Flyers could get key players back ahead of tough stretch

The Flyers continue to have numerous moving parts when it comes to players entering and leaving their lineup.

Claude Giroux, Travis Konecny, and Ivan Provorov remain in COVID protocol as they were not in attendance at Monday’s practice. While they’ve fulfilled the five-day quarantine period, they need a negative PCR test in order to come back. As of right now, they are still waiting on those results.

There is some hope that the Flyers will get at least one, if not all three of them, back for tomorrow’s game against the Hurricanes. With how they’ve been trending lately, they could use all the help they can get against one of the best teams in the league. Carolina has scored 20 goals in their last few games and is 3-0-1 in those games. They had a five game winning streak before their overtime loss to Florida.

Travis Sanheim did make his return to the ice as he was out for the beginning portion of practice. He left early, but it was a planned exit as the team didn’t want to overwork him in his first practice back. He’ll be expected to play heavy minutes tomorrow, especially if the team does not get Provorov back.

And while Sanheim made his return, Justin Braun is the latest player to be placed in COVID protocols. He’s also the fourth Flyers’ defensemen to be pulled from the team. Braun had been one of only a few players not to have missed a game this season.

There were few other Flyers who were not on the ice. James van Riemsdyk was with his wife for the birth of their second child. Patrick Brown suffered a lower-body injury during a collision in the overtime loss to the San Jose Sharks on Saturday. Derick Brassard remains day-to-day as he’s still dealing with a hip issue.

Sean Couturier remains week-to-week as he is not expected to play this week. Mike Yeo mentioned that Couturier did not feel real good recently. He’s been dealing with quite a few nagging injuries.

“We’re hoping he comes to the rink, feels better. There’s been some days where he’s been starting to feel good. And there’s been other days where it hasn’t been so good. As of right now, he’s still out. Still sort of in that way and see right now, just hopefully by the end of this week he starts to come around and feel better and get closer to coming back.”

Sam Morin has been sidelined the entire season as he continues to try and work his way back after another knee surgery. He had been skating on and off, but has not stepped on the ice at all recently. His status for the season is in extreme doubt.

Yeo didn’t want to confirm anything about Morin as he hadn’t had any conversations about what was going on. It’s certainly been an extremely frustrating time for Morin and that doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon.

The team as a whole has to continue to keep the word frustration out of their vocabulary, though. They’ve got yet another tough stretch of hockey coming up as after the Hurricanes come to town, Boston is next up on the schedule, followed by the Rangers this weekend.

The Flyers will certainly hope to get some reinforcements back soon as they’ve been without a lot of their top players to either injuries or COVID-related absences. They can’t use that as an excuse, but it certainly makes things harder as they try to continue working on a new system while not knowing who may be in the lineup on any given night.

”No matter who’s in our lineup, we have to do the job and everyone’s gotta step up. Guys are gonna be relied on in more situations, guys are getting more opportunities that typically they wouldn’t.” Cam Atkinson said after Monday’s practice.

“We’re definitely not going to use this as an excuse. We just have to continue to get better and keep pushing each other.”