Wade Allison, one of the Philadelphia Flyers’ most physical players, returned to practice Thursday and should be available for their game Friday against visiting Buffalo.
The injury-plagued right winger missed the last three games because of an unspecified injury.
The final 15 games are important for the 25-year-old Allison; he needs to make an impression on John Tortorella, one that the coach can take into the summer.
He also needs to stay healthy.
“He’s always hurt,” said Tortorella after practice Thursday when asked to evaluate the 6-foot-2, 205-pound Allison.
“We have 15 more games to play, and try to get a spot here (for next season),” Allison said. “I have to keep on working, keep on chipping away.”
Tortorella said Allison, who has just one goal over his last 14 games, has “improved tremendously. When he knows who he is as a player, he’s improved playing straight ahead, and he’s done a lot of good things on the wall,” the coach said.
He added that “it’s hard to be consistent when you’re always hurt. That’s my struggle. You see him come, you see him go.”
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Allison, a second-round draft pick (No. 52 overall) in 2016, has played in just 45 of the 67 games because of various injuries. He has eight goals, 13 points, and a plus-five rating. Despite missing 22 games, he is second on the team with 137 hits, behind only Nick Deslauriers (260).
Before joining the Flyers, Allison had an injury-filled career at Western Michigan. Tortorella said he has “no negative thoughts” about what Allison has done when healthy. “I wanted him to be more business-like in how he approaches himself at the rink, and understanding what it takes to be a pro in this league. I think he’s done that.”
But Tortorella conceded that Allison’s injuries play a part in evaluating him for the future.
“We still have another month. I’m not sure what’s going to happen here,” Tortorella said. “But it has to (be considered) organizationally, too. That has to come into play.”
Allison plays with an edge, and Tortorella doesn’t want him to stray from it to avoid injuries.
He just wishes he would play hard and stay healthy.
“I don’t want to take anything away from his effort, either,” Tortorella said. “I’m not trying to run him down. I think for him to be an effective player, he needs to have that in him. He just can’t get hurt.”-
Foerster staying for a while
Tortorella said Tyson Foerster “has a lot to learn,” especially away from the puck, but he is encouraged by what he has seen from the right winger in his three NHL games. “I just love his puck poise. I don’t think there’s a lot of panic in his game. Big body. He obviously can shoot the puck,” Tortorella said.
He expects Foerster to remain with the Flyers for “four or five more games.”
Allison is expected to officially come off the injured list, and the Flyers will burn one of their four allowed AHL recalls on Foerster, who is currently here on an emergency basis.
The Flyers are also expected to give defensemen Ronnie Attard and/or Egor Zamula a look-see late in the season.
Carter Hart returned from an illness and is ready to face visiting Buffalo on Friday. … Sean Couturier, coming off two back surgeries, took part in practice wearing a yellow, non-contact jersey. Midway through practice, he and Travis Konecny skated on their own and did drills with skills coach Angelo Ricci. Tortorella said he won’t have a conversation with Couturier and interim GM Danny Briere about playing the center until he gets medically cleared. “He looked great today in practice, so that was awesome to see,” said Allison, who called Couturier a “major piece of this puzzle” for the future. … The Flyers whipped the Sabres in Buffalo, 4-0, on Jan. 9. Sam Ersson notched his first NHL shutout, and Joel Farabee had a goal and an assist in that win. Farabee hasn’t scored since, going 26 straight games without a goal.