Bobby Brink's stint with the Phantoms will be beneficial

Bobby Brink's trip to the AHL was expected as games with the Phantoms should help him regain his confidence.
Bobby Brink's trip to the AHL was expected as games with the Phantoms should help him regain his confidence. / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

With the All-Star break approaching, it was inevitable that a player like Bobby Brink would find himself playing with the Phantoms. He is waiver-eligible, which means the Flyers do not have to worry about another team trying to claim Brink. With four healthy scratches in the past six games, Philadelphia has made that decision earlier.

Bobby Brink was loaned to the Phantoms on Monday evening, with Olle Lycksell being recalled in his place. It is uncertain if Lycksell will play in any of the Flyers' three remaining games before the break. It will depend on the status of Owen Tippett, who did skate under trainer supervision before Sunday's game against the Senators.

For Brink, a trip to Lehigh Valley to play top-six minutes will be beneficial to him. His play has dropped, along with his ice time, at the NHL level. It is to be expected with a young player trying to find his footing in the league. John Tortorella said as much recently when talking about the decision to scratch Brink in his home state.

""Other players are playing better. This is all part of the process for Bobby. He's gonna be a really good player, but there are a lot of things he needs to work on. I think he's been a little inconsistent. Bobby Brink does not have a cemented spot in the National Hockey League, but that's to be expected. He has a ways to go to find that.""

There is a belief in what Brink can become, according to Tortorella. But he cannot reach that potential when playing limited minutes on the fourth line. It is something the Flyers have done with other players as well. One can remember Cam York's situation last season. He did not make the team out of camp and headed down to the AHL to start the year. He did not let the demotion get to him, instead making the most of his time with the Phantoms. When he came up in December, he was one of the Flyers best players throughout the rest of the season. And now he has played top-two minutes alongside Travis Sanheim until Jamie Drysdale's arrival.

The underlying numbers show a player who is struggling to stay afloat in the NHL, at least in terms of possession. His 47.97 CF% is the fifth worst among regular forwards. The team is outscoring its opponents when Brink is on the ice. He has the second best GF% at 64.71, but his xGF% sits among the worst at 47.81. So, while the team is finding ways to score with Brink on the ice, it doesn't appear to be coming at a sustainable rate.

Brink started the season hot, posting eight points in his first 10 games. He scored his first NHL goal, along with his first multi-goal outing. The goals have come sporadically since then. Four of his seven goals have come in his last 31 games. The offense isn't the end-all, be-all stat, but when his other numbers aren't otherwordly, his droughts are looked at even closer.