ANAHEIM, Calif. – More than anything, the struggling Flyers need their leaders – Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Sean Couturier, Wayne Simmonds, Ivan Provorov, and Shayne Gostisbehere – to snap out of slumps.
And it wouldn't hurt if the team's two newest members, wingers Nic Aube-Kubel and Tyrell Goulbourne, added some life to a confidence-shaken lineup.
The rookies were promoted from the AHL's Phantoms and practiced with their new team Monday at the Honda Center, where the Flyers will face Anaheim on Tuesday.
"I know they need that spark," Aube-Kubel said after Monday's practice. "They called up two very good guys for that."
Aube-Kubel is expected to be in the lineup Tuesday, and there's also a chance Goulbourne plays. Coach Dave Hakstol would not reveal his lineup Monday.
But he knows his 4-7 team, which has gotten off to slow starts in most of its games, needs a jump-start.
"That spark can come from anywhere," Hakstol said. "It could one of those two guys that provides that spark. I know they'll be excited. They'll bring some fresh energy and that'll be a positive for us."
The feisty Goulbourne provided energy in his first NHL shift last season, checking a player off the puck and it led to a Scott Laughton goal against St. Louis, igniting a 6-3 Flyers win.
"I know I'm not coming up here to play on the power play," Goulbourne cracked after Monday's high-intensity practice. "I've had the same role my whole life and it's something I've worked at and take pride in. It's no different whether I'm in the AHL or up here. I'm going to play my game and bring what I bring."
With the Phantoms this season, Goulbourne, 24, had a goal and two assists over seven games.
"This is probably the best I've felt in a few years," he said. "I feel great. I'm very confident in my game right now."
Aube-Kubel, 22, said he was told he would be in Tuesday's lineup. Goulbourne said he was not told whether he would play.
Whenever he does get into the lineup – whether it's Tuesday or perhaps Thursday in Los Angeles – Goulbourne said he intends to play like he did in his NHL debut last January against the Blues.
"I think that's the reason I'm here, because of the way I play," he said. "I'm not up here for any other reason than to provide energy and to be responsible in my D zone."
Bringing that energy on a daily basis is his goal.
"That's one of the struggles I've had in the past – show up for one game and the next game I'd be a little bit more quieter," he admitted. "That's something I've worked on over the past year and a half, two years and I've been more consistent."
As an aside, the Flyers (4-7) are one of three NHL teams that have not been in a fight this season. That could change when Goulbourne gets into the lineup because he has been known to drop the gloves in the past.