Flyers-Jets: What you need to know

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Flyers-Jets: What you need to know

Flyers vs. Jets – 1 p.m., CSN
Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia

For the third time this season, the Flyers failed to win three straight games after opening their five-game homestand with a disappointing 5-2 loss to the Florida Panthers on Thursday.

The Flyers have not won more than two games in row all year after they had four win streaks of three or more games in the 2011-12 campaign.

Next up for the Flyers is an afternoon matchup with the Winnipeg Jets. The orange and black have struggled against the Jets over the past few seasons, going 2-10-1 in the past 13 meetings between the two teams.

Records
Flyers: 8-10-1 (Fourth in Atlantic Division, 10th in Eastern Conference)

Jets: 7-8-1 (Third in Southeast Division, 11th in Eastern Conference)

Last meeting
The last time these two clubs faced off, Brayden Schenn and Tye McGinn each scored tip-in goals set up by passes from Jakub Voracek to help pace the Flyers to a 3-2 win over the Jets on Feb. 12 in Winnipeg. Kimmo Timonen added a power-play marker and Ilya Bryzgalov made 24 saves as the Flyers earned their second consecutive victory over Winnipeg after dropping the previous six dating back to the Jets’ time in Atlanta.

Saturday’s matchup will mark the second of three contests between the Flyers and Jets this season. It is the only game that will be played at the Wells Fargo Center in the season series.

Previous games
The Flyers failed to capitalize on the momentum gained in back-to-back wins over the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins and looked tired in a 5-2 loss to the Panthers on Thursday night. Luke Schenn and Voracek got the Flyers on the board in the third period, but the game was already over by the time they beat Panthers netminder Scott Clemmensen.

Andrew Ladd, in his 500th career NHL game, registered three points and Blake Wheeler scored twice to lift the Jets to a 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Thursday. Ondrej Pavelec made 27 saves for Winnipeg, which has won the first two contests of a five-game road trip after losing three in a row on home ice.

Who's hot
After a slow start to this lockout-shortened season, Voracek has been absolutely on fire for the Flyers as of late. The 23-year-old has four goals and five assists during his current four-game point streak. He is tied with the injured Matt Read for the team lead in goals with seven, and is leading the Flyers in assists (12) and points (19) through the first 19 games.

For the Jets, Evander Kane enters Saturday with at least one point in each of his last five games (two goals, three assists). The 21-year-old forward has three tallies and eight helpers in 10 career games against the Flyers.

Who's not
Max Talbot has yet to find the back of the net for the Flyers this season. He has just four assists and a minus-4 rating through 19 games. In comparison, Talbot had six goals, five assists and was a plus-2 in his first 19 contests with the Flyers in 2011-12.

Veteran forward Olli Jokinen, who signed a two-year, $9 million deal with the Jets this offseason, has gotten off to a horrendous start in Winnipeg. In 16 games, Jokinen has just two goals and two assists. He also has a team-worst minus-9 rating.

Keep an eye on ...
Danny Briere has had tremendous success against the Jets/Thrashers’ franchise in his career. In 31 games against Winnipeg/Atlanta, the 35-year-old has potted 14 goals and assisted 19 more to go along with his plus-10 rating.

After scoring both goals in Winnipeg’s loss to the orange and black earlier this season, Ladd is earning a reputation as a Flyers killer. The Jets’ captain has nine tallies in his last 10 games against the Flyers.

A lot of Winnipeg’s offense comes from its defensive corp. The Jets have received 33.6 percent of their points from defensemen, which ranks first in the NHL this season.

Did you know?
Voracek has nine career three-plus point games and two of them have come this week alone. He had a career-high four assists against the Islanders on Monday and netted his first NHL hat trick two nights later against the Penguins.

Injuries
Flyers: Read will be sidelined for six weeks after suffering torn rib cage muscles in Wednesday’s win over Pittsburgh.

Scott Hartnell (left foot) will make his return to the Flyers' lineup against the Jets. On Thursday, Hartnell said he wasn't 100 percent and was another week away from a return.

Andrej Meszaros is still recovering from a left shoulder injury. General manager Paul Holmgren said Meszaros is expected to miss another 7 to 10 days after a team doctor cleared the defenseman for “limited” practice on Thursday.

Jody Shelley (hip) and Michael Leighton (finger) are on injured reserve.

Jets: Offensive defenseman Tobias Enstrom is out indefinitely with a right shoulder injury.

Forward Antti Mietten (upper-body) and goalie Al Montoya (lower-body) are both on injured reserve and remain sidelined.

Defensive Zach Redmond is expected to miss the remainder of this season after undergoing surgery to repair a laceration to an artery in his right leg after a teammate accidentally stepped on him during Thursday’s morning skate.

Sound off
How many points will Voracek finish with this season?

How Nolan Patrick's injury could have been career-ending

How Nolan Patrick's injury could have been career-ending

It’s not an exaggeration to say that Dr. William Meyers may have saved Nolan Patrick’s career June 13 when the 18-year-old NHL prospect elected to have corrective surgery on a core muscle injury that had been bothering him for the better part of the past year.

Prior to his initial visit to Philadelphia, Patrick believed he was fully healthy when he went through comprehensive testing at the NHL Scouting Combine in May, but his time on the ice told a much different story.

“I was probably 60 percent when I first started playing and maybe got up to 70, 75 tops,” Patrick said at development camp earlier this month. “I never had any wind during games. I’d lose my energy really quick because I’d lose it trying to skate with that injury. Probably 75 tops, I’d say.”

But what Patrick was completely unaware of, as are the many doctors who perform these core muscle surgeries, is the prevalence of how these complex injuries are misinterpreted. The Flyers' rookie should have had a typical four-to-six week recovery last summer, and any setback likely would have been avoided. 

Patrick’s first operation took place in Winnipeg, Manitoba, by Dr. James Robinson who, according to Patrick’s agent Kevin Epp, came recommended from the Jets' organization.

“I don’t think it had time to heal,” Epp said Monday in a phone interview with CSNPhilly.com. “Nolan got the surgery to fix the injured area at the time. I don’t know if both sides needed repair. Through the course of rehab he may have aggravated the other side.” 

“It’s tough to explain but it’s a sharp, shooting pain in your lower stomach," Patrick said. “I had it on both sides for a while there. I got one side fixed and then was having issues on that side again."

Whether Patrick was misdiagnosed or the procedure and subsequent rehabilitation were mishandled is certainly open for debate.

In speaking with Meyers of the Vincera Institute, he could not discuss specifically Patrick’s injury or his surgery, but said he performs “on average 10 procedures during a regular clinical day” in which the original surgeon failed to correct the problem area and the result is either a re-aggravation or the development of another injury altogether.

“The number one cause is a failure to understand that the prevalent concepts of ‘hernias’ have nothing to do with these injuries,” Meyers said.

Meyers believes the reason why core muscle injuries aren’t performed correctly are three-fold:  

• A general failure to understand the whole concept of the core muscle region (the area from mid abdomen to mid thigh).  

• A lack of knowledge regarding the anatomy.

• Very little experience seeing a variety of core muscle injuries and correlating that with the imaging. 

Over the past 35 years, Meyers has dedicated his medical career to the complex field of core muscle injuries, and what he has witnessed is a very disturbing trend. He’s the pioneer in the diagnosis and treatment of core muscle injuries, working primarily in his two-story complex at the Navy Yard. 

“The reason why I got into this area was so many hockey players in the 1980s were forced to retire too early because of these [core muscle] injuries," Meyers said. "It was, at that time, the number one reason why they retired.”

Perhaps the one popular Flyer whose career succumbed to persistent groin pain was Mikael Renberg, who retired in 2008 at the age of 35 after undergoing three separate groin procedures over a 12-year span.

Patrick saved himself the agony and was thoroughly convinced a corrective procedure performed by Meyers prior to the draft was vital to his career, regardless of who selected him.

The Flyers were also convinced. Patrick didn’t have an injury history, just history of an injury that never healed in the first place. 

Thankfully, they knew the one doctor who could get down to the core of the problem.

AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics

AHL allowing players on minor-league deals to go to Olympics

Players on American Hockey League contracts will be eligible to play in the 2018 Winter Olympics.

President and CEO David Andrews confirmed through a league spokesman Wednesday that teams were informed they could loan players on AHL contracts to national teams for the purposes of participating in the Pyeongchang Olympics.

The AHL sent a memo to its 30 clubs saying players could only be loaned for Olympic participation from Feb. 5-26.

The Olympic men's hockey tournament runs from Feb. 9-25. Like the NHL, which is not having its players participate for the first time since 1994, the AHL does not have an Olympic break in its schedule.

The AHL's decision does not affect players assigned to that league on NHL one- or two-way contracts. No final decision has been made about those players.

NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly denied a Canadian Broadcasting Corporation report that the league had told its 31 teams that AHL players could be loaned to play in the Olympics. It was an AHL memo sent at the direction of that league's board of governors.

When the NHL announced in April that it wouldn't be sending players to South Korea after participating in five consecutive Olympics, Andrews said the AHL was prepared for Canada, the United States and other national federations to request players.

"I would guess we're going to lose a fair number of players," Andrews said in April. "Not just to Canada and the U.S., but we're going to lose some players to other teams, as well. But we're used to that. Every team in our league has usually got two or three guys who are on recalls to the NHL, so it's not going to really change our competitive integrity or anything else."

The U.S. and Canada are expected to rely heavily on players in European professional leagues and college and major junior hockey to fill out Olympic rosters without NHL players.