It is somewhat surprising the Flyers have a winning record this season against the Rangers. That’s not easy to do when you’ve been drilled by 9-0 in one game and 8-3 in another.
Over the next couple of days, the Flyers have a chance to avenge those two horrific games and put a couple more nails into the Rangers’ coffin. New York is six points back of Boston with 10 games to go. The Flyers, of course, have been making tee times for more than a week now.
All that’s left is to play a little spoiler, and chase some personal goals, like the unlikely one Joel Farabee could achieve.
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Strong finish could push Joel Farabee past Bobby Clarke on list of Flyers’ youngest top scorers
Farabee’s production has slowed down since that six-week spurt ended about a month ago. He has one goal in his last 13 games and even endured the indignity of a third-period benching.
In what might be the most glaring indication of how much the upper crust of the Flyers’ payroll has struggled offensively, Farabee still leads the team in goals with 15. James van Riemsdyk is one behind him. Sean Couturier trails by two.
Teammates seem to be just as impressed by how Farabee has handled his struggles as they were when he had 14 goals in the first 30 games.
“I love the guy off the ice. He’s a great young kid. He gets it. He knows,” said Kevin Hayes, who is about eight years older than Farabee. “He really wants to be the best player that he can be. It’s nice to see that in a young kid.”
Farabee, who still hasn’t played 100 games at the NHL level, said he had a glass of wine when he turned 21 on Feb. 25. Sounds about right. Most of us are doing Cuervo at 21. Farabee, an old soul, is sipping Chardonnay.
Kidding aside, with a decent finish over the final 11 games, Farabee could become the second-youngest player ever to lead the Flyers in goals scored for a season. Eric Lindros was 21 years, 45 days when he had 44 in 1993-94. Bobby Clarke was 21, 235 days when he had 27 in 1970-71.
Farabee will be 21, 74 days when the Flyers season ends on May 10. Truncated season and all, it’d be good to see.
The last 25 games have been miserable (8-13-4), but a good finish could do wonders for Farabee, who is not eligible to be plucked by Seattle in the expansion draft because of his age.
“Joel has been one of the few young players that I’ve coached,” Alaon Vigneault explained, “that has the high IQ, that can pick up things quickly, and once you explain it to him he can go on the ice and do it.”
List of the week
Players under the age of 25 to lead the Flyers in goals scored in a season (ages listed are on the final day of the regular season):
21 years, 45 days: Eric Lindros, 1993-94 (44).
* 21 years, 74 days: Joel Farabee, 2020-21 (leads with 15).
21 years, 235 days: Bobby Clarke, 1970-71 (27)
21 years, 251 days: Rod Brind’Amour, 1991-92 (33).
22 years: Clarke, Simon Gagne, Lindros, Rick MacLeish.
23 years: Travis Konecny, Andre Lacroix, Rick Tocchet, Jake Voracek.
24 years: Jeff Carter, Clarke, Tim Kerr, Reggie Leach.
Things to know
Which Flyers’ forward said this? “I would say I’ve had an average year. I want to help the team every single night, and I feel I haven’t done that as much this year.”
Vigneault has an idea of the goalie rotation for the upcoming Rangers’ series, but Carter Hart isn’t in it. Other notes include expected defense pairings, and a Nolan Patrick update.
Nolan Patrick speaks for the first time since frighteningly taking a puck off the head last week in Pittsburgh. He says he’s ready to get back in the lineup.
An autograph from Oskar Lindblom means so much more to a Cherry Hill family dealing with tragedy.
Need a COVID-19 vaccination? The Flyers are helping Pennsylvania’s campaign to educate and vaccinate the local population, particularly communities of color.
Flyers’ next 5
Thursday: at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)
Friday: at N.Y. Rangers, 7 p.m. (NBCSP, NHLN)
Sunday: vs. New Jersey, 6 p.m. (NBCSP)
Tuesday, April 27: at New Jersey, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)
Thursday, April 29: at New Jersey, 7 p.m. (NBCSP)
From the mailbag
While Fletcher deserves a lot of blame for the dumpster fire of a season, take a look back at Hextall’s time here. While I agreed with building through the draft what is this club lacking? Big, tough d-man, sniper and creative playmaker. None of these (maybe Morgan Frost turns into a valuable playmaker) were chosen with all the picks he accumulated. This team reminds me of a few years back: no identity and boring as hell to watch.
— William Richards via email
Q: Who do you see gone next season or taken by Seattle? Can the Flyers be fixed for next season?
A: Ghost if they don’t protect him. Can they be fixed? Only if they make major moves. Need a sniper, a top-pairing D man, and a No 2 goalie who could be No. 1 if needed. (No offense to Elliott, who is a true pro.)
— Sam Carchidi
Season is over. Don’t play (Carter Hart) until next October. Is Michael Leighton available?