The sample size is small, but power forward Wade Allison has made a good early impression for the Flyers.
Good enough that he figures to be a favorite to land a roster spot next season, right?
Not so fast, coach Alain Vigneault said before Friday’s 4-2 win in Washington.
His statement had nothing to do with Allison’s solid play; it had everything to do with how he evaluates players.
“It’s good experience for him,” Vigneault said, “I will say, though, on a personal level, I don’t put a lot of stock if a player in these games has a good showing or a bad showing. Our games for a while have been meaningless in the standings, and I’ve always felt you don’t put a lot of stock in these games.”
Added Vigneault: “It’s good to see that your guys are pros, that they’re trying to do the right things. But if a guy would play extremely well under these conditions, I would wait and have a bigger sample size to have a better assessment of his play.”
Allison, 23, scored his third and fourth goals Friday in 12 NHL games. More important, he has been one of the Flyers’ most relentless players – especially in front of the net -- and has been in the middle of numerous scoring chances.
Scoring two goals in his 12th game was the earliest for a Flyer since Jeff Carter did it in his 11th game on Nov. 5, 2005, against Washington.
The 6-foot-2, 205-pound right winger was promoted to the Flyers after an eight-game stint in which he collected nine points, including four goals, and a plus-9 rating for the AHL’s Phantoms.
“Each day I get a little more comfortable,” said Allison, who had a total of 12 hits over the previous three games.
Allison, a second-round draft pick in 2016, overcame a slew of injuries before reaching the NHL.
“Not everybody makes it at 18. Some people take a lot longer,” Allison said when asked if he had any message for young players who were struggling with injuries. “Enjoy the process; that’s probably the biggest thing. There’s a lot of down moments that happen, for sure. But that’s just part of the journey. You have to keep a level head and you have to keep pushing, and enjoy every moment, good and bad.”
Vignealt had originally planned to pair Cam York, who made his NHL debut Friday, with Samuel Morin. He reconsidered and had York with veteran Justin Braun.
Morin was with Phil Myers, and Ivan Provorov was with Travis Sanheim.
“I feel great,” York, 20, said before the game. “This has been my dream for years, and to finally be here is pretty crazy.”
“Just score a hat trick and maybe a couple assists,” he cracked. “No, just play my game and have fun. It’s just another game for me, and I’m really excited to be out there.”
He didn’t score, but he was poised and played solidly in 20:59.
Goalie Brian Elliott notched his first assist of the season on Sean Couturier’s empty-net goal. ... Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin was sidelined for the sixth time in the last seven games with a lower-body injury. … Washington’s Tom Wilson said Friday he reached out to the Rangers’ Artemi Panarin after he pulled his hair, threw him to the ice, and repeatedly punched the fallen winger Monday. Wilson, who was fined $5,000 but not suspended, said that he was surprised by all the attention the incident received and that it seemed like a “fairly routine hockey scrum to me.” … Alex Lyon will face the host Capitals on Saturday. … Caps coach Peter Laviolette praised former Flyer Michael Raffl, acquired for a fifth-round draft pick on April 12, and called him a “terrific fit. He’s kind of solidified our lines” with his two-way play.