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Relief on the way for Flyers? Derick Brassard could return Wed. vs. Wings

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Derick Brassard, Philadelphia Flyers
Derick Brassard, who has been used as a center and left winger this season, could return to the lineup Wednesday against Detroit. Photo: Zack Hill.

Derick Brassard is expected to return to the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup Wednesday when they host the Detroit Red Wings in their first game after the All-Star break.

Brassard hasn’t played since Jan. 6 because of a hip injury, missing the last 11 games.

Based on comments made by interim coach Mike Yeo before the All-Star break, the 6-foot-1, 202-pound Brassard will be back in the lineup if all goes well at Tuesday’s 11 a.m. practice in Voorhees.

But where will he play?

Brassard, 34, who has 11 points (four goals, seven assists) in 19 games, was used at center and left wing earlier this season. He also spent a lot of time on the penalty kill.  All told, he has missed 26 games.

Going into the break, the Flyers won their last two games, and had Claude Giroux, Scott Laughton, Morgan Frost, and Connor Bunnaman as their centers in those victories. Brassard could be the third- or fourth-line center, or he might fit as the third- or fourth-line left winger, spots held recently by Max Willman and Isaac Ratcliffe.

The Flyers, who are virtually out of the playoff picture and figure to play prospects as much as possible, could try to showcase Brassard and get a draft pick for him before the March 21 trade deadline. He can become an unrestricted free agent in the summer.

Brassard signed with the Flyers in August and was reunited with his former New York Rangers coach, Alain Vigneault, who was fired early this season.

As for the injury front, center Peter Brown (four points in 20 games) is also close to returning, per Yeo.

The Flyers play nine of their next 11 games at the Wells Fargo Center, where they have an 8-10-4 record; they are 7-12-4 on the road.

Grim math

Teams usually need about 95 points to earn a playoff berth. If that was used as a measuring stick, the Flyers (15-22-8) would need to collect 57 points in their final 37 games to qualify. A 27-7-3 record (gulp) would get it done.

Breakaways

Brassard is second on the team with a plus-7 rating, behind only Cam Atkinson’s plus-11. Keith Yandle (minus-24) and James van Riemsdyk (minus-21) are at the other end. … Van Riemsdyk leads the Flyers with six power-play goals. … Atkinson (145), Travis Konecny (116) and All-Star MVP Giroux (111) have fired the team’s most shots. … Joel Farabee has scored on 19% of his shots, the highest figure on the team. … Farabee, Sean Couturier, Ryan Ellis, Kevin Hayes, and Wade Allison are among the Flyers who are still injured. … Carter Hart is expected to make his third straight start Wednesday. … The Flyers are 7-12-4 since Yeo replaced Vigneault, who had an 8-10-4 record when he was fired. .

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