Scott Laughton is a natural center, but he seems to have found his niche as a left winger, a position he has played in most of the season's first nine games.
"You really see his pace and his speed when he's on the left wing," coach Dave Hakstol said before Monday's game against Colordado. "You see it more than when he's in the middle. Up the middle, you have to play a little bit more of a contained, controlled game, defensively and offensively."
Laughton, 24, who has played primarily center in just one game, had four goals and a plus-2 rating in the first eight contests and was an effective forechecker.
In essence, Laughton has replaced the injured James van Riemsdyk on the second line, which includes Nolan Patrick and Jake Voracek.
On Monday, Jordan Weal continued to be the third-line center as Mikhail Vorobyev was benched for the third straight game. Weal centered Oskar Lindblom and Travis Konecny.
"Jordan's game up the middle has been really solid," Hakstol said. "I told him this morning it starts with his competitiveness in the faceoff dot, as well as his competitiveness on our side of the red line. That's a position where you need ultra-competitive people to be good at both ends of the rink."
Hakstol said Weal's line has "consistently had good five-on-five shifts."
Hakstol conceded it's a "hard trade-off" to have the 21-year-old Vorobyev sitting. "Misha's a young player who we want to keep advancing," he said.
If Weal doesn't perform, Vorobyev figures to return to the lineup. But if Weal plays well, Vorobyev could be sent to the AHL's Phantoms.
Dads in the house
Many of the Flyers' fathers were at Monday's game, and they will be in Boston on Thursday for their annual fathers-sons outing. The Flyers and their dads will get to Boston on Wednesday. Some of the dads are trying to get tickets to Wednesday's World Series game at Fenway Park.
Hakstol said his coaching staff and the players will not be at the World Series.
"We're there on business," Hakstol said.
Providence's Jay O'Brien, a 5-foot-11, 180-pound center selected by the Flyers with their second pick in the first round (19th overall) in June, was injured on a hit by UConn's Carter Turnbull on Friday. He left the game and didn't play Saturday, either.
General manager Ron Hextall does not give injury updates on prospects, but O'Brien may have suffered a concussion. Drafted out of high school, he has no points in four games.
Goalie Michal Neuvirth's workload continues to increase in practice, Hakstol said
Neuvirth, recovering from an apparent groin injury, could be activated later this week. After Thursday's game, Cal Pickard (4.75 GAA, .833 save percentage) could be put on waivers, or the Flyers might carry three goalies.