With 16 games remaining and the Philadelphia Flyers likely needing at least 23 points to make the playoffs, every game is crucial. Unfortunately, the Flyers are getting bit by the injury bug at the worst possible time.
General manager Chuck Fletcher issued some injury updates today on a few Flyers.
Most importantly, center Nolan Patrick skated today and is questionable to play on Wednesday after taking a slap shot to the head on Sunday afternoon. Fletcher expects Patrick to be re-evaluated tomorrow and rejoin the team on Thursday for full participation.
This means that Patrick is questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Capitals, but should return for Saturday’s game against the Islanders.
One forward has already been ruled out for tomorrow, as Jake Voracek is expected back on the ice by Thursday after seeing a doctor to be re-evaluated on Wednesday. Voracek was a late scratch for Sunday’s game with a lower-body injury.
The Flyers are likely to go with 11 forwards and seven defensemen if Patrick cannot go against the Capitals. They did that on Sunday and came away victorious at the Coliseum. They recalled Justin Bailey from the Phantoms on Tuesday to be the 11th forward if needed.
Michal Neuvirth continues to progress and will have a follow-up appointment for his lower-body injury with the doctor on Friday.
Carter Hart, who has missed 10 days with an ankle injury, is still a few days away. He is skating and “doing very well,” but did not practice with the team on Tuesday and is expected to return to the team for the morning skate on Wednesday.
However, Gordon reiterated that the team will not rush Hart back from his injury.
Brian Elliott has played well in Hart’s absence. He is 3-0-1 with 190 saves on 203 shots (.936 save percentage) since returning from injury on Feb. 19.
If Patrick and Voracek are both out against the Capitals, the Flyers forwards will face a tough task.
Here are the lines from practice on Tuesday:
Claude Giroux – Sean Couturier – Oskar Lindblom
Michael Raffl – Scott Laughton – Travis Konecny
James van Riemsdyk – Corban Knight – Ryan Hartman
Phil Varone – Justin Bailey
Konecny took Voracek’s place on the top power-play unit as well.
Washington has a deep forward group and the reigning champs are heating up at the right time. The Capitals have won four games in a row, and six of their last seven.
The Flyers will host the Capitals at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday night.