‘Very inconsistent' Farabee not feeling sorry for himself amid offensive slump


NEWARK, N.J. — For as young as Joel Farabee is at only 22 years old, his maturity is advanced, a lot like his game.

His precocious game, which produced a breakout 2020-21 season, has not generated much offense over the last two weeks.

Farabee has one point (an assist) in the last eight games. The Flyers have gone 2-4-2 with 2.38 goals per game in that span. They enter Thursday's road matchup against the Devils (7 p.m. ET/NBCSP) with only two wins over their last 18 games (2-11-5), a stretch in which they've scored just 2.17 goals per game.

The Flyers need Farabee's offense and he knows it. He did not hide from his slump following Thursday's morning skate at the Prudential Center.

"For sure, I put a lot of pressure on myself to produce," Farabee said. "Right now, when you're not, it's frustrating. You can sit and complain and feel sorry for yourself. Or you can just try to be better the next game. That's what I plan to do."

Farabee, unexpectedly, had to undergo disc replacement surgery in his cervical region during late June. He was able to recover in time to play in the regular-season opener and all 30 of the Flyers' games so far.

Has it taken a while to feel like himself again?

"As far as the injury, no, my body feels fine," Farabee said. "I feel really good, honestly, body-wise. Definitely struggling offensively. Now I'm really just trying to simplify. Don't want to turn too many pucks over because you do that, my night usually ends pretty quick. Just try to play a north-south game, play simple and play within the system."

Prior to this eight-game stretch, Farabee put up 14 points (five goals, nine assists) in the previous 18 games. On the season, he has 15 points (five goals, 10 assists) in 30 games.

"He had some good shifts the last game," Flyers head coach John Tortorella said Thursday morning. "I think he has been very inconsistent. I'm not going to let him hide behind his injury, I think it's plenty of time to get through that. I just think he has been inconsistent.

"I think he's a really good player, I've seen him be a really good player. For a few shifts the other night, he looked really good — that's why we had him on the ice with the goalie pulled. Because we really felt at certain times in that game he was playing well. We just need to get some consistency out of him."

Farabee entered his sophomore NHL season at 20 years old. He finished it with a team-leading 20 goals to go along with 38 points through 55 games. After that shortened 2020-21 campaign, he said his goal was to be more of an everyday scorer.

"It's his job to be consistent," Tortorella said. "He's a very important guy for us as far as talking about offense, having some continuity through the lines. You can see it, sometimes you can't."

Can Tortorella help spark Farabee by moving him around in the lineup?

"Sometimes it's not just me trying to pull it out of him," the head coach said. "It needs to be him. When I put lines together, depending on [before] the game or within the game itself, you try to find something that matches. Sometimes you stumble upon it.

"But I'm not spending my waking hours trying to figure out something to help Joel Farabee. Joel has to help himself. It's a little bit of both I guess is the way I'm answering it."

Farabee noted how a greasy, hard-working type of goal can sometimes serve as the igniter.

"I think now is not a time where you chase offense and try to do much," he said. "You've just got to go back to the basics almost."

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