two more names to the Flyers' list of skating wounded. Defensemen Chris
Pronger and Braydon Coburn won't face the Carolina Hurricanes tonight,
each sitting with as-yet undisclosed injuries (ie, it hasn't been
specified whether they are upper or lower body injuries). Marc-Andre
Bourdon and Kevin Marshall will dress in their places, having been
called up/down from the Adirondack Phantoms earlier today. Harry Z has
been sent to Trenton, presumably to keep him close by for a quick
Can't say we're pleased to hear any injury news for Chris Pronger,
who suffered lingering back issues after breaking a hand last year and
missed time due to a stick to his eye already this season. Hopefully
it's nothing major, perhaps just a flu bug or other illness. The decisions made in personnel—both the guys they called up and the presumed short-term loan of Harry Z) are at least good signs that the Flyers aren't immediately looking to replace Pronger and Coburn for a long time. [Injury Update from Paul Holmgren below]
On to the game.
In two contests so far this season, including one a week ago tonight, the Flyers have topped the Hurricanes 5-1 and 5-3.
Canes are 7-11-3, with their 17 points currently representing last
place in the Southeast Division and the Eastern Conference. They're not
scoring a ton of goals nor doing a particularly good job keeping the
light off behind their own net, and neither their power play (woeful)
nor penalty killing are anything to write home about so far.
A 3-2 win over Toronto yesterday snapped a three-game losing skid,
including two shutouts; Carolina has turned in a terrible November to
date, losing seven of 10 games. Their other two wins this month came
over Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay.
Cam Ward started last night, but it appears head coach Paul Maurice won't be giving Brian Boucher a go in front of a Flyers faithful that are still happy to call him our own, even if he may get a mock cheer here and there. Boosh took the 5-1 loss in the team's previous visit to Philly this season, while Ward took the 5-3 defeat in Carolina. Pucking Hockey lists Ward as tonight's Canes starter, and Ilya Bryzgalov is back between the pipes for the Flyers.
The Hurricanes have had trouble finding the net lately, scoring just
three goals in their last three games, all of which came in last
night's win. Will the Flyers' depleted blue line be able to keep them
muted? Will Matt Read stay blazing hot? Will Kimmo Timonen, Andrej Meszaros, and Matt Carle be skated into the ground as they try to hide two guys making their NHL debuts?
There's more to this matchup than first place vs. last place...
[Update: Paul Holmgren informs the beats that Pronger has a virus, and Coburn an upper-body injury that is barring him from contact. Both are day-to-day. Erik Gustafsson was placed on LTIR]