With yesterday’s announcement that Max Talbot is out indefinitely, the Philadelphia Flyers have gone from bad to worse in the injury department.
While the always-battered Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning currently have five or more players on injured reserve, the Flyers have eight players that are all expected to miss the entire season.
In cases like Chris Pronger, Marc-Andre Bourdon or Danny Briere, a concussion is never easy to come back from and may keep all three players from ever seeing ice time again. The blue line is non-existent when Nicklas Grossmann, Braydon Coburn, and Andrej Meszaros are all out with shoulder and upper-body issues. This leaves 38-year old Kimmo Timonen the bulk of ice time in front of goalie Ilya Bryzgalov.
Luckily, the Flyguys are a gritty team, even without resident ruffian Jody Shelly who is sitting out after having surgery on his hip. Everyone has stepped up in the hit department, especially winger Zac Rinaldo.
Add it all up and you’re looking at 149 man games lost due to injury in a season that has only had 35 games played. Owner Ed Snider and GM Paul Holmgren have some major moves to make at the deadline if they really want to push into the playoffs. Their defensive corps is hanging on by a string and adding another gritty forward like Ryan Clowe (a name that has been tossed around quite a bit) would only help in one of three zones on the ice. His San Jose Sharks teammate in Dan Boyle would be a perfect fit, but the veteran D-man has already said that he has zero plans to leave his California team.
Even with these injury woes, the Flyers have strung together two impressive wins against teams that normally have their number, so maybe a playoff berth is not out of sight. With a few dozen games left and a competitive Eastern Conference, the Flyers need everyone as healthy as they can possibly be.