Philadelphia Flyers forwards Scott Laughton, and Oskar Lindblom were added to the Covid protocol list on Friday. The two depth players have had their sets of ups and downs so far this season. However, despite the rollercoaster, the two play an essential role in filling out the Flyers lineup.
Lindblom and Laughton added to COVID list. #Flyers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) February 12, 2021
Scott Laughton Added to Protocol List
One of the two players added to the list was a forward coming off a hot streak. Laughton has so far proved his value as a good depth contributor in the lineup. He previously scored a hat trick in a barn burner game against the Washington Capitals. Laughton has proven to be very valuable to the Flyers team. He has posted nine points in 13 games with four goals. According to Evolving-Hockey, he is fifth on the team in goals above replacement and seventh in expected goals above replacement.
Laughton made a name for himself in the Edmonton bubble last year, notching nine points in 15 total playoff games, before being knocked out by the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference Final. He was able to prove that his impact could be felt if the cards fell correctly. When they do, Laughton can change the bottom half of the Philadelphia lineup. When they don’t, it is a big problem. While Laughton plays with an edge most of the time, he can go on cold streaks.
Oskar Lindblom Added to Covid Protocol
The far more at-risk of the two players, Oskar Lindblom, was also added on Friday. Lindblom’s story, as most hockey fans know, is a triumphant one. He battled Ewing’s Sarcoma, which is a form of cancer in the bones. At the time of the diagnosis, he was playing exceptionally well. Most would argue he was having a breakout season. After battling cancer, Lindblom beat it and returned to NHL action in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
His first game back was against the New York Islanders on September third, almost ten months since he learned about cancer. His story won over NHL fans’ hearts, and the support that was shown for him was astounding.
Lindblom and the Virus
Ultimately, this history of medical problems puts him at more risk with the Covid-19 virus. While Lindblom is cancer-free, the disease’s lasting effects and possibly the treatment could overexpose him to greater danger. Lindblom is still a professional athlete in excellent shape, which helps his case a lot. But it is something to take note of for the foreseeable future.
Lindblom has had an underwhelming season so far. He has two goals and two assists in 13 games for a total of four points. Also, he has a -1.5 goals above replacement and -1.3 expected goals above replacement, which is good for 17th and 18th place out of 19 players per Evolving-Hockey. This is not encouraging by any means, but the sample size is still small.
Lindblom may not bounce back into old form ever again. Nonetheless, I wouldn’t be surprised to see him improve very soon. He has a ton of raw talent and uses every drop of it to be as effective as possible. At 24, coming off of cancer rehab from last year, there is no need to fret about a player that plays this role very well at a young age.
What Does The Future Look Like?
The Flyers have had their game postponed against the New York Rangers on February fourteenth. The NHL hopes to have their practice facilities opened up by the 15th at the earliest. When their return to game-action will be is unknown at this point. Pending any additions to the Covid list, their first game back could be Thursday, February eighteenth, against the previously mentioned New York Rangers.
Since these dates are still up in the air, the Flyers will not have to make any roster decisions soon. Both of these players could get moved off of the protocol list if everything goes well. However, if they don’t, expect to see some roster shuffling from head coach Alain Vigneault.
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