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Flyers’ Joel Farabee looking for consistency in his young career

What causes Farabee to lose singular focus on the ice is a mystery even to him, but only he can solve the situation.

Joel Farabee shoots at the morning skate ahead of the Flyers' game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday. He has five goals and 10 assists this season.
Joel Farabee shoots at the morning skate ahead of the Flyers' game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on Thursday. He has five goals and 10 assists this season.Read moreGiana Han

NEWARK, N.J. — Joel Farabee is trying to get back to the basics because, 30 games in, he has realized that when he starts turning over the puck, his “night usually ends pretty quick.”

The young winger is an important part of the Flyers, but he has been inconsistent all season, and coach John Tortorella said he’s expecting the 22-year-old to find the solution within himself.

Farabee just celebrated his 200th NHL game, but he’s contributing less than some of the players with fewer than 100 NHL games. Tortorella’s opinion of Farabee’s game is being reflected in his usage. After starting the season playing 18-20 minutes a night, he’s now playing 11-15 minutes most nights. He also has spent time on the fourth line.

Tortorella knows Farabee has potential. At his most consistent and most confident, Farabee scored 38 points in 55 games in 2020-21 (on track for 56 points in a regular 82-game season). In between injuries last season, he showed flashes of that star potential. Even this season, Tortorella has seen hints of it.

“I’ve seen him be a really good player for a few shifts,” Tortorella said.

But as a former first-round draft pick now on a six-year, $30 million contract, Farabee needs to be more than occasionally good. He needs to be someone the Flyers can count on every night.

» READ MORE: Flyers’ skid extends to four with 3-2 loss to Avalanche

As his coach, Tortorella said he doesn’t have an answer for why Farabee is so inconsistent, and he doesn’t think the answer will come from him.

“I’m not spending my waking hours trying to help Joel Farabee,” Tortorella said. “Joel Farabee has to help himself.”

Farabee has only five goals and 10 assists at a point in the season when he had 11 goals and six assists last year. Typically, he places a lot of pressure on himself to produce, but he said now is not the time to “chase offense.” Instead, he’s trying to play a simple game and stick to the system.

“Better play at the blue lines, try not to lose it high in the zone and just better play at the net,” Farabee said. “For me, I think you kind of need a greasy one to get off this little skid and just go from there.”

York remains in, DeAngelo remains gone

The Flyers announced Thursday that defenseman Tony DeAngelo has been placed on non-roster status because of personal reasons. Without him, the defensive pairings remain the same as last game with Cam York still in the top four.

DeAngelo’s absence is not what has led to York’s spot in the lineup, however. Tortorella said he has earned that himself, and the way York is playing, he could remain in the lineup.

“The way he’s played, as far as I’m concerned, he’s here,” Tortorella said. “That could change in a week. ... But for right now, I like what he’s done here in the National Hockey League.”

DeAngelo, on the other hand, already was going to be a healthy scratch ahead of the game against Arizona. However, he received the news that he had family matters to attend to following the morning workout. Tortorella caught up with him over the phone but only discussed the situation and not when DeAngelo is coming back.


Carter Hart is back in goal for the Flyers’ 7 p.m. game against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday. Tortorella said backup Felix Sandström’s performance in the last game was “fine.” He allowed three goals on 25 shots in the loss to Colorado. ... Zack MacEwen, who was injured in Sunday’s game against the Coyotes, skated on the third line at morning skate, but Tortorella said he is a “game-time decision.” ... The Flyers recalled forward Olle Lycksell from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.