The Philadelphia Flyers are finally getting healthy on the heels of their five-game win streak.
Marc Staal practiced Tuesday in a regular, black practice jersey once again, and was officially activated off of injured reserve late in the morning. The 36-year-old is ready to play, and head coach John Tortorella said “We’ll make that decision tomorrow,” in regards to Staal’s availability against the New York Islanders for Wednesday.
Staal hasn’t played since Oct. 19, when he suffered his rib injury against the Edmonton Oilers. The Flyers rearguard revealed that he had to sleep flat on his back, and that he was “trying not to breathe” for about four or five days.
During practice, Staal skated on a defense pairing with Egor Zamula, whilst Louie Belpedio skated with Rasmus Ristolainen. This would indicate that Staal is well within lineup considerations for Wednesday.
Ristolainen may also be closing on making his season debut for the Philadelphia Flyers.
The former Buffalo Sabre was spotted wearing a black jersey alongside Staal Tuesday morning, indicating that he has been cleared for contact. It’s unclear how many full-contract practices Ristolainen will need to log before his return, but it feels imminent.
Morgan Frost On the Outside Looking In… Again
It came as a bit of a surprise to see Morgan Frost come out of the lineup after Saturday’s win over the Vegas Golden Knights.
In his stead, Bobby Brink came in and scored a crucial power play goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Frost participated in line rushes on Tuesday, but only rotated in as needed. At times, the 24-year-old joined Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny. Despite embarking on a three-game point streak – during which the Flyers won all three games – Frost was benched on Sunday.
This will continue – at least for the foreseeable future – with Brink back in the lineup.
Owen Tippett Offers Contract Update
Owen Tippett was largely still an enigma when the Florida Panthers traded him in a package for Claude Giroux. Since then, he’s been one of the Philadelphia Flyers’ best, most consistent players.
The 24-year-old is off to another flying start this year, scoring seven goals and 13 points in 18 games. However, he’s also an RFA at the end of the season.
“No [contract talks],” Tippett said matter-of-factly. “Not that I know of”.
It’s worth noting that opportunity has been a big factor for Tippett, and the Flyers talisman is currently averaging two full minutes less of ice time compared to 2022-23. Tippett scored 27 goals in 77 games in his first full season in Philadelphia last year, whilst averaging 17:25.
This season, that number has plummeted down to 15:13. Though Tippett is producing at a 60-point pace and seems to have taken another step forward, it’s fair to wonder what his numbers could be with true first-line minutes.
It is imperative that the Flyers lock No. 74 down for the foreseeable future.