The team has learned to live without the future Hall of Famer and has adapted. Theyve moved on.
Andrej Meszaros will undergo disk surgery on his back Wednesday. Hell miss the remainder of the regular season plus the first round of the playoffs, at the very least.
The Flyers have done quite well this year subbing rookies into the defense Erik Gustafsson, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Brandon Manning.
Not only has Peter Laviolettes club survived veteran absences, its flourished and gotten better on the blue line.
The pre-trade deadline pickups of Nicklas Grossmann and Pavel Kubina cant be understated at this point.
Through all this, the Flyers find themselves in position to still win the No. 1 overall seed in the Eastern Conference.
They adapted to losing players.
When it comes to Mez, its sad to see that happen, but its part of the game, Timonen said. It happens.
You play this game a long time. Its sad to see losing Prongs, losing Mez. Personally, there is nothing we can do.
I say this again: Its sad to see these guys gone, but we have to move on. They wont be here. Mez, hopefully we go deep in the playoffs and get him back. But theres nothing we can do.
The Flyers have used 12 rookies this season and have done remarkably well. It was out of necessity. Some of those rookies, such as Sean Couturier, Matt Read and Zac Rinaldo, for instance, were here from the beginning and have grown in stature within their roles.
Others, such as Gustafsson, Bourdon and Manning on the back end, have had to grow into roles out of injury-necessity as call-ups.
And still, the Flyers have managed quite well.
When you talk about a guy like Manning, who you see on the ice today because Mez goes down, youre right, there is an opportunity created that hasnt been here, Laviolette said.
For the majority of it, even a guy like Eric Wellwood. JVR is out with a foot injury. Wellwood comes up and hes a contributing factor. But a lot of these young guys have been here and have gotten that opportunity from the start way back in training camp.
We knew what we were looking at and never changed the course of those players from the start of training camp.
Their group this year, you look at games against Boston and Pittsburgh, which have a playoff feel, that adds to their development to win hard games and compete in hard games and come back from hard games.
Thats all part of the process. While some guys are answering the bell based on a injury call-up, a lot ofguys have filled that role all year.
Meszaros, who has 25 points, won the Barry Ashbee Award as the Flyers top defenseman last season.
Mez was our top defensemana couple of years ago and when you take guys like that out, theyre hard to replace, Laviolette said.
You have to give the players who suit up every night a tremendous amount of credit for coming and playing as well as they have and allowing us to keep moving forward in the standings.