On Monday, we chatted with Steph Driver from Broad Street Hockey about Nolan Patrick. Yesterday, we bent the ear of Mary Clarke from The Athletic and learned about Travis Konecny. This morning, we’re checking in with Charlie O’Connor also from The Athletic to discuss Oskar Lindblom.
1. So...Oskar Lindblom. What kind of role has he been getting with the Flyers this year?
It was a minor surprise when Lindblom was the final forward cut at the end of training camp back in September, but it was an even larger surprise when he didn’t make his Flyers’ debut until late February. We’re talking about a guy who finished fourth in the SHL in scoring as a 20-year old, after all. Since being recalled, however, Lindblom has almost exclusively played the role of 2LW with Nolan Patrick and Jakub Voracek. It took them some time to get on the scoresheet, but the three forwards had driven play at 5-on-5 to ridiculous levels from the start, and over the past few weeks, the goals and assists have finally started to come.
2. Has he met expectations of the fanbase?
Surely fans were hoping for more than six points in 23 games, but in every other area, Lindblom has excelled. His hockey sense is high-end, and he thrives in puck battles along the boards and in creating scoring chances both for himself and his linemates. He’s a “do the little things right” type of player who actually does the little things right. There’s legitimate debate regarding Lindblom’s ceiling as an NHL player, but it’s undeniable that he belongs at the highest level of hockey, which certainly isn’t a bad outcome for a 5th round pick.
3. What do you think he will need to do in order for the Flyers to succeed in this series?
Along with Nolan Patrick, Lindblom is one of the wild cards of the series for Philadelphia -- players who will need to exceed their full-season scoring rates in order for the Flyers to make up the talent gap between the two clubs. I have little concern that Lindblom will struggle to hold up under the weight of playoff hockey, as his playing style is tailor-made for it. But in a series that is likely to be high-scoring, the Flyers need Lindblom to finish on his inevitable chances. He was a bit “unlucky” over his first 23 NHL games (four individual Expected Goals to only two actual tallies), so the Flyers would certainly like to see that pendulum swing in the other direction versus Pittsburgh.
4. What is *your* prediction for the series?
I just don’t see enough areas where the Flyers hold legitimate advantages over the Penguins in this series. Their best hope is to receive flat-out dominant performances from their stars and watch the kids play over their heads as well. That’s not an impossible outcome, but it’s certainly not one to count on happening. Pittsburgh in 6.
It’s great analysis when you see two people like Steph and Charlie who are doing these pieces on their own, away from one another, both mentioning the same things re: Patrick and Lindblom together.
Much thanks to Charlie for helping us out and getting us some great analysis.