Amid news of new COVID-19 protocols and new positive cases, interim Flyers coach Mike Yeo was “happy” to confirm forward Joel Farabee will be back in the lineup for the game. Saturday against the Ottawa Senators.
COVID-19 hasn’t hit the Flyers as hard as some teams in the league this season, but the team’s roster was already riddled with injury. On Saturday morning, the Flyers announced that Max Willman, who was a recent Lehigh Valley Phantoms caller, joined Morgan Frost, another caller, in COVID-19 protocols after testing positive Friday night.
Starting goaltender Carter Hart will also be unavailable because he was not feeling well on Saturday morning. Although he has not tested positive for COVID-19, he remains safe.
READ MORE: After helping the Flyers recover a point, Max Willman implemented COVID-19 protocol
But Farabee is feeling really good, Yeo said, and will return to the lineup.
“I am happy to answer a question unrelated to COVID,” Yeo said. “Yeah, Joel will be in the lineup here tonight. Obviously, good timing.
Farabee has done so well in recent training sessions that Yeo has said he will be on the front row, where he played before he was injured.
“We’re gonna throw it up there with Coots [Sean Couturier] and traditional knowledge [Travis Konecny] here tonight and he has that ability to make plays and create an attack for us, but also the way he thinks about the game, ”Yeo said before the game. “He’s playing without the puck. He’s obviously a guy that you feel comfortable playing against the best players as well. “
Farabee played with Couturier and James van Riemsdyk on the first line in their previous match. He had moved up from the second line, where he played with Frost and Cam Atkinson, after scoring three points (two goals and an assist) in three games.
With all the injuries and COVID-19 cases, Yeo said any good news about players returning from injuries is a “bright and shining light” for them. Farabee’s return has already injected “good energy” into the roster, Couturier said.
“He worked hard to come back,” said Couturier. “And you know, we’re happy to have him back with us. He is an integral part of our team and we need him.
With Hart’s illness appearing on Saturday morning, Yeo and general manager Chuck Fletcher didn’t have much time to decide who they would call for Saturday night’s game. Martin Jones will start, but he has no replacement.
Yeo has confirmed that there will be an appeal, the question is who.
READ MORE: How goalie woes, mismanagement and increased parity anchored the once proud Flyers
Felix Sandstrom didn’t dress for the Phantoms on Friday night and had sinus issues the weekend before. Samuel Ersson took over for the Phantoms on Friday. He had been absent since the end of October and it was his first return match. Kirill Ustimenko was recently recalled from ECHL, and Pat Nagle, who started on Friday, is under contract in the AHL.
Derick Brassard (lower body) participated in the morning training but is not yet ready to play. Yeo said he was “slowly moving on” and had a good day on Friday. … The league officially adopted strengthened COVID-19 measures on Saturday. Preventive measures include wearing masks at all times in indoor facilities and while traveling, prohibiting dining in public areas except in a private room, social distancing during meals, virtual meetings or meetings in large, well ventilated areas and ban on parties and public activities. There will also be daily testing, except on days off. For more details, click here.