UPDATE: Ron Hextall confirmed that Gostisbehere will return to the lineup on Saturday.
.@s_ghost14 will play Sat., Hexy confirms.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) January 14, 2016
Original post below.
After sustaining a lower-body injury a week ago today in the Flyers' overtime win at Minnesota, missing the final 40-or-so minutes of that game as well as the following two games against the Islanders and Bruins, Flyers defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere appears ready to get back in the lineup for this Saturday's matinee against the Rangers.
.@s_ghost14 optimistic he will play Sat.— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) January 14, 2016
Ghost says if BOS game had been a playoff game he would have asked to play. Looks like a GO for NYR— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) January 14, 2016
Gostisbehere's word here isn't written in stone, as there was optimism earlier this week about his status before he was ruled out of Wednesday's game. But the fact that he's saying he thought he even could have played last night makes it seem pretty likely that be back on the ice for a game the next chance he gets, which will be this Saturday.
The team has actually managed to keep the ship upright and then some without its electrifying rookie blueliner, as it held on without him in Minnesota and had two fairly strong performances in the other two contests without him, both of which were wins. Still, no one in their right mind would deny that the team is better off with Gostisbehere back in the lineup, and as such it'll be exciting to see him back on the ice.
Possibly more than anything, the team will welcome back Ghost's presence on the power play. The Flyers were 0 for 10 with the man-advantage in the last three games without Gostisbehere, and it looked particularly listless in last night's win over the Bruins. Gostisbehere's outstanding point shot and high-end offensive-zone instincts will help there, as they have so much already during his time at the NHL level.
Gostisbehere will likely replace either Brandon Manning or Evgeny Medvedev in the lineup, though no announcement has been made on that front.