Many people speculated that Flyers’ forward Jeff Carter was battling injury after only scoring one goal in six playoff games. He led the Flyers with 46 goals during the regular season, but seemed to lack potency in the second season.
And it’s starting to make sense why.
According to a report from CSN, Carter played a majority of the playoffs with a separated his shoulder suffered in game 3 against the Penguins in Philadelphia. The injury may have hampered his offensive output for the rest of the series.
“Jeff kinda fell into the boards awkwardly and separated his shoulder,” General Manager Paul Holmgren said. “It won’t require surgery but it was enough of an injury it hampered him. He just can’t play right now. He needs to rest it.”
The injury was announced by Holmgren after Carter declined an invitation to join Team Canada in Switzerland for the IIHF World Championships.
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced Tuesday, that captain Mike Richards finished the 2008-09 season with a torn labrum both his left and right shoulder. The first-year Flyers’ captain will undergo surgery on the right shoulder and doctors will re-evaluate the injury on the left shoulder after results of an MRI come back. Going under the knife will put Mike out 10-12 weeks. He will be ready for the start of the season.
The Torn Labrum epidemic is becoming more and more common with athletes as technology to diagonose the injury improves. It’s not the type of tear that can get worse, it simply causes discomfort and if you can handle the pain you can play without fear of aggravating it more or causing more damage.
The homeless Phantoms will be without a place to play no longer. On Tuesday, the AHL board of governors came to a decision to allow the Brooks Brothers access to the town of Glens Falls, NY., to use as the Phantoms’ temporary home.
Comcast-Spectacor manages the Glens Falls Civic Center and will allow the new owners to run their team out of the venue for the 2-3 years expected to build a new arena in Allentown, PA., where the Phantoms will ultimately end up.
Regardless of where the team is located, the Phantoms should remain the AHL affiliate of the Philadelphia Flyers. But instead of the Philadelphia Phantoms, try to get used to the Adirondack Phantoms. Not quite the same poetic alliteration.
For the first time in his short career, Flyers’ captain Mike Richards will get the respect his deserves in terms of accolades. The NHL has nominated Richards for the Selke award, for best defensive forward in the league.
Other nominees are Detroit forward and award favorite Pavel Datsyuk and Vancouver’s Ryan Kesler.
Although Datsyuk is the favorite and epitome of two-way forward, Richards may have the resume to de-throne the champion, even though the award is not given as a result of pure stats, but of observation.
Richards scored 30 goals and had 50 assists to go along with his plus-22. He edged all forwards in blocked shots with 90 and led his team in hits with 137. He ranked third in the league, behind Evgeni Malkin and Datsyuk in takeaways with 83.
But where Richards may have the edge on Datsyuk is in shorthanded points.
Richards led the NHL in shorthanded goals with seven and SH points with nine. He also tallied a 5-on-3 goal, the third of his career.
The Flyers’ leader may very well not win the award this season. But with the reputation as a Selke-caliber forward, it won’t be the last chance Richards has to take home the trophy.
After being unceremoniously tossed out of the playoffs in the first round by rival Pittsburgh, the Flyers’ front office has issued a surprising press conference, set for Tuesday at noon. What General Manager Paul Holmgren will discuss is unknown, but it can be assumed that the Flyers will attempt some damage control with a State of the Organization address, to calm the masses.
One thing is for sure, it will be interesting. Holmgren is very candid about his thoughts and does not pull words. After discussing his evaluation of the season and individual progress, he will should vaguely address the direction of the team heading into free agency and the re-signing of players like Marty Biron and Mike Knuble.
The PC is not set to be on Comcast, but those interested can watch it on Philadelphiaflyers.com
While Team Canada dominated the Hungarians, 9-0, in the World Hockey Championships on Sunday, former Flyers’ forward Scottie Upshall didn’t just coast through the game. Early in the second period, the small speedster caught Andras Benk with his head down, breaking the Hungarian’s collarbone and knocking him out with a suspected concussion. Benk was carrying the puck across the blue line with his head down, when Upshall snuck him with the open ice hit. The hit that would have been deemed legal in the NHL, is punishable in international play. Play continued, while Benk lay lifeless on the ice.
Upshall was given a game misconduct and match penalty, which according to IIHF rules, automatically means a one-game suspension in international play.
At one point in the contest, the Flyers were booking their flight to Pittsburgh for game seven. But with four unanswered goals and more power play impotency from Philly, the Flyers dropped the game in front of a national audience, ending their season in devastating fashion, while the Penguins advance to face the winner of New Jersey – Carolina.
Down three games to one in the series, the Flyers battled back to force a game six at home. And all appeared well after goals from Danny Briere, Joffrey Lupul and Mike Knuble rocketed the Flyers to a 3-0 lead. But like a microcosm of the season as a whole, the Flyers showed inconsistency offensively and got sub-par goaltending to waste the game.
Early in the second period, Ruslan Fedotenko scored a garbage goal in front to get the Pens on the board at 3-1 and get the team moving. Shortly after, Pittsburgh defenseman Mark Eaton tapped in a rebound in mid air past Marty Biron to cut the lead to 3-2. On a similar play, just minutes later, Sidney Crosby smashed in another mid air rebound by Biron, to lock the score at three.
Stunned and bewildered, the Flyers came out in the third period with no momentum. And the Penguins countered. Sergei Gonchar took a drop pass from Evgeni Malkin at the blue line. The potent blue liner set up and ripped a slap shot past Biron, low stick side, giving the Pens the 4-3 lead. Biron had no screen on the play.
The Flyers did everything they could to lock the game back up, but it wasn’t enough to beat Marc-Andre Fleury, who made 22 saves and was clutch late in the game.
Mike Knuble, Marty Biron, Antero Niittymaki and Andrew Alberts are all pending UFA.
With a 1-0 victory on Friday, the Hershey Bears completed a four-game sweep of the Phantoms, knocking them out of the playoffs. Graham Mink scored the lone goal for the Bears, as they ended the Phantoms’ 13-year reign in Philadelphia.
The Phantoms were sold earlier in the season to the Brooks brothers out of Pittsburgh , after news broke that Comcast-Spectacor would demolish the Wachovia Spectrum and build an entertainment complex called Philly Live! The Phantoms have a likely home in Allentown, but it is unknown if they will remain the Flyers’ AHL affiliate, or if they will change the name of the team.
Due to the poorly timed trip to Ethiopia to adopt a child with her husband Todd Carmichael, Flyers’ anthem singer Lauren Hart will be absent for game six, as the Flyers take on Pittsburgh at the Wachovia Center.
It is the first time in eight seasons that Hart will be unable to perform live. The Flyers will not replace Hart, but play a video of her singing “God Bless America” with Philadelphia icon Kate Smith. During every home playoff games, Hart sings a duet of “God Bless America” with Smith.
Hart is the daughter of famous Flyers’ play-by-play announcer Gene Hart.
The 2009 NHL entry draft will take place at the Bell Centre in Montreal on June 26 -27 and it is set to be an active one. With many teams in the top-10 holding multiple picks in the first and second round, it is almost unpredictable as to which teams will deal to move up or down.
The top-end talent in the 2009 draft is one of the best in years, so many teams are hungry to get in the race.
The list below is a preliminary and is subject to change as the draft approaches and teams narrow down their choices.
Ryan Bright (Philabright@gmail.com) is a sports writer, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. A graduate of West Chester University, he has been with the Daily Local News in Chester County since early 2007, working as the paper's college and high school ice hockey beat writer. In 2010, began as a contributer for CSNPhilly.com, covering the Flyers and the Philadelphia Union.