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Flyers Daily: Oilers Still Bad, Rasmus Ristolainen Back Soon

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Philadelphia Flyers, Joel Farabee
The Flyers came up short against the Islanders, but Joel Farabee gave them a fighting chance at the end. (Photo: AP)

The Philadelphia Flyers showed that they can, in fact, lose a game on Wednesday night. Happy Thanksgiving!

The five-game win streak is now over, but all good things must come to an end. And when one door closes, another one opens.

Morgan Frost might be the one hearing the door open, as Scott Laughton was benched for virtually all of the third period against the New York Islanders. Frost made way for Bobby Brink on Sunday, and Brink has responded with two points in as many games.

Marc Staal made his return from a 14-game absence due to a rib injury, but flattered to deceive – as did his defense partner Egor Zamula. It was initially presumed that Staal would replace Zamula and play next to Louie Belpedio. After the Flyers‘ results Wednesday, we’re one step closer to that reality.

No, Zamula was not benched like he was in Carolina last week. However, he got caved in a bunch in his own end, and did nothing of substance offensively. Belpedio, limited minutes notwithstanding, has impressed the Flyers‘ brass during this call-up stint.

Philadelphia Flyers

Therein lies the problem.

Rasmus Ristolainen practiced without the yellow non-contact jersey on Tuesday, indicating he’s nearing a return from LTIR. When Ristolainen is truly ready to go for game action, the Philadelphia Flyers will need to choose between Zamula and Belpedio.

Because Belpedio has played more than 10 games since his call-up, he will have to pass through waivers again. Zamula is not waivers-exempt either, so the Flyers may have to risk losing one of the two defensemen.

Philadelphia plays on Friday and Saturday, so a decision is not imminent.

More from Philly Hockey Now: Tanner Laczynski was named the AHL Player of the Week. Also, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reveals that teams are already asking about Sean Walker.

Around the NHL

Montreal Canadiens

Montreal Hockey Now: Prospect Jayden Struble thrives in his NHL debut as the Montreal Canadiens defeated the Anaheim Ducks Wednesday night, 4-3.

In addition, the Canadiens’ goaltenders are starting to become a hot commodity on the NHL trade market. As a club that is still rebuilding, this might be the logical route for them to take going forward.

Nashville Predators

Nashville Hockey Now: With Tommy Novak – and previously Cody Glass – out, the Nashville Predators have been turning to versatile Finnish forward Juuso Parssinen. Parssinen, 22, broke through with the Predators last season, scoring 25 points in 45 games. This season, though, he’s only up to two goals and three points, including a goal against the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night.

In the interim, the Predators are also waiting for Yakov Trenin to come good for them.

New Jersey Devils

New Jersey Hockey Now: The floundering New Jersey Devils continue to struggle for results, even after Jack Hughes’ timely return to the lineup. Without Nico Hischier and Timo Meier, the Devils were blanked for the first time since April 24, 2022 – this coming at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings.

Although their offense struggled against Detroit, New Jersey remains interested in upgrading their defense. Instead of Nikita Zadorov, though, they turn their gaze towards Chris Tanev.

Edmonton Oilers

So, despite firing head coach Jay Woodcroft and hiring Kris Knoblauch to replace him, the Edmonton Oilers are still playing terrible hockey. Who would’ve guessed?

There’s really no way around it. Their defensive structure is still sloppy, players continue to make basic errors, confidence is at an all-time low, and the goalies can’t stopped a parked car. All of this culminated in a 6-3 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes, wherein the Hurricanes scored five of the game’s first six goals.

Right now, the situation in Edmonton is looking more and more hopeless with each passing day. The growing frustration from Leon Draisaitl and Connor McDavid can only mean bad things for the Oilers. They currently sit 30th in the NHL with a record of 5-12-1 – four points ahead of the San Jose Sharks.

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