The Philadelphia Flyers have a lot to like as they sit in a playoff spot at the midway point of the season. While injuries have ruled the team’s first half, the team also has a lot of impressive play from members of the team. One member of the team who didn’t get much of a rating from The Athletic’s Charlie O’Connor (subscription required) — Shayne Gostisbehere.
While teammate Ivan Provorov has had quite the impact season, getting A’s across the board, Gostisbehere’s final grade was a C-. For a second straight season, the 26-year-old’s offense has disappeared as he is on pace for a 23-point season. What the big problem is, however, Gostisbehere’s defense has also disappeared and his usage is starting to drop. He has averaged just 18:24, more than three minutes below his career high of two years ago. The scribe writes that there is no positive spin on the blueliner and he must find his game quickly for the Flyers’ sake.
- TSN’s Kristen Shilton reports that the Toronto Maple Leafs may be close to getting back a pair of forwards. Andreas Johnsson and Trevor Moore were both seen at Toronto’s morning optional skate. Johnsson, who has been out with a leg injury since Dec. 4, wore a non-contact jersey, while Moore, who has been out with a concussion since Dec. 23 was in a regular jersey, but hasn’t been cleared yet. “Very encouraging,” said Toronto head coach Sheldon Keefe. “They were skating a little bit while we were away, so today was a positive step. Both are still in non-contact situations but just to see them around the building and around the group is a good sign.”
- The Athletic’s Graeme Nichols (subscription required) writes that the Ottawa Senators finally got an update on injured defenseman as general manager Pierre Dorion stated that Christian Wolanin, who has been out all season with a torn labrum, is targeting a return in mid to late February. Wolanin, who had surgery back on Sept. 21 and given a four-month timetable, is expected to immediately report to the Belleville Senators with the AHL once he’s been cleared to play. The 24-year-old could be with Ottawa in March if everything pans out.