It has been a tough week for Noah Cates recently. The Flyers young forward needed 30 stitches around his upper lip after taking a puck to the face against the Rangers. And now he has suffered some sort of lower body injury that will keep him out for the foreseeable future.
The Flyers announced that Cates will miss the next six-to-eight weeks with the injury. There’s no distinct moment that something could’ve happened. He did block a shot against the Islanders and needed some time on the bench to recover. That long of a timeline would indicate that whatever happened, it’s something more serious. So either it happened in that game against the Islanders on Saturday or it’s something that Cates has been dealing with for quite some time.
Regardless, this could be a blessing in disguise for the young forward. Cates has been struggling quite a bit so far this season. After a breakout season in which he appeared in every game and posted highs in all offensive categories, this season has been much different. Cates has just one goal and four points in 21 games. He hasn’t scored since Oct. 24 and does not have a single point in the month of November. He has gone a total of 13 straight games without a point.
He is still helping the Flyers drive play more than not. He was recently moved back to wing and potentially could’ve seen an extended stint there if not for the injury. Time away could help him rediscover his form he had a season ago. The six-to-eight week timeline puts him anywhere between Jan. 9 and Jan. 23. Depending on how his recovery goes, that could even be pushed to February.
This does open the door for Morgan Frost to see an extended period of time in the lineup. He had been a healthy scratch in three straight games before reentering the lineup on Saturday. He had three shots and three blocked shots in the game. Having appeared in just 11 of the Flyers 21 games, Frost should now have the chance to show John Tortorella why he deserves to be in the lineup every night.
Bobby Brink had also recently found himself out of the lineup as well. He’s appeared in 16 games this season after earning a spot on the roster after training camp. He started off the season hot before dipping for a bit. He was out of the lineup when Frost returned against the Islanders. This will be a chance for him to get back on track as well.