It didn't quite happen the way most were hoping or expecting it to, but with injuries at the NHL level piling up, the Flyers -- for the first time this season -- have called up a pair of prospects from Lehigh Valley:
Gostisbehere becomes the first of the team's "Big Five" of defensive prospects to get NHL time this season, though he made his NHL debut in October of last year and played in two games before tearing his ACL. By all accounts, he appears to have recovered to full-strength and has played like it so far this year in the AHL -- he's got 10 points (2 goals and 8 assists) in 14 games with the Phantoms this year.
Leier, meanwhile, is being called up to the NHL level for the first time. He's taken a big leap forward in his second AHL season, sitting on .64 points per game (4 goals, 5 assists) in 14 contests. The Flyers are clearly happy with the progress he's made, as he was chosen as a call-up over the likes of Nick Cousins, Petr Straka, and even Danick Martel -- all of whom have scored at higher per-game clips than he has. Leier's prowess as a two-way forward in addition to his improved offense was likely what gave him the advantage here.
In any case, both figure to be with the team tonight and will hopefully be in the lineup, and it's exciting to see the Flyers turning to their young guys in a season that's quickly going south. Even if it was sort of forced on them, given that ...
RJ Umberger and Mark Streit have been placed on Injured Reserve, while Pierre-Edouard Bellemare has been activated from IR. (2 of 2)— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 14, 2015
Umberger had missed two straight games heading into today's contest, and his play was not nearly up to par in the few games before that. Given how improved he looked at the start of the season following his nagging injury problems last year, it makes sense that the Flyers want to play it safe with him.
As for Streit, while nothing had been formally announced before today, it's seemed clear that he's been dealing with some injury problem for a while now. Charlie hypothesized as much in his observations from Thursday's game, and now we know for sure that's the case. Hey, so what exactly was his problem?
Injury Update: Mark Streit will have surgery on Tuesday morning to repair a pubic plate detachment. He is expected to be out for six weeks.— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) November 14, 2015
OUCH. Really shoulda just stuck with "lower-body injury" here, guys. Get well soon, Mark. To make the salary cap room for all of this work, Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post says Streit will be put on LTIR.
And finally, Bellemare being back should help a bottom-6 that has struggled a lot in his absence. So that's good. Busy Saturday morning for the Flyers.