272 — the total number of NHL games played between the six defensemen who will take the ice for the Flyers tonight in St. Louis, assuming that Will O’Neill does in fact play in Radko Gudas’ place.
If you’ve somehow managed to forget, here are those defensemen, along with the number of games they’ve played at the NHL level:
Brandon Manning: 150 GP
Ivan Provorov: 95 GP
Robert Hagg: 14 GP
Travis Sanheim: 10 GP
Mark Alt: 3 GP
Will O’Neill: 0 GP
Look, I know that a lot of us spent this offseason and preseason saying we wanted the Flyers to be willing to embrace the new faces and roll with some inexperience on defense while those guys work through their inevitable early struggles, but this seems like a rather crude way to go about that, doesn’t it? Like, I didn’t have “Brandon Manning becoming the elder statesman of the Flyers’ defense” anywhere on my list of things to expect from this season.
Anywho, here’s hoping that neither Ghost nor Gudas will be out of the lineup for too much longer, because the Flyers are in the middle of a pretty difficult schedule stretch here and they’re in for some tough sledding if they’ve got a lineup that only has one unarguable top-4 NHL defenseman in it.