Even With Umberger Ready, Sam Gagner Showing he Belongs
VOORHEES - There was no looking over his shoulder for Sam Gagner in Monday’s practice, as R.J. Umberger was a full participant.
Umberger missed the last two games with an upper-body injury but is now healthy and ready to return. Gagner, who was scratched in back-to-back games for the first time in his career, replaced Umberger and has a goal and an assist in the two games since.
“I feel like I should be playing,” Gagner said. “I feel like I’ve played well, so I want to be in there helping the team. That’s my mindset. I just want to be in there focusing on the next game.”
The next game will indeed be Tuesday for Gagner. He’s playing on the left wing of Scott Laughton’s line with Brayden Schenn on the right side.
“I feel good there,” Gagner said. “I feel good on the right, too. I think being versatile is important. I feel like I can play any of the three positions.”
That’s life on the Flyers, where all but two of their 14 forwards have spent significant portions of their hockey careers playing center. Gagner is one of those natural centers and spent a good portion of his offseason learning the left wing just in case the Flyers asked him to play there.