— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 22, 2024
The promising rookie had a great start to the season but has hit the proverbial wall since early November, as he has generated just 4 goals and 10 points across 28 games. What’s important to note is that during that stretch he has also been made a healthy scratch 8 times with the Flyers having gone 20-11-5 in their last 36 contests.
His presence in the press box hasn’t sat over too well with a faction of the fan base, especially when it’s Nicolas Deslauriers who is taking his spot. However, the pot boiled over this weekend when he was benched again even with Owen Tippett missing Sunday’s contest against Ottawa with a lower-body injury.
John Tortorella has used his 11/7 formation quite often this season but no more frequently since the arrival of Jamie Drysdale. Tippett was forced out of Saturday’s game against Colorado after awkwardly landing on his own leg along the boards. Tortorella replaced the scoring touch of Tippett with Deslauriers’ grit rather than employing the services of Brink.
It was also an odd decision based on the fact that Deslauriers only played 5 minutes with the Flyers already short a forward and on the second leg of their back-to-back set. You could tell that the forwards were gassed, tired, and had nothing left in the tank by the third period, which culminated in a collapse against the 29th-ranked Senators.
At least now with the Phantoms, Brink will get the ice-time and opportunity that he deserves to get his game back on track. Brink was exciting to watch at the beginning of the season and his point totals were a reflection of his strong two-way game as he accumulated 4 goals and 11 points in 16-game stretch where he also averaged 15;30 TOI.
In his stead, the Flyers have recalled Lycksell, who was previously called up in December but only suited up for one game. This year, Lycksell is currently third on the Phantoms with 28 points in just 33 games and paces the club with 16 goals. He is improving on what was a fantastic 2022-23 after he finished 2nd in points with 45 – behind Tyson Foerster’s 48 – in just 53 contests and led the club with 31 assists.
Brink should immensely help the Phantoms offense that is will be paced by Samu Tuomaala’s 12 goals and 31 points, Cooper Marody‘s team-leading 34 points, and Tanner Laczynski‘s 26 points in Lycksell’s absence. In recent weeks, they have received a lot of help from defensemen Ronnie Attard and Emil Andrae, who have 21 and 20 points, respectively, on the season.
The loan to the Phantoms shouldn’t be a permanent move so look for Brink to find his way back to the Flyers lineup in quick order. Meanwhile, if Lycksell does find himself playing some NHL games, he will be on the hunt for his first career goal as he has 1 assist in 9 games across 2 seasons.
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