UNIONDALE, N.Y. - Brian Boucher was looking forward to testing his sliced and stitched left ring finger yesterday on Long Island at the Flyers' morning skate.
Instead, he'll have to wait until today back home at the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J., because the Flyers' plane didn't reach New York until 2:59 a.m. yesterday morning.
After the Flyers' 4-3 shootout win over the Hurricanes on Saturday night, their chartered Delta Airbus A319 plane left Raleigh, N.C., at 11:26 p.m. for what was supposed to be an hour flight to Farmingdale, N.Y.
Weather conditions on Long Island forced the Flyers' plane to repeatedly circle over Maryland's Eastern Shore until it was diverted to Baltimore to refuel.
The Flyers didn't check into their hotel until after 3:30 a.m. Their unusual 5 o'clock puck drop last night left little time for skating.
"With the travel we had last night, we didn't get a chance to get [Boucher] on the ice [yesterday]," Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said. "He's getting there. He was sore. He took shots for the first time [on Saturday], and every time it hit the stick it was rattling on him. I think right now it's just safe to give him another day."
Boucher's injury afforded Michael Leighton his third start in a row. He stopped 28 of 29 shots in the Flyers' 2-1 win, and has stopped 111 of 119 shots faced in a Flyers uniform for an impressive .933 save percentage.
"To be honest, he deserves to be back in there," Laviolette said before the game. "He's played well. Really well."
The skate yesterday would have been helpful for Ryan Parent, who was a late scratch in Carolina with back spasms that flared up in the Flyers' morning skate on Saturday. Parent's injury - which he would only refer to as "lower body" - left the Flyers with just five defensemen when they played the Eastern Conference's worst team.
"We'll get him evaluated when we get back into town," Laviolette said.
Danny Syvret, who cleared waivers on Thanksgiving Day, was recalled from AHL Adirondack to fill in for Parent. Chris Pronger and Kimmo Timonen both logged more than 30 minutes of ice time on Saturday.
"We're going to need six defensemen coming off back-to-back [games]," Laviolette said. "We got minutes where we didn't really want to be. We'll have to stretch out the forwards and the defensemen. We'll keep an eye on the shift length and get some minutes out of everybody."
With just 6 weeks before the torch is lit in Vancouver for the 2010 Winter Olympics, many have been salivating for the announcement of each country's hockey roster.
Few expected to see Peter Forsberg's name on Sweden's list yesterday. Sweden coach Bengt-Ake Gustafsson made the list and checked it twice. He selected Forsberg, the former Flyer and Hart Trophy winner, to help represent the defending gold medalists for the third time despite not having played in the NHL since April 29, 2008.
Forsberg, who has been battling foot and ankle injuries since his time in Philadelphia, has posted seven points in nine games with his hometown MoDo in the Swedish Elite League this season.
"I have been in contact with 'Foppa' [Forsberg] and there shouldn't be any problems with the injury," Gustafsson told Swedish daily Aftonbladet.
Canada is set to announce its roster on Wednesday. The United States will post its invites before Friday's Winter Classic in Boston. Prognosticators have Mike Richards and Chris Pronger penciled in for the Canadians with Kimmo Timonen suiting up for Finland. Matt Carle (USA), Jeff Carter (Canada), Simon Gagne (Canada), Oskars Bartulis (Latvia) and Mika Pyorala (Finland) all have shots to make their country's squads.
Progress has stalled on the Islanders' Lighthouse Long Island project, which would transform Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum into a state-of-the-art arena with a bustling, $3.74 billion retail and residential area around it. The Islanders lost $5.6 million last season, dropping their franchise value - according to Forbes magazine - down to $146 million, third-lowest in the NHL.