Flyers’ Ellis doubtful for big game vs. Edmonton

Ryan Ellis.
      The hip/groin injury nagging Flyers defenseman Ryan Ellis seems like it’s becoming more than a day-to-day thing.
      Ellis is listed as doubtful for Wednesday night’s game at Edmonton against the unbeaten Oilers. Nick Seeler is expected to once again take Ellis’ place in the lineup.
      Coach Alain Vigneault certainly would like to have Ellis, who partners with Ivan Provorov to form the No. 1 defense pairing, in the lineup against Edmonton’s top stars, including Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, but that’s unlikely.
      Vigneault said he wouldn’t rule out the possibility of Ellis playing after the Wednesday morning get-together, which is going to include some extensive video coaching.
      “This is lingering a little longer than we originally thought,’’ Vigneault said. “But in our estimation it’s still day-to-day. We thought he would skate today but when Ryan got to the rink after talking with our medical staff, they felt it was better to keep him off. At this time I don’t expect him to play tomorrow. We’ll see if he skates tomorrow and how he feels. We should have a better idea then.’’
      Besides the powerful Oilers, the Flyers also have to adjust to a two-hour time difference in the Mountain zone.
      “I’m sure everyone was up early this morning,’’ Vigneault said. “It’s a different time change for everyone. But we’re getting used to the time difference. It’s an 8 o’clock start, which is really 10 o’clock for us.’’
      That’s why the Flyers flew out on Monday to get an extra day to adjust to the time difference.
      >Brown out for Wednesday
      Forward Patrick Brown, still bogged down with quarantine protocols, was scheduled to hop a flight out of Newark on Wednesday morning with a 12:30 p.m. arrival in Edmonton. All that travel means he won’t be able to play against the Oilers.
      “He will be available for us (in Vancouver) on Thursday if we need him,” Vigneault said.
      >Power play point people
      Vigneault has sort of been platooning between Rasmus Ristolainen and Travis Sanheim for his point shooters on the second power-play unit. That plan might continue.
      “I think they can both play that position on the power play,’’ Vigneault said. “We wanted to give ‘Risto’ some reps, he had not had any since training camp. Travis has had some reps, so two different players – Travis is more of a skater, Risto has a big booming shot from up top. So we have some options there and we have until tomorrow to figure it out.’’
      >Hart’s homecoming
      Goaltender Carter Hart grew up in the Edmonton area so he had the luxury of getting a homecooked meal on this part of the three-game trip.
      “Carter was real excited when he got on the bus yesterday after the plane ride,’’ Vigneault said. “I’m sure like any player when you get to go home and see your family and friends, you want to play well and do well in front of them. I’m sure it’s the same with him.’’
About Wayne Fish 1501 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.