NEW YORK — Rookie center Nolan Patrick has been solid, but not spectacular, in the Flyers’ training camp, and coach Dave Hakstol is encouraged by his progress.
From the first day of camp, Hakstol has been impressed by Patrick’s play without the puck.
“But honestly, I’ve seen him do a little bit more offensively with the puck over the last game-and-a-half,” Hakstol said before the Flyers faced the New York Rangers in an exhibition contest Monday. “That’s probably him finding a little bit of a comfort level with where he’s at, and that’s what we want to continue to see.”
On Monday, Patrick centered the second line and had Jordan Weal and Wayne Simmonds as his wingers.
“He’s a pretty good player and a pretty smart player without the puck,” Hakstol said of Patrick, who was taken No. 2 overall in the NHL draft in June. “And now he’s starting to build some of that confidence offensively.”
In the two preseason games before Monday, Patrick set up Shayne Gostisbehere’s overtime goal against the Islanders, then had a strong all-around game in Boston, displaying lots of passing chemistry with Simmonds in a 2-1 OT loss.
Notable scratches. The Flyers scratched Oskar Lindblom, Mike Vecchione, Taylor Leier, Sam Morin, Dale Weise, and Andrew MacDonald from Monday’s exhibition game. Many of those players are still trying to earn a roster spot, and Hakstol hinted that most (if not all) of them will play Tuesday against the Rangers at the Wells Fargo Center.
Goalie rotation. Goalie Michal Neuvirth started Monday, and Brian Elliott will get the call in Tuesday’s game. Entering Monday, both had played just two periods in the preseason. Elliott stopped all 18 shots he faced against Boston, and Neuvirth turned aside 16 of 17 in a split-squad game against the Islanders, allowing a goal in a five-on-three situation.
Another Radko. Berlin Borough police officer Steve Palma and his K9 partner, Radko — named after the Flyers’ Radko Gudas — will visit with the defenseman after Wednesday’s practice in Voorhees. The dog is the first K9 in the history of the town’s police department. Both the dog and the player are from the Czech Republic. Both, Palma half-kidded, have lots of snarl.
Breakaways. The Rangers’ lineup Monday included defenseman Tony DeAngelo, a Sewell native who was paired with Marc Staal … Asked if he thought rookie defensemen Robert Hagg, Morin, and Travis Sanheim were all NHL-ready, Hakstol said, “We’re only halfway through camp, so I’m not ready to jump to any of those conclusions … We only have six or seven [camp] days to go, but there’s still a lot of work to be done.”