How Flyers will adjust after taking 2 more hits with Myers, Frost to miss time


With the shortened and condensed 2020-21 schedule, head coach Alain Vigneault knew before the season started that the Flyers' reinforcements would be highly important.

"If ever we’re going to need depth at all positions," he said, "it’s going to be this year."

The Flyers are feeling that four games into the 56-game sprint that is the 2020-21 campaign. They took two more hits on the personnel front Thursday as defenseman Philippe Myers was diagnosed with a fractured rib and center Morgan Frost was placed on injured reserve with a dislocated left shoulder.

Myers is considered week to week while Frost's timeframe is to be determined. He is eligible to come off IR Jan. 26, per, but that doesn't mean he'll be back then. Both suffered the injuries in the Flyers' 3-0 win Tuesday night over the Sabres.

For now, defenseman Mark Friedman and center Connor Bunnaman will slide into the Flyers' lineup. Friedman will be paired with Robert Hagg, while Bunnaman will center the fourth line. The Flyers have liked how Friedman and Bunnaman have consistently improved, making themselves valuable depth options.

The 22-year-old Bunnaman provides size and bottom-six qualities. He gained valuable experience down the stretch last season before the NHL trade deadline in February, when the Flyers acquired Derek Grant and Nate Thompson. Bunnaman played four games in the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament, so the Flyers trust him and like his ability to jump in.

"I thought Bunny was the most improved player in camp this year," Kevin Hayes said Thursday after the team's morning skate in Boston.

Friedman, 25, played six games for the big club last season. The 2014 third-round pick isn't the biggest but he's quick on his feet and plays with purpose. Back in October, general manager Chuck Fletcher said that "no player has improved more than Mark Friedman" since the GM came to the organization in December 2018.

Down the middle, Scott Laughton will move up a line and take on more responsibilities. He has offensive ability and led the Flyers in goals with five during the return-to-play 24-team tournament.

With Frost on IR, the Flyers in the afternoon called up Samuel Morin from their taxi squad. It appears he'll be the team's extra forward.

More: Flyers head into Boston looking different but not lacking confidence

The Flyers were already without Sean Couturier (costochondral separation) and Shayne Gostisbehere (COVID protocol). Gostisbehere has been out since Jan. 9 and for all four of the Flyers' games, so he could possibly be nearing a return but will need some practice time. Gostisbehere skated Wednesday and will continue to do so on his own in Philadelphia, per Vigneault. The next practice the Flyers have in Voorhees, New Jersey — which could be Monday — Vigneault expects Gostisbehere to participate.

The Flyers (3-1-0) play the Bruins in Boston tonight and Saturday.

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