There wasn’t much to be happy about in a 9-2 loss to a bitter rival in the Washington Capitals. Despite controlling the possession battle at 5-on-5 for the first half of the game, the Flyers would find themselves down 4-1 through the middle of the second period, and after this point, the Capitals would start to control the game further, and would put an additional five pucks in the back of the net.
Right now, the loss doesn’t properly sting given the already existing pile of losses in the Flyers’ column so far. However, as was the case earlier with Noah Cates and Ronnie Attard, the Flyers are giving all their most recent draft picks a shot as they enter their early twenties. The most recent player to receive his call to the big-time was none other than the sharpshooting Bobby Brink, who also enters the ring for the “best hockey name” contest.
Brink, 20, made his NHL debut right off the back of a national championship (NCAA) win with the University of Denver, posting 57 points in 41 games this past season. He also was named a finalist for the Hobey Baker award, given to the best collegiate hockey player.
So, did his stellar college season translate to the pros? Obviously it is too early to tell, as will be the case with most of this year’s late call-ups!
However, we can certainly take notes away from his first NHL performance, which, for a first NHL game, didn’t feel like a debut for the young Brink. In 11:46 minutes of ice time at 5-on-5, against a playoff-bound team in the Capitals, Brink managed to drive play on a line with Scott Laughton and Travis Konecny, putting up a 56.52 CF%. Interestingly, in this game, three of the Flyers’ four highest relCF% (relative to teammates) belonged to Noah Cates, Cam York, and Bobby Brink. The future is here!
Tangent aside, Brink also recorded an assist on James van Riemsdyk’s power play goal, feeding Kevin Hayes’ one-timer that was deflected in front of the net. While this goal was somewhat moot given the scoreline at the time, is still good to see Brink record his first NHL point in his first NHL game.
Brink generated a fair few scoring chances for the Flyers, and wasn’t afraid to show a bit of physicality for a smaller player. Brink also showed a high intensity and competitive streak, which obviously he would in his NHL debut, but in what was clearly becoming a blowout, Brink didn’t give up on any play.
If anything, this is proof that the kids are alright, and that the Flyers’ best strategy, for now, is to let them play for the orange and black, and discover just what they have in some of these young talents.