Injuries deplete Flyers heading into matchup with Capitals
There is usually more to talk about than injuries when the Flyers are preparing for a visit to Washington. But with the Flyers' dings piling up over the last week, there is no time for anything else.
There is usually more to talk about than injuries when the Flyers are preparing for a visit to Washington.
But with the Flyers' dings piling up over the last week, there is no time for anything else.
And so went the post-practice interviews yesterday as the Flyers packed their bags and jumped on a train to play the Capitals tonight, the final leg of their six-game holiday road trip.
The quick version of the story goes like this:
Simon Gagne likely will return from his left shoulder injury suffered in Vancouver. Arron Ashman (knee) has a chance of playing, Danny Briere (groin) is getting closer and could be back by Thursday or, if not then, this weekend. Josh Gratton (abdominal pull) is also day-to-day but could play tonight.
But Antero Niittymaki could be out for as long as 10 days, and Joffrey Lupul will be out up to 2 weeks with an abdominal strain. General manager Paul Holmgren said yesterday that Lupul does not appear to require surgery to repair the damage.
Jon Kalinski, however, did have surgery to relieve the blood buildup from a contusion in his left leg. He was in West Jersey Hospital recovering yesterday with no time frame to return. Claude Giroux's concussion will keep him out probably the next two games, and Darroll Powe will be out with a hip-pointer but could play this weekend if it improves.
And this list does not even take into account the number of guys playing with injuries, including Matt Carle (foot), Kimmo Timonen (ankle), and Scott Hartnell (broken toe).
"I don't remember it ever being like this," Holmgren said yesterday, as he ran down the list of injured players and their availability.
"In our last game [Saturday in Los Angeles], we were in a situation where we could only dress less than 18 healthy skaters. That's obviously not a good situation to be in, and thankfully our goalies and defensemen were healthy anyway. The forwards getting hurt now are starting to pile up."
Well, if they started the game with healthy goalies, they did not end that way. Niittymaki pulled a groin in the final minutes of the overtime. He played through the shootout but will be sidelined for at least a week.
The good news is that tests showed no damage to either hip, a problem area for Niittymaki.
"It happened with a couple of minutes left in the overtime," he said. "It felt really bad. I tried to suck it up. I don't think the shootout helped. It was a little sore [Sunday] and [yesterday] was a little bit better. I'm pretty hopeful it's only like a week, maybe."
Meanwhile, forward Andreas Nodl and goalie Scott Munroe were called up from the Phantoms to help fill in the gaps. *