Flyers beginning to get healthy
At the midway point of their schedule, the Flyers are feeling good about themselves. After 41 games, they are atop the Atlantic Division and are starting to get injured players back. Right-winger Joffrey Lupul is expected to be the latest returnee.
At the midway point of their schedule, the Flyers are feeling good about themselves.
After 41 games, they are atop the Atlantic Division and are starting to get injured players back. Right-winger Joffrey Lupul is expected to be the latest returnee.
Lupul, who has missed the last three games because of an abdominal strain, has recovered quicker than expected and should be in the lineup tonight against visiting Toronto.
In addition, Danny Briere's injured groin continues to improve. After yesterday's practice in Voorhees, the center said he was 95 to 100 percent healthy and was targeting a Tuesday return against visiting Pittsburgh.
Just like last year, the Flyers have played most of their season's first half without one of their marquee players. Briere has missed 32 of the Flyers' 41 games. A year ago, Simon Gagne missed 30 of the club's first 41 games because of a concussion.
The Flyers (22-10-9) have 53 points and entered last night two points ahead of the second-place Rangers. They had 48 points after 41 games (22-15-4) last year.
The Flyers' first-half record this season is even more impressive when you consider they have lost 20 players to injuries or illness.
As a result, six Flyers rookies have made their NHL debut this season.
"We've had injuries and had people in and out of the lineup, and it just seems like everyone has stepped up," captain Mike Richards said.
Breakaways. Lasse Kukkonen cleared waivers, but the Flyers have not decided whether they will send him to the AHL Phantoms. . . . The Flyers are 6-0-4 in games that are tied after two periods. . . . Marty Biron is 11-2-4 in his last 17 starts, during which he has a 2.65 goals-against average and .915 save percentage. . . . Josh Gratton (abdominal strain) will not play tonight. . . . Jon Kalinski (thigh surgery) will remain hospitalized until Monday. . . . Claude Giroux (slight concussion) is showing improvement, Stevens said. . . . Toronto forward Mikhail Grabovski has been suspended for three games without pay as a result of an abuse-of-official incident in a game against Montreal and won't play against the Flyers tonight.