There was quite the reaction when the Philadelphia Flyers opted to bring forward Oskar Lindblom with them into the bubble. The Flyers’ forward was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma on Dec. 13, but has been treated and is training with the team. Despite it being unlikely that Lindblom was going to take the ice during the playoffs, that could conceivably change, according to Flyers head coach Alain Vigneault. Lindblom skated with the team Sunday and he intends to return for the playoffs, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Vigneault was unclear when Lindblom might return. “A couple of practices? A couple of weeks?”
Lindblom hasn’t played in a game since Dec. 7, but the 24-year-old was looking to have a career-best season with 11 goals and 18 points in 30 games. Of course, getting back into playoff-level shape could take him some time. The Flyers are currently tied at 1-1 with the Montreal Canadiens in the first-round of the playoffs, so it makes sense that the Flyers will need to at least advance one round if they hope to get Lindblom back into their lineup.
- The Boston Bruins got some good news at an optional skate Sunday when winger David Pastrnak was on the ice with his team. The 24-year-old has only appeared in four playoff games thus far with as he has been termed “unfit to play.” Bruins head coach Bruce Cassidy said there is a chance that Pastrnak could play in Game 4 on Monday. “I’d say 50/50 I guess at best right now. Of course that could change over 24 hours,” said Cassidy (via Boston Globe’s Matt Porter).
- TSN’s Matthew Sekeres reports that Vancouver Canucks defenseman Tyler Myers will miss Game 3 on Sunday with a shoulder injury, not a concussion like many thought. Whether he can return for Game 4, which immediately on Monday again, is unknown. Myers took an awkward hit from St. Louis’ Brayden Schenn in Game 2. There is talk that Jordie Benn could step in for Myers in the lineup, but since he missed some time for the birth of his child, he may not be ready to play. Other candidates are Olli Juolevi or Jack Rathbone.
- The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) writes that Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins, who was “unfit to play” ever since the Game 4 loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs, tweaked a groin muscle during the game, the same game in which he allowed three Maple Leafs’ goals in less than four minutes (plus the OT goal). Merzlikins will be out of the lineup indefinitely.
- NHL.com’s Brooks Bratten reports that Nashville Predators general manager David Poile said he isn’t sure what will happen with their top two unrestricted free-agent forwards in Craig Smith and Mikael Granlund. The GM said he expects to communicate with their respective agents in the next couple of weeks to discuss potential contracts. However, with their cap situation looking dire next season, it’s unlikely the team will bring back both UFAs. Smith finished with 18 goals and 31 points, while Granlund finished with 17 goals and 30 points.