PHILADELPHIA – Andrew MacDonald was going to get a badly needed game off anyway, so what a bonus when he got to see his second child born late Tuesday night/early Wednesday morning.
The proud papa was at Pennsylvania Hospital when daughter Sage arrived at 3:08 a.m. Son Nathan (3 ½) is excited to have a new sister.
Even though he was not at the Wells Fargo Center, MacDonald admitted he watched the Flyers beat the Florida Panthers in a shootout, 6-5.
As it turns out, MacDonald might need a few more games off because the injury he suffered prior to the start of the season hasn’t completely healed after all.
He’s going to take some time to see if he can get everything back to one hundred percent, implying he probably came back too early.
Originally the Flyers said MacDonald would be out six weeks.
He came back in two.
“Hopefully it (the injury) is not holding me back,’’ he said after Wednesday’s practice at the Skate Zone. “It’s just kind of catching up to speed.
“(Training) camp is usually an intense time, you’re going hard after everything. I came in about halfway through, eased my way in. In hindsight, I may have jumped into things a little too quickly.’’
MacDonald has played in five games with one assist and a minus-1.
“I thought I could kind of pushed through it,’’ the 32-year-old defenseman said. “I think we realized over the first few games that I have to pump the brakes a little bit.’’
Christian Folin was back in the lineup for the Florida game and finished tying a career high with a plus-4.
So if Folin continues to hold his own, MacDonald can take his time coming back.
“My play wasn’t up to standards, where it needs to be MacDonald said. “It’s time to reset and kind of make sure everything is a full-go before I take another run at this.’’
MacDonald said there’s no definitive timetable for a return.
“Right now we’re kind of taking it day by day,’’ MacDonald said. “It’s something that we’re going to have to talk about as we go here.
“I thought I was going to be good to go. I felt good in practice and then you get out there in games and it’s not quite the same.
“The nature of the injury allowed me to skate before I could do a lot off ice. I figured if I’m skating, I can push through it. But it probably wasn’t the best idea.’’
For the veteran backliner, the act of making sharp pivots and turns appears to be the problem right now.
Coach Dave Hakstol agreed that MacDonald may have come back too soon.
“I see things there, when you miss training camp, all the pieces aren’t fitting together as smooth as you wanted to,’’ Hakstol said. “Usually you see the effects of that when a player is not able to go through a full training camp and build that final part of your summer.
“I think you see the effects of that in his game, in his skating.’’
Patrick getting closer
Center Nolan Patrick, who took a stick to the right cheekbone in last week’s game at Ottawa, has been practicing but still needs medical clearance before he can resume full contact activity.
Patrick didn’t rule out the possibility of playing on Saturday in a home game against New Jersey.
“I feel pretty good,’’ he said. “You know it’s really not up to me. Whenever I feel confident I’ll be back.’’
Patrick indicated this is the first time he’s ever been injured in a bang-bang play. He has undergone a pair of surgical procedures on his abdominal muscles but that’s more a product of wear and tear.
“It’s part of the game,’’ he said. “If you can go through your whole career without getting hurt, that’s pretty impressive. Things happen. It wasn’t that scary.’’
Coming into the season, Folin was viewed as the seventh (or spare) defenseman on the backline corps but so far he’s been playing like he wants to be a regular on the top six.
That plus-4 was pretty hard to achieve, considering the Flyers only beat the Panthers by a one-goal margin (the Panthers did have one power-play goal).
“After the first game (Colorado), I knew I could play better,’’ he said. “I just wanted to be physical and get going right away.
“It (plus-4) is a good feeling. It’s a long season so it’s always nice to have that to start off with.’’
After scoring a goal on opening night in Vegas, rookie Mikhail Vorobyev hasn’t made his presence felt. In fact, he hasn’t produced a shot in his last four games. “He’s comfortable,’’ Hakstol said. “He understands what we’re trying to do, what we expect of him. He’s feeling his way through the early part of an NHL schedule.’’. . .Ivan Provorov has no points with a minus-5 but Hakstol has no intention of breaking up his top defense pairing with Shayne Gostisbehere. “They have to grow into that role,’’ Hakstol said. “They have to continue elevating (their play).’’. . .Flyers take a 3-3 record into Thursday night’s game at Columbus. . .Hakstol reiterated Brian Elliott is his No. 1 goalie, even though he’s 1-3 and Cal Pickard is 2-0. “Moose is our No. 1 guy, plain and simple.’’