Courtesy of the Flyers, here comes the rain – no corny snow puns here, folks – to put a bit of a damper on your parade of a Philadelphia sports day.
If the 5-1 pasting they took in Dallas on Saturday afternoon wasn’t bad enough, it turns out Vinny Lecavalier is injured much worse than we thought.
General manager Paul Holmgren announced Sunday evening that Lecavalier, who missed the team’s last three games with what the Flyers originally called “back spasms,” is expected to miss at least the next three to four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his back.
For those wondering, WebMD says a non-displaced fracture occurs when “ the bone cracks either part or all the way through but does not move and maintains its proper alignment.”
That’s a major ouch for Lecavalier, who last played two Saturdays ago in Nashville when he scored the shootout winner, and maybe even more so or the Flyers, who currently sit just a few precious points out of a playoff spot.
Along with Matt Read, Lecavalier is tied for the team lead in goals with nine. He’s also tied with Read and Sean Couturier for third on the team in points with 14.
That’s a huge piece to lose for a Flyers team that, despite its better play in the last month or so, still struggles to put the puck in the net. The Orange and Black’s average of 2.17 goals scored per game is still second worst in the entire league. They’ve scored more than three goals just seven times in 28 games.
A key to the Flyers’ resurgence has been stable line combinations but
Lecavalier’s injury puts his second line with Brayden Schenn and Wayne Simmonds into a state of limbo.
In the three games Lecavalier has missed so far due to the fracture, Schenn has slid from the wing over to his natural center position to replace Lecavalier and rookie Michael Raffl has moved up to fill the vacant wing spot to unimpressive results. Raffl has looked a bit in over his head on that line so far.
The line has been on the ice for just one of the Flyers’ seven goals scored in those three games and Raffl’s only point in that span was an assist on Couturier’s empty-net goal in Detroit on Wednesday.
In his story, the Daily News’ Frank Seravalli says that Holmgren insists the Flyers won’t look to the trade market for a replacement and will look to fill the void from within the organization. But you’ve all heard that little diddle come from Holmgren’s mouth before so take it for what it’s worth.
But, for argument’s sake, let’s say he passes the lie detector test this time. That means someone will be called up from the Phantoms.
Hello, Tye McGinn?
I’ve read your comments. I know how much some of you love Tye McGinn. If he is indeed the one who gets the call, don’t be shocked to see him go right up onto that second line.
Even though it’s due to an unfortunate injury to another player, he or whomever else Holmgren’s magical call-up wheel lands on will have an extended period of time to prove that he deserves to be playing important minutes and should stay with the big club.
Now, go head back outside and enjoy your unexpected snow day. That is, unless you are one of those poor, poor bastards who still had to go in today. In that case, just go ahead and keep reading the site while you’re at work or school. It’ll make the day go by faster. I think.