Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is scratched from today’s game against Calgary. He hasn’t scored in 13 games and has just one in 22 games and is a minus-5.
The return of Scott Laughton from a broken finger allows the coach to go back to the typical lineup of 12 forwards and six defensemen for Saturday (1 p.m., NBCSP). In Thursday’s win at Carolina, he used 11 and 7.
Laughton will skate on the left side with Kevin Hayes and Joel Farabee. As we know by now, Vigneault’s lines should be written in pencil. Laughton’s only restriction, Vigneault said, is faceoffs.
While the coach has not been shy to call out his struggling veterans, he also said Saturday morning that he’ll be looking for Joel Farabee to play a tighter game. Over the last two weeks, the rookie has just two assists and is -4.
“I think Joel is a highly-skilled player. He’s real good with the puck. He’s gotten a little bit away from that the last couple of games,” Vigneault said. “Some of his decisions in our zone on the wall [and] some of his decisions in the offensive zone with the puck haven’t been as strong and hasn’t been as strong percentage-wise as it he was maybe early on. But he’s got so much upside, so much to work with that I’m confident he’ll be fine.”
The forwards for Saturday are set:
♦ Travis Konecny-Claude Giroux-Morgan Frost
♦ Oskar Lindblom-Sean Couturier-Jake Voracek
♦ James van Riemesdyk-Michael Raffl-Tyler Pitlick
The defense pairings are:
♦ Ivan Provorov-Matt Niskanen
♦ Justin Braun-Travis Sanheim
♦ Phil Myers-Robert Hagg
Carter Hart will start in goal.
The Flames have lost six in a row and have been shutout three of their last four. As if a 5-0 loss at St. Louis on Thursday wasn’t enough, the plane they had chartered to come to Philly on Thursday night was unavailable so they stayed in St. Louis an extra night. Shame, it was a nice night here in Center City last night.
Anyhow, the Flames used the extra time to bond and talk through their recent struggles. Calgary hardly looks like the team that had 107 points and won the Pacific Division last season. They were upset by Colorado in the first round, which only accelerates the heat on coach Bill Peters.