Evgeny Medvedev, the veteran Russian d-man Philly signed this summer out of the KHL, will be in the press box tonight in Vancouver as he sits for a healthy scratch — for the first time this season.
“Last game [Friday’s 3-1 loss to Buffalo], no good,” Medvedev said, per CSN Philadelphia. “The last game I was minus-1. I am working. Maybe next time I’ll play. I don’t know. The coach maybe he’ll let me play.”
Medvedev, 33, will be replaced by Brandon Manning this evening.
The Russian rearguard was a regular fixture in the Flyers lineup this year, averaging over 17 minutes a night while appearing in all 10 games. His traditional stats didn’t jump off the page — just one assist, no goals and only a handful of blocked shots — but there was a case to be made for him driving possession while on the ice, and improving Philly’s neutral-zone play.
So, why sit Medvedev?
Well, the Buffalo game wasn’t very good. Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol also said he wants to rotate through all seven of his defensemen early in the season.
Finally, Hakstol suggested Medvedev is still adjusting to the North American style of play, having spent all of his professional career in Russia.