By Tom Dougherty


PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Joel Farabee did everything but score, and that wasn’t enough to secure a spot in the Flyers’ lineup to open the season. Results matter, even if the process and the underlying numbers screamed he was ready, the Flyers’ decision-makers thought a little seasoning in the AHL would help.

Turns out, the 2018 first-round pick didn’t need much cooking in Lehigh Valley — four games to be exact.

The Flyers called up Farabee and Mikhail Vorobyev on Sunday, who are expected to play against Vegas Monday.

Farabee exploded onto the scene with the Phantoms, scoring goals in his first three games — a highlight-reel for his first career pro goal, a snipe job for his second and one from in close for his third.

After the Flyers loaned Connor Bunnaman to the Phantoms on Friday, many wondered if that would open the door for Farabee. Bunnaman, along with Carsen Twarynski — who was sent down to Lehigh Valley Sunday — is one of the reasons why Farabee was sent to Lehigh Valley. Bunnaman and Twarynski knocked down the doors during training camp.

Bunnaman, though, couldn’t last as he had trouble adjusting to the NHL pace. Instead of immediately calling someone up, the Flyers stuck with 12 forwards for Saturday night’s 4-1 loss to the Stars.

That was enough for General Manager Chuck Fletcher to call Farabee’s name.

Through six games, the Flyers’ process largely has resulted in glowing advanced numbers. But, as it was with Farabee’s preseason, results matter, and the Flyers’ overwhelmingly positive process isn’t turning into stone-cold production. The goals haven’t come consistently.

In just the last two games, the Flyers have outshot their opponents, 91-38, but have just four goals to show for it. They’ve scored seven goals in their last 12 periods and a minus-3 goal differential on the season.

The underlying numbers say the Flyers deserve a better fate. If they continue on this track, things will even itself out and there will be plenty to like.

That said, this season has all the makings of another slow start after the glow of the first two games wore off. The Flyers have lost four straight, and while they’ve played well in large portions of those games, the hard truth is, that’s four losses. They’re 2-3-1 — not great.

It’s nowhere near panic time, and calling up Farabee isn’t a sign the Flyers’ front office is doing so.

Rather, calling Farabee up is an attempt to provide a spark to the big club and an indication the front office doesn’t believe he has anything left to prove in the AHL.

Four games isn’t a large sample size, but the winger averaged a point-per-game with the Phantoms. Couple that with him showing he can play in the NHL during the preseason, the call-up is a no-brainer.

Farabee pushed the limits in training camp and preseason, flashed impressive play-driving ability and a sound 200-foot game. He just didn’t score.

With Nolan Patrick (migraines) ramping up his conditioning, the back end of the Flyers’ top nine is light on skill. Twarynski, Michael Raffl and Tyler Pitlick have filled in on the third line, and they’re fine Band-Aids — not long-term solutions. They can do the job but are better suited on the fourth line.

Inserting Farabee alongside James van Riemsdyk and Scott Laughton — and eventually swapping Laughton to the fourth line with Patrick — and the Flyers’ third line would provide Alain Vigneault three lines capable of putting the puck in the back of the net.

No one is expecting Farabee to be Connor McDavid or fix everything. He’s here as a shot in the arm and simply because he’s NHL ready.

Fletcher and Co. decided that Farabee is ready for The Show after four games.

Four games in which Farabee scored three goals and four points in the AHL.

And four games the Flyers lost, four games the Flyers struggled to finish.

Farabee is a finisher, and the Flyers are going to need it.