Ramblings: Yandle Ironman Streak Ends, Campbell Returns, Kadri Injured (Apr 3)

Ian Gooding


It's official: Keith Yandle's ironman streak has finished at 989 games. The Flyers opted to scratch Yandle for Saturday's game against the Leafs. Flyers coach Mike Yeo cited the need to build for the future by giving younger defensemen more minutes. Given the Flyers' position in the standings, this is no doubt an unpopular decision, given how close Yandle is to 1000 consecutive games.

As a child, I can remember reading a Peter Puck book that included a chapter on onetime leading ironman Garry Unger. The story described how Unger played game after game after game until one day, the Atlanta Flames coach decided to bench him. Not healthy scratch him, but keep him on the bench the entire game. All he needed was one shift to keep the streak alive, but the coach didn't allow it. Can you imagine the squawking from Twitter if that happened today? Not just for how the ironman streak ended, but for the inefficiency of having a player stapled to the bench for the entire game. The coach probably had his reasons for not playing Unger, but what a way for the streak to end.

If not for the ironman streak, Yandle probably would have been healthy scratched a long time ago. His usefulness in fantasy leagues isn't even close to what it used to be (15 PTS in 67 GP this season). In addition, he's a league-worst minus-38 (come at me, plus-minus haters, for mentioning plus-minus again). I suppose it can't hurt that much to let Yandle try to get to the four-digit games played number. The truth is that even if he did, the streak will likely end by next season anyway. Yandle is on a one-year deal, so his NHL days could be numbered.

One other fact about Yandle: 10 of his 15 points this season have been on the power play. That's tied for the Flyers' team lead, which also gives you an idea of how abysmal the Flyers' season has been. If Yandle's NHL career is to continue past this season, it will have to be as a power-play specialist (the NHL's version of a designated hitter) and nothing more.

The one positive fantasy takeaway from this streak is how you knew that Yandle would be in your lineup day in and day out. No extended stretches on IR – not even a stint in COVID protocol. A low-maintenance player that you could set and forget in your roster during his prime.

Phil Kessel is now on watch with 968 consecutive games played and counting.

Staying on the theme of Flyers defensemen, Ivan Provorov had not recorded a point in his last 11 games, and he had not scored a goal in his last 25 games. So what does he do on Saturday? Scores two goals and chips in an assist on the Flyers' other goal while taking six shots. If you're in a scoring league, you may have already moved on from Provorov. I've kept rolling with him in one league (with 6 D) because he leads my team in blocked shots. He's in the top 20 in that category league-wise, and the fact that he is also in the top 20 in icetime (24:49) helps him accumulate that peripheral stat when he's not scoring.  

Jack Campbell has returned to the Maple Leafs li