it would be foolish to rush things, even if it inspires a little antsiness in Patrick.

Tonight serves as an intriguing test for the Flyers, who go into Toronto with a 5-5-0 mark so far in 2017-18. They’ve lost two in a row, allowing 11 goals during that span. Philly’s also lost three of four, so you can probably label the Flyers as a “work in progress,” much like Patrick himself.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Flyers dodge a bullet? Nolan Patrick available for Thursday

2 Comments

Last night was rough for the Philadelphia Flyers even beyond losing 6-2 to the Anaheim Ducks, as Nolan Patrick left the ice clearly shaken up by a Chris Wagner hit.

To some surprise, Patrick practiced this morning, and Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the second pick of the 2017 NHL Draft is available to play against the Senators in Ottawa on Thursday.

Again, considering how Patrick reacted, this is quite the promising development. Here’s the hit in GIF form, too:

Since we’re here, let’s ponder how the 19-year-old is faring so far.

Burning that first year?

Interestingly, this hiccup happens after Patrick appeared in his ninth regular-season game for the Flyers. As a prominent prospect once expected to be the first pick before Nico Hischier‘s climb and an injury-ravaged season bumped him down a spot, it probably won’t shock many to see him stay.

Still, one could understand if the Flyers wanted to take a moment or two to ponder such a scenario.

Patrick really isn’t getting a ton of reps, at least not yet. He’s only averaging 12:29 TOI per game so far, and while an abbreviated contest last night lowers that number a touch, his highest number for a single game was 14:20.

Being that he isn’t the flashiest forward, it’s probably not surprising that he has a modest scoring total of one goal and two assists for three points so far. His underlying numbers are quite underwhelming, though, with poor possession stats and a meager 13 shots on goal.

None of this is anything to be overly concerned about in the grand scheme of things, and the Flyers don’t necessarily lose all that much even if he struggles as a rookie. It’s at least worth mentioning that he’s going through some growing pains, however, so Philly could be excused if they at least ponder some caution.

It becomes almost a no-brainer if there are even mild concerns about his health, but we’ll see.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.