The 13-17-7 Flyers visit the 11-13-6 New York Islanders on Monday for the first matchup of a back-to-back set. They’ll be looking to snap a dreaded seven-game losing streak.
Here’s three storylines along with projected lineups:
York making a spark
Back in August, prospect Cam York was very aware of what happens throughout an 82-game season. Injuries and opportunities.
While his chances of making the Flyers’ season-opening roster flew away in the offseason when general manager Chuck Fletcher revamped his blue line, York wasn’t discouraged.
“It’s a long year, like it’s 82 games and the schedule is really tight,” York said at development camp. “There’s going to be a lot of guys coming in and out of the lineup. If you block a shot wrong, you’re out eight games. That’s eight games that people need to fill.”
York has gotten his opportunity in January and is making the most of it. The 21-year-old has earned the right to stay in the Flyers’ lineup for at least now.
“He’s doing a great job right now of staying in the moment,” Flyers interim head coach Mike Yeo said last Wednesday. “That would be my biggest advice to him. As a young player, you have to prove that you have that consistency. We’ve all seen what he’s capable of. Now you have to make sure that doesn’t slip.
“We’ve all been around the league, watched a lot of hockey, watched a lot of young players come up and quite often they give you a burst and sometimes they slip off. Sometimes they either maintain where they’re at or they continue to grow.”
Coming off his first career NHL goal, through five games York has also recorded an assist, six shots, nine blocked shots, and seven hits in 21:39 minutes per game.
“He’s not shying away from any aspect of the game as far as his play without the puck or his confidence with the puck,” Yeo said. “As long as he continues to do that, obviously he makes things real challenging for us. Our goal and our job is to make sure we put players on the ice that are going to give us a good chance to win. And his job as a player is to prove that he’s one of those guys.”
Rasmus Ristolainen will make his return to the lineup after a stint on the NHL’s COVID protocol list.
Since the NHL-mandated holiday break, the Flyers are 1-5-2 with 2.13 goals per game without him.
Including the playoffs, the Flyers have gone to OT nine times in their last 15 matchups with the Islanders.
New York has played seven fewer games than the Flyers so far and are 6-3-1 in their last 10.
Tonight is the first meeting of the season between the teams.
Flyers projected lineup
Joel Farabee — Claude Giroux — Cam Atkinson
James van Riemsdyk — Kevin Hayes — Gerry Mayhew
Oskar Lindblom — Scott Laughton — Travis Konecny
Ivan Provorov — Travis Sanheim
Cam York — Justin Braun
Keith Yandle — Rasmus Ristolainen
Scratched: Jackson Cates, Kevin Connauton, Nick Seeler
Injured: Ryan Ellis (lower body), Sean Couturier (upper body), Derick Brassard (hip), Nate Thompson (shoulder)
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee — Mathew Barzal — Josh Bailey
Kieffer Bellows — Brock Nelson — Anthony Beauvillier
Zach Parise — Jean-Gabriel Pageau — Oliver Wahlstrom
Matt Martin — Casey Cizikas — Cal Clutterbuck
Adam Pelech — Scott Mayfield
Zdeno Chara — Noah Dobson
Robin Salo — Andy Greene
Scratched: Sebastian Aho
Injured: Kyle Palmieri (lower body)
Suspended: Ross Johnston
COVID-19 protocol: Ryan Pulock