Hello and welcome to the first regular season edition of Between the Pipes for the 2015-16 campaign. The Flyers officially opened their season with a 3-2 OT loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday and will look to get their first win tonight as they remain in the Sunshine State to take on the Florida Panthers. Let's take a look at some of the headlines making the rounds today.
Flyers defensive prospect Logan Pyett diagnosed with sarcoma in leg - [Sam Carchidi - Philadelphia Inquirer]
Hopkins Take: Pyett, a seventh round pick in 2006 for the Detroit Red Wings, was diagnosed after a malignant tumor was found in his upper left leg. The defensive prospect will begin chemotherapy on Monday and will eventually have surgery to remove the tumor. Pyett has vowed to overcome this obstacle and made it known this his mission is to return to the ice, where he had been presently skating with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Our thoughts and best wishes go out to Pyett and his family for a speedy recovery.
Luke Schenn earns a spot in the top-six to open the season - [Dave Isaac - Courier-Post]
Hopkins Take: Schenn, the much maligned Flyers defenseman, quietly had a solid training camp and impressed coaches enough to make the opening day lineup ahead of former Lightning blueliner Radko Gudas. Through all of the chatter about GM Ron Hextall trying to trade him and how he didn't seem to fit Dave Hakstol's new system, Schenn put together one of his best camps since donning the Orange and Black. As for the season opener against Tampa Bay, Schenn was arguably one of the better defenders on the ice. He logged the third-most minutes of the six defensemen and was tied for the team lead with three hits. Most appeasing, he was solid in both the neutral and defensive zones, two areas in which he has struggled in recent seasons. With continued consistency, he may cement his place in the lineup moving forward.
Flyers third-line clicking on all cylinders after opener - [Jeff Neiburg - Philadelphia Daily News]
Hopkins Take: Not only did Scott Laughton do enough in his fourth training camp to earn himself a spot on the Flyers roster, he did enough to solidify a spot on the third-line as a shutdown center, the roll previously held by Sean Couturier. With Couturier expected to put up more offensive numbers as the second-line center, Laughton's ability to excel at two-way hockey mixed with a very good training camp made Hakstol's decision easy as to where to put him in the lineup. Playing alongside Laughton is Matt Read and R.J. Umberger, two wingers looking for bounce-back seasons after a 2014-15 campaign in which both were injured and unable to contribute much to the team. Through one game, the 'checking' line seemed to be the best forward line deployed by the Flyers as Umberger had two assists, Read had one goal and Laughton registered one assist. Secondary scoring and production has been an issue in year's past so if this trio can keep it up, the club will be in good position to succeed.
Zach Hopkins is a contributing writer for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @healedbyhockey.