With the Flyers staring down the barrel of post season elimination, forward Simon Gagne, just 13 days removed from foot surgery, has advanced his on-ice work outs which could also move up the timetable for his return to game action.
According to multiple media sources, Gagne was seen skating on a line with Mike Richards and Dan Carcillo on Thursday at the Skate Zone in Voorhees, N.J. Recent reports had him active as early as game 5, but now, barring a clean MRI prior to Friday’s game, Gagne could see action as soon as that night in game 4.
“I didn’t skate for two weeks and it’s a process,” said Gagne in a media scrum after practice on Thursday. “We’re going to take it one day at a time.”
Gagne, 30, suffered a broken toe in game 4 against the New Jersey Devils in the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. A screw was surgically placed in the toe to accelerate healing.
The Flyers trail the Bruins in the best-of-seven series, 3-0, with game 4 on Friday at the Wachovia Center.
The Flyers are still waiting on some good news.
Despite early reports that veteran forward Simon Gagne may begin skating on Friday, just seven days after having a screw inserted into his fractured toe — the latest evaluations have delayed his on-ice activity.
“Simon Gagne had a MRI on his right foot today,” Paul Holmgren said in a press release. “While the study showed signs of healing, Simon is still listed as out indefinitely. Simon will continue to do his off-ice conditioning and rehab.”
Overcoming the loss of Simon Gagne’s defensive swagger, Jeff Carter’s team-leading scoring streaks and Ian Laperriere’s effort, won’t be easy when the Flyers take on the sixth-seed Boston Bruins in a second-round match up set to begin on Saturday in Bean Town.
But with some line changes and the insertion of certain black aces, the Flyers can only hope to manage the drop off as best they can.
The Flyers have been uncharacteristically healthy in the post season — that is until Wednesday. According to the team, both Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne will miss Thursday’s game five against the New Jersey Devils with right foot injuries. The Flyers lead the series 3-1.
“Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne both suffered injuries to their right foot in Tuesday night’s game,” GM Paul Holmgren told Kevin Kurz. Neither will be available to play Thursday, and both players are listed as day-to-day.”
The Flyers found themselves celebrating a Pyrrhic victory on Tuesday after defeating the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, to take a commanding 3-1 series lead in the opening round of the Stanley Cup playoffs. Shortly after the contest, the team learned that forward Simon Gagne had suffered a lower body injury and according to CSN’s John Boruk, a source said “It doesn’t look good.”
NHL executive John Dellapina told the the Philadelphia Inquirer on Saturday, that the reason why Simon Gagne’s controversial second period goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday didn’t count, was that the replay room in Toronto was not sent the correct replays from FSN Pittsburgh.
“… An NHL executive said last night that replay officials in Toronto were not given the proper replays by Fox Sports in Pittsburgh on Thursday, when they ruled that Simon Gagne’s goal did not count against the host Penguins … ”
After missing 22 games due to a double hernia suffered on Oct. 26, Flyers’ forward Simon Gagne is set to make his return to the active lineup, Saturday against the New York Rangers.
“I’m very excited,” Gagne told the media on Friday. “I think today was pretty much the first time I enjoyed myself in practice. I knew the way I was feeling today that tomorrow was going to be my first day back.”
For all the Flyers’ fans expecting and clamoring for a trade before the holiday freeze on Dec. 19 — don’t hold your breath.
On Wednesday, general manager Paul Holmgren made it clear that he wants more time to observe the team under newly minted head coach Peter Laviolette before making a team-shaking move.
“I’d like to evaluate things under the new coach for a while and see how things go with the guys coming back,” Holmgren told the Inquirer, when asked about making a move.
Blair Betts (shoulder) is set to make his return tonight versus the Penguins, while Simon Gagne (hernia) and Darroll Powe (shoulder) are expected to return to the lineup before the New Year.
Holmgren hopes the influx of fresh bodies and minds helps rejuvenate a sullen Flyers team that has lost 11 of their last 14.
If that doesn’t help, heads are sure to roll.
The Flyers avoided the league-wide injury plague long enough and now it’s time to pay their due
Danny Briere left Friday’s practice early with an apparent lower body injury that is likely to keep him out of Saturday’s contest against Carolina. David Laliberte has been called up in case Briere can not go. The official injury term is “lower body soreness.”
“It’s a tough break for Danny,” said general manager Paul Holmgren. “He was playing well. Early in the (Capitals) game he had an issue. He finished the game. We thought we’d give him one day off and it’s gone from there.”
The injury to Briere is the second major affliction hitting the Flyers’ forwards. Just days ago, Simon Gagne was diagnosed with a double hernia and was placed on LTIR. Briere has 5 goals and 2 assists in 10 games.
Laliberte, 23, scored 28 goals and 20 assists in 70 games with the Phantoms last season. The Flyers have been impressed with Laliberte’s maturity and finishing capability after drafting him in the fourth round of the 2004 draft.
After dispatching defenseman Randy Jones into AHL exile prior to the start of the season, the Flyers seem to have had second thoughts.
As of Wednesday, the Flyers have placed Jones on re-entry waivers in an attempt to get him back on the active roster. If claimed, Philly would be responsible for half his $2.75 million salary, $1.37. All of which would remain on the salary cap.