PHILADELPHIA – It’s not easy to stay motivated when there’s really nothing to stay motivated for.
But players such as second-year forward Joel Farabee still see the value of playing hard to prove they’re true professionals.
And when the opponent is cross-state rival Pittsburgh, that alone should be enough to get the juices flowing.
“Every game is important in this league, whether you’re in or out,’’ Farabee said in a pre-game media Zoom call on Monday night at the Wells Fargo Center. “The season hasn’t gone the way we wanted to but these are a couple big games and hopefully we can spoil their aspirations (the teams meet again on Tuesday night).’’
Farabee went into Monday night’s game tied with James van Riemsdyk for the team lead in goals (16). But he’s putting aside personal goals for the sake of team success.
“Just trying to help the team,’’ he said. “What happens points-wise, happens. If we get two points tonight, that would be great.’’
Farabee said one of the team goals over the last week is to get back to decisive play.
“I think ‘Moose’ (Brian Elliott) had a good quote the other day, we’re kind of in-between,’’ Farabee said. “When you’re in-between, you’re probably not going to make the right plays. I think if we come out with the right mindset, things will go in the right direction.’’
>LBGTQ Night gets support
The Flyers hosted their annual Pride Night celebration on Monday night. This celebratory night was created to promote inclusivity in hockey and support the LGBTQ+ community.
As fans entered Wells Fargo Center on Pride Night, they were greeted with a vibrantly decorated arena, featuring the iconic rainbow hues representing the LGBTQ+ community at every turn.
The team’s Pride Night celebration also included special moments of recognition, including a donation by Flyers Charities to the William Way LGBTQ Community Center.
Flyers players used warm-up sticks wrapped in rainbow pride tape prior to puck drop — select players’ sticks were auctioned off. Players also sported t-shirts featuring the team’s Pride logo pre-game and post-game.
Farabee said he fully supported the ceremonies.
“I think it’s one of those days you look forward to,’’ Farabee said. “It goes well with the ‘Hockey Fights Cancer’ Night, too. It’s really cool during warm-ups to be wearing the shirts.’’
>Will Zamula be back?
Rookie defenseman Egor Zamula had a chance to make his NHL debut with the Flyers last week because regular backliner Shayne Gostisbehere was out with a mild knee sprain.
Because this was an emergency call-up situation, Zamula had to go back down to the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
Vigneault was asked if Zamula might get a chance to return under a normal call-up situation over the last three games.
“We have two recalls left,’’ Vigneault said. “(General manager) Chuck (Fletcher) and I discuss different possibilities every day the different players he might want to see at this time with the games we have remaining.’’
Ivan Provorov said Zamula held his own during the two-game trial. The future would appear bright for the 21-year-old Zamula.
“We (Vigneault and Fletcher) will talk again tomorrow,’’ Vigneault said, “and see what’s best for the team moving forward.’’
>Hayes bounces back
Kevin Hayes, who was scratched last Thursday for the first time in his 118-game Flyer career, returned to the lineup on Saturday and drew a favorable review from Vigneault during a 4-1 loss to the Devils.
“I thought defensively Kevin was in the right position,’’ Vigneault said. “Offensively he had a couple looks. Hopefully it’s a step in the right direction for him.’’
Hayes played in his 500th NHL game on Saturday night.