Just when it seems like the Flyers couldn’t get tougher, General Manager Paul Holmgren finds a way. Days after trading notorious party boy Joffrey Lupul to Anaheim, in exchange for one of the dirtiest players in the league, Chris Pronger, the Flyers struck again. Holmgren snagged respected tough guy Ian Laperriere from the free agent line, giving the Flyers yet another gritty forward to add to the ever-growing repertoire of “character” players that are willing to drop the gloves.
And while most teams in the league ignore the Flyers redundant acquisitions, the rest of the Atlantic Division reacted by preparing itself for war.
The Flyers have announced that Danny Briere and Riley Cote will both be in the line up Thursday against the Washington Capitals. Briere, who has played just 12 games this season due to a chronic groin injury, will be inserted into the lineup for Andreas Nodl. Cote, who left Tuesday’s game against the Buffalo Sabres because of an upper body injury, will also be in the lineup after tests on his shoulder came back negative.
Meanwhile, Washington enforcer Donald Brashear is still questionable for Thursday with a knee sprain. Brashear left Tuesday’s contest against the Nashville Predators after getting KO’d by Wade Belak.
Flyers’ enforcer Riley Cote, left the ice in the second period of his team’s 5-2 victory over the Buffalo Sabres Tuesday night, with what is reported as an upper body injury. He did not return to the game and the severity of the injury is unknown.
The Flyers return to action Thursday night against the Washington Capitals, who coincidentally also lost their enforcer, Donald Brashear, to an injury. Brashear was knocked out by Nashville Predators tough guy Wade Belak and did not return to the game. The injury is reported as a sprained knee, which is identical to what he was diagnosed with after his two fights with Cote, in a game against the Flyers earlier in the season. It seems the Capitals’ “sprained knee” is the equivalent of the Flyers’ “sinus infection.”
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.