The hits keep coming for the Philadelphia Flyers.
Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere is expected to miss approximately three weeks due to arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, the team announced on Thursday afternoon.
Injury update: Defenseman Shayne Gostisbehere will have arthroscopic surgery on his left knee on Tuesday, Jan. 14. He is expected to return to play in approximately three weeks.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 9, 2020
This comes on top of the news from a few days prior that Justin Braun would be out through the All-Star break (at least two weeks) due to a groin injury.
Injury update: Justin Braun (groin) is out tomorrow for #PHIvsCAR and is expected to remain out until after the All-Star break. Robert Hagg will be in the lineup.
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 6, 2020
The Flyers lost two of their defensemen in a span of less than three days. They have dealt with injuries to their forwards already this season, with many of their bottom-six options missing time, and now the blue line will have to hold down the fort without Braun and Gostisbehere.
Mark Friedman was recalled from the Lehigh Valley Phantoms prior to Wednesday night’s game against the Washington Capitals. Friedman played 11:49 against the Capitals and is going to need to play at least that over the next few weeks.
Luckily for the Flyers, the All-Star break comes at an ideal time for these injuries. They play on Tuesday the 21st and are then off until Friday the 31st, giving Braun and Gostisbehere extra time. If Gostisbehere is ready to play in three weeks from Thursday, he will only miss six games.
However, those are six important games. The Flyers play the Lightning, Bruins, Blues, Canadiens, Kings and Penguins before the break.
Philippe Myers and Robert Hagg will both have larger roles now for the Flyers with two defensemen out, and Friedman will fill in on the third pair. Due to how crucial this stretch of the schedule is, it wouldn’t surprise me if Chuck Fletcher tests the waters for a veteran defenseman to fill in on the third pair or as a seventh defenseman if the Flyers can pick him up for cheap.