James van Riemsdyk suffered a broken right hand after blocking a shot in the first period:
Alain Vigneault confirmed the injury after the game, and also said that the team would recall forward Joel Farabee for Thursday night’s game.
Per Coach Vigneault, Flyers will recall forward Joel Farabee from Lehigh Valley. pic.twitter.com/a5ZjIdRtY9— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) March 5, 2020
There was no timetable given for van Riemsdyk’s return, which makes sense given that he had suffered the injury just a few hours prior. Nevertheless, Farabee is here to stay.
Farabee was recalled for about 24 hours over the weekend with Sean Couturier as a game-time decision, but he did not get into any game action.
The 20-year-old winger has had his ups and downs so far this season, putting up 20 points (seven goals, 13 assists) in 49 games. He had six points in five games from January 16 to February 1, but only had two assists in seven games before being sent down at the trade deadline.
He played in just one game with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms due to the recall on Saturday. He didn’t record a point, but was a plus-one and had a shot on goal.
Being able to have someone like Farabee as the extra forward ready to fill in helps lessens the blow of losing van Riemsdyk. The loss still hurts, but calling up Farabee is a luxury that the Flyers have due to their trades for Derek Grant and Nate Thompson.
With the Flyers on a seven-game winning streak, it’d make sense for Farabee to simply take van Riemsdyk’s spot on the third line. However, Vigneault could want to switch things up to balance out the bottom six.
A third line of Farabee, Derek Grant, and Nicolas Aube-Kubel would provide some energy, speed, and scoring touch. That would leave a fourth line of Michael Raffl, Nate Thompson, and Tyler Pitlick as more of a checking line. Vigneault and Co. will certainly mix and match to find the best combination of depth forwards in the bottom six as the season moves along.
We knew that Farabee would be back up with the Flyers sooner or later. He is back up sooner, but unfortunately it’s due to an injury.
The NHL season is a grind and injuries are bound to happen. One of the Flyers’ biggest strengths this season has been their depth, and that will continue to be tested with van Riemsdyk out.