BRAYDEN SCHENN has been quiet.
Since Feb. 16, Schenn has netted just one goal for the Flyers over his last 13 games, including last night's 3-0 victory over New Jersey. Through 41 games, Schenn has collected just 12 points - the same total as Chris Pronger, who has not played since Nov. 19.
But Schenn would rather wait until the season ends before being judged on his up-and-down rookie year. He says he still has a few tricks left up his sleeve.
"It's impossible to review your season, yet," Schenn said. "There's still a lot of hockey to be played. I'll just take it from there. There's going to be hot and cold streaks throughout the season, but I guess we'll see how it ends."
For Schenn, the flashes of brilliance have been there. After working through a concussion, shoulder injury and broken foot in the first 3 months of the season, he collected six goals and one assist in a nine-game run from Jan. 24 to Feb. 12.
And then he went radio-silent again.
Sometimes, watching the production from Schenn's other rookie counterparts, it's easy to forget he is still just 20 years old. It doesn't help that he joined the Flyers in June in the Mike Richards trade with Los Angeles touted as "the best player not currently in the NHL."
This year, it seems like his point production is linked to his on-ice physicality.
"It's a lot of learning and a lot of adjustment," Schenn said. "There's a lot of good players up here. You've got to earn your ice time. The whole aspect is different, you always have the puck [in junior hockey]. Here, you've got to work that much harder to get the puck."
Not playing for much of the first 3 months, Schenn believes he's got a leg up on his teammates in March. He knows producing points now, during the crux of the season, will wash away any premature judgments about his first year in Philly.
"I feel good, I feel fresh," Schenn said. "I feel good going down the stretch. The season's not done yet. There's still the most important stretch to be played."
After watching his 248-game ironman streak end on March 4 in Washington, Kimmo Timonen said he was able to finally relax - knowing that he would be out of the lineup at least for a little while.
And that's exactly what the Flyers wanted him to do. Coach Peter Laviolette estimated that his All-Star defenseman might only ever play at "80 or 90 percent" health.
"Kimmo's been one of those warriors who shows up night after night," Laviolette said. "He's a guy that gets banged up a lot, but he constantly makes the lineup and never turns down a game.
"We thought it was in our best interest to remove him and give it some time."
After a five-game respite to give his nagging lower back a break, Timonen returned to the lineup last night saying he is ready for a playoff run. He was on the ice for 19 minutes and 4 seconds.
"Mentally, it's been great," Timonen said. "I've played a lot of hockey the last 4 years. Obviously, the last 10 days, I didn't do much. It's one of those things, we felt like it might have been good to take a break at some point down the road and we thought now might be a good time to take it.
"Hopefully it carries over the rest of the year and the playoffs."
As expected, Jake Voracek made it back to the lineup exactly 1 week after sustaining a head/neck injury on a vicious hit by Detroit's Niklas Kronwall on March 6. He was momentarily knocked unconscious on the play.
"It wasn't great to sit out three games and there was nothing I could do about it," Voracek said. "After that hit, I'm pretty happy I'm back in a week."
It showed. Voracek, who has 13 goals and 24 assists this season, had a goal and an assist in 14:25.
Voracek skated with Danny Briere and Eric Wellwood and on the Flyers' top power-play unit.
Return of the red line?
Maple Leafs general manager Brian Burke said yesterday that the push to have the red line and two-line pass reinstated in the NHL "had no support" at the GM's annual meetings in Boca Raton, Fla.
That's perfectly fine with Jaromir Jagr, one of just seven players on the Flyers' active roster who skated in the NHL before the 2004-05 lockout.
"I like the game the way it is," Jagr said. "The injuries have always been there, people just didn't pay attention. I think there were more hits before [with the red line in play]. Before, it was a headache. Now, it's a concussion. They would tell you to take an Advil and get back on the ice. Now, you're out a month."