VOORHEES – Two’s company, is three a crowd?
Flyers veteran goaltender Brian Elliott was recalled from the Phantoms on Tuesday morning, ending a three-month injury absence.
He was scheduled to back up starter Carter Hart for the Tuesday night game against the Tampa Bay Lightning.
That’s all fine, but what happens when the passport of Cam Talbot, picked up in a trade with Edmonton last Friday, finally shows up for work?
It would seem to be a pleasant problem to have, at least for coach Scott Gordon.
After Tuesday morning’s practice at the Skate Zone, Gordon said he isn’t worried about getting enough playing time for Elliott and Talbot, both on the north side of age 30.
With the Flyers in a desperate playoff drive, Gordon can’t concern himself with any hurt feelings.
This also has to be considered: Elliott hasn’t played an NHL game since November. In two conditioning starts with the Phantoms, Elliott showed a considerable amount of rust.
So, eventually, Elliott probably will reside as third goaltender on the depth chart.
And don’t forget, the NHL trade deadline is Monday. One probably should not rule out the possibility of general manager Chuck Fletcher making a move involving Elliott.
“I really haven’t thought about it,’’ Gordon said. “Everybody’s talking about this guy being moved, another guy being moved.
“But really, I make up my lineup card and until someone tells me that it’s something different, I don’t think about it.’’
Meanwhile, Talbot still hasn’t found his way out of Canada yet. Immigration offices in the U.S. were closed for the weekend, and then Monday for the Presidents’ Day holiday.
“They are working on where he’s going to fly to,’’ Gordon said. “Once the paperwork is done then I guess he can cross the border. . .do what he has to do to get his visa and all that.
“But I think he has to have the paperwork before he gets to the border.’’
Perhaps the biggest question mark of all is what kind of workload can the 20-year-old Hart handle down the stretch.
The way he’s been playing, Gordon probably would like to start him in all 23 remaining games, but that’s rather impractical.
“There’s a lot of thought been put into that, how we can manage his rest,’’ Gordon said. “Even him playing back-to-back games against Detroit, the thought was a one o’clock game on Saturday, six o’clock on Sunday. He got his normal rest, so that’s why I went back-to-back with him.
“We’ve kind of put together a schedule. We didn’t know if ‘Stolie’ (Anthony Stolarz, who went to Edmonton) was going to be traded. You can’t factor that in until it happens and then you make adjustments.’’
Elliott is just happy to be back in the big league again. This is the second straight season with a major injury and he’s hoping he’s turned the corner health-wise.
“I’m happy to be feeling healthy enough to get back in the lineup here,’’ Elliott said. “It’s been awhile, I’m pretty excited.’’
There’s a possibility he could start a game as early as Thursday in Montreal.
“I’ll never turn down a start,’’ he said. “It’s a coach’s decision. I’m just available.’’
Right now, he can’t afford to speculate about the future.
Defenseman Samuel Morin, still recovering from last year’s ACL surgery, has seen some action with the Phantoms but was held out of a pair of games because of dehydration issues.
“Obviously he’s been off for awhile,’’ Gordon explained. “He played a lot and he was cramping up. So from a caution standout they decided to hold him off for the weekend, give him some more practices.’’
Morin is expected to return to action with the Phantoms this weekend.
>Myers a healthy scratch vs. Tampa
After making his NHL debut on Sunday as a seventh defenseman, Philippe Myers was not scheduled to play against the Lightning on Tuesday night.
Forward Justin Bailey was expected to return to the lineup.
>Gudas says trade to Flyers was great for him
Defenseman Radko Gudas was traded from the Lightning to the Flyers way back in 2015. At the time, it looked like he was a throw-in, taking a back seat to a first-round draft pick (for Braydon Coburn).
But Gudas has made excellent progress and now is enjoying his finest season. He entered Tuesday night’s game a plus-11, five clear of runnerup Robert Hagg.
Gudas still keeps in touch with a few guys down in Tampa but he’s glad the Lightning moved him to Philadelphia.
“This is home and the team (Tampa) has changed a lot since I was there,’’ Gudas said. “Every trade is a new chapter of your life. I think I’m trying to make the most out of it.
“The opportunity I was given, I really appreciate it. They’ve given me a little bigger role and I would like to take it, make my impact on that. I’m really lucky I get traded here.’’