Hockey Fights Cancer Night was held Sunday at the Wells Fargo Center, and Flyers left winger Oskar Lindblom was saluted before the game against the New York Islanders.
Lindblom, 24, beat Ewing’s sarcoma last season and has been declared cancer-free.
He has inspired countless people along the way.
“Something I envy about Oskar is how he goes about his business day to day,” teammate Joel Farabee said before the game. “He’s always got a smile on his face, good or bad days, he’s always the same person. It’s something I admire about him. He’s such a great teammate. He’s going to be a great leader one day for us. Really excited just to know him; just to play with him and be able to make memories with him is really special.”
In pregame warmups, the Flyers all wore purple “Hockey Fights Cancer” jerseys with Lindblom’s No. 23 and his name on the back. Lindblom did a solo lap before warmups.
Farabee said it was “really cool” to honor him and “that journey he went through.”
During a break in the first-period action Sunday, Lindblom received a roaring ovation as he was shown on the scoreboard, and he skated on the ice and lifted his stick and tapped it, thanking fans for their support during his long cancer fight.
Lindblom had some ribs removed and went through grueling chemotherapy sessions before returning to the Flyers.
On Sunday, Tony Campisi, 17, who is battling cancer, served as the Flyers’ honorary coach.
Farabee’s solid season
Farabee has had a solid season, though he is striving to be more consistent.
Entering Sunday, Farabee led the Flyers with 15 goals, and he was on pace for 29 goals if this was an 82-game season. But had scored just once in his last 13 games.
Because the schedule has been condensed, practices have been rare this season, and that had the potential to affect younger players like Farabee more than the veterans, coach Alain Vigneault said.
“In difficult circumstances because of COVID, because of the scheduling, Joel has done a real good job,” Vigneault said before Sunday’s game. “Usually, younger players need that practice time and need that development time in the practices and in the gym. Joel’s been able to continue his progression. Obviously, he’s had some ups and downs, but you can tell he has a lot of hockey sense and understands the game. In tough circumstances, he’s been able to be one of our better players.”
There haven’t been many practices, “so when you have a bad game here or there, it’s tough to get out of it sometimes,” Farabee said. “But I think if you flip that and look at the positive of it, there’s a lot of games in a lot of days, and you can get right back out there and keep on going.”
Goalie Carter Hart missed his second straight game with an undisclosed injury.
Vigneault said the plan was to keep him off the ice until Tuesday. “I’m not sure if it’s going to change, but obviously he’s being evaluated on a daily basis,” he said.
The Flyers don’t play again until Thursday against the host New York Rangers.
Brian Elliott started Sunday’s game.
Injured forwards Nolan Patrick and Tanner Laczynski skated Sunday but were not available for Sunday’s game. The Flyers were being cautious with Patrick, per Vigneault. “This break will be good for them,” Vigneault said. The Flyers have three straight open days on their schedule for the first time since their season was interrupted by the coronavirus in February. ... The Flyers put defenseman Cam York on their taxi squad so he could skate and practice. “Chuck [Fletcher, the general manager] didn’t want him sitting around, so he called him up and put him through the protocol and the testing, and he is skating at this time,” Vigneault said of the team’s recently signed 2019 first-round draft pick. York has yet to play for the Phantoms because their season has been paused due to the COVID-19 protocol. ... Robert Hagg replaced Phil Myers in Sunday’s lineup. ... Vigneault said Nic Aube-Kubel “hasn’t gotten the message yet” on committing needless penalties and that his forechecking hasn’t been as effective as last year. He said he was “getting an unbelievable opportunity” and that “when he’s on top of his game, he is an effective player. Hopefully, he figures it out.”