Flyers center Danny Briere, sidelined by a strained left groin, is not making much progress and will not play in tonight's game against Dallas at the Wachovia Center.
"It's frustrating because there's not much improvement," Briere said at the Skate Zone in Voorhees yesterday. "After the first two steps, it hits me. There's no power. I can't start and stop - and that's my game. I need to be quick and taking off and hitting holes, and right now I can't do that."
In Briere's absence, Mike Richards has moved to the top line with wingers Simon Gagne and Mike Knuble. With Briere sidelined, the Flyers have used a host of call-ups from the AHL Phantoms, the latest being Jon Kalinski.
The Flyers have won four straight and are 5-0-1 in their last six. Overall, the team is 8-2-1 without Briere - abdominal surgery sidelined him earlier - as opposed to 1-4-3 with him in the lineup.
"Everybody has stepped up," Richards said.
After playing tonight against Dallas, the Flyers will play in Carolina on Wednesday. Briere will likely miss that game, too.
"Only my body will tell me when I'm ready to go," said Briere, who has five goals and four assists. "It's frustrating because I thought I'd be in the lineup last weekend. I want to play. I don't think I've ever had an injury as frustrating as this one, where it's taken this long."
"We don't want to rush him back and have him reinjure himself and be out even longer," coach John Stevens said. "We want him totally healthy so there's no reservations about keeping him in the lineup."
Stevens added there's a chance defenseman Ossi Vaananen, who has been sidelined with a finger injury, will return to the lineup tonight. He was rushed back after having surgery on his finger, and the stitches became torn, forcing him to miss more action.