Shayne Gostisbehere admits his future could change in the “snap of a finger’’ but remains determined to forge ahead with his Flyers career.
Gostisbehere survived a recent harrowing trip through waivers, clearing the process and missing only one game.
But now there’s next Monday’s NHL trade deadline to think about and there’s no guarantee he won’t be moved at or before that time.
The rumors have been dogging him for several seasons and probably won’t go away any time soon.
“I’m definitely used to it by now,’’ Gostisbehere said Monday afternoon during a pre-game media Zoom call from Boston’s TD Garden. “I’ve been on that ‘Top 20 trade list’ thing for three seasons now.
“It comes with the nature of the business and what you do in professional sports. It stinks at times when you think about it. It could weigh on your mind a little bit.’’
Job security can be tenuous when you’ve only been a plus-player in two of your eight pro seasons.
“You’ve built a life in this city (Philadelphia),’’ Gostisbehere commented. “You know, just the snap of a finger you could be somewhere else.
“Obviously it’s something you think about but again, my job as a professional is to go out there and do what I can do and what’s in my control, playing hockey.’’
The waiver scare was just another chapter in the odyssey of the player they call “Ghost.’’
“You never want to be put on waivers,’’ he said. “But you know we’re in a very unique season, situation. We’ve not winning a lot of games right now and management is going to do whatever they have to do to make our team better.
“You have to roll with the punches. I only missed one game. I’m going to stay positive and keep rolling.’’
>Boston games critical
The Flyers know the back-to-back games with the Bruins are critical. There’s one more on the weekend. The Flyers have to take at least two of these or risk falling even further back in the race for the East Division’s final playoff spot.
“We can really make some strides in the standings,’’ Gostisbehere said. “It’s not like the boys in the room don’t know that right now.’’
Coach Alain Vigneault said the team spoke about the significance of these games at a morning meeting.
“This is playoff hockey for us,’’ Vigneault said. “We talked about embracing the challenge in front of us. The Bruins are one of the best teams in the league, they’ve certainly been the better team against us (Flyers entered the game 0-3-2 vs. Boston).’’
>Lindblom rested again
For the second time in a week, Vigneault elected to rest forward Oskar Lindblom for Monday night’s game.
Michael Raffl, who was dealing with some minor injuries, was scheduled to return to the lineup.
Vigneault said part of the move has to do with the schedule – five games in seven days.
“That’s a lot of hockey for Oskar,’’ said Vigneault. “Playing back-to-back (the teams meet again in Philadelphia on Tuesday night), I thought this might be a good time to bring ‘Raffy’ back in.’’
Vigneault chose to start Brian Elliott in Monday night’s game and come back to Carter Hart for the rematch in Philadelphia.
>Staying strong five-on-five
The Flyers’ even-strength play looked better in Saturday’s 3-2 shootout loss at the Islanders and Vigneault was hoping for more of the same on Monday.
“Our group knows the right way to play,’’ Vigneault said. “We know Boston, about their top line, how much success (David) Pasternak, (Patrice) Bergeron and (Brad) Marchand has had against us.
“We need to make sure five-on-five, especially against that line, that we’re doing the right things when we don’t have the puck and when we do.’’