During Tuesday’s victory over the Buffalo Sabres, Philadelphia Flyers forward Morgan Frost and defenseman Phillipe Myers both suffered injuries. Myers suffered a fractured rib and is considered week-to-week. Frost, on the other hand, is out indefinitely with a dislocated left shoulder. The Flyers placed Frost on the reserved/injured list.
The loss of Frost is certainly not good for the Flyers’ depth at the center position. The Flyers are already without Sean Couturier, and Frost’s absence likely means there will be more line juggling. Does this mean Claude Giroux will temporarily move back to center? Could Scott Laughton be promoted to the third center as a taxi squad player, perhaps Connor Bunnaman fills in on the fourth line? Both are legitimate options, though they’re far from ideal.
Losing Myers doesn’t do any good for the Flyers’ favor either. The 23-year-old, set to turn 24 on Monday, was playing valuable minutes for the Flyers at five-on-five and on the penalty kill. While the defender hadn’t registered a single point in the Flyers’ first four games of the season, his defensive abilities alongside Travis Sanheim paid dividends.
Replacing Myers will be no easy task. Robert Hagg and Erik Gustafsson have not proven to be reliable on the Flyers’ third defensive pairing, and Shayne Gostisbehere is currently out due to COVID-19 protocols. This may be an opportunity for 25-year-old Mark Friedman to earn an extended look with the Flyers, but he’s only appeared in a total of seven games in his NHL career.
The Flyers announced their lineup changes for Thursday night’s game:
The Flyers are facing some early adversity to start the season. Now, they’ll have a chance to prove if they can still compete even without some of their key pieces. And let’s hope they can!