It's going to be a longer off season for the Flyers than they're used to.
Among the topics heading into the off season is the job security of head coach Peter Laviolette. In an interview with the Philadelphia Inquirer, Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren reassured the safety of his head coach.
Via Sam Carchidi's article this morning:
"I haven't even thought along those lines," Holmgren told The Inquirer in a phone conversation. "I think it's been a difficult year because of the situation. We haven't had our whole team all year. I don't blame the coaches.
After dropping a 3-1 decision to the Ottawa Senators on Thursday, they find themselves seven points back of the final playoff spot with eight games to go, needing a bevy of extremely unlikely circumstances to occur for them to even slide into the eighth spot in the Eastern Conference.
"We have a game coming up," head coach Peter Laviolette said after the loss. "We need to win hockey games and focus on the next one."
That may be the only thing the Flyers can do—just try to win with what they have.
(Pictured: Claude Giroux during warm-ups. Photo by Candice Monhollan)
General Manager Paul Holmgren announced on Friday that Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn will be out indefinitely with a separated shoulder. With only a handful of games left in the season, this likely means his season is done.
The length of his departure all depends on the degree of his shoulder's separation, but risking further injury in a season like the one that has unfolded makes close to zero sense. Coburn's departure has promped a callup of Adirondack Phantoms defenseman Oliver Lauridsen.
Originally a steal in the trade from the Atlanta Thrashers for Alexei Zhitnik back in 2007, the 28-year-old Saskatchewan native posted just five points through 33 games—a stark contrast to his 36 point season in 2007-08. His point production has sharply decreased since that point to the lowest it has ever been in his career as a Flyer by far.
The Flyers found out today that the season's of Andrej Meszaros and Braydon Coburn are officially over.
Meszaros, who injured his shoulder for the second time this season, will have season-ending surgery on April 2 to repair a torn rotator cuff. Coburn will also sit out the rest of the season with a shoulder separation.
The Flyers have also been without Nicklas Grossmann for the last three games.
The Flyers have recalled rookie defenseman Oliver Lauridsen this morning according to Diana Nearhos of the Post-Star.
In a move anticipating the loss of another defenseman, the Flyers recalled the 6'6", 220-pound stay-at-home blue liner. Braydon Coburn was injured in yesterday's 4-3 loss and may miss some time with this move.
Failure to hold a lead once again did the Flyers in.
The Flyers blew a 2-0 lead in the final 21 minutes of the game to drop their fourth straight, losing 4-3 in a shootout. Though the Flyers managed to tie the game in the final minute of play, they overall blew an opportunity at two important points.
"I think once they came out, they had some power plays early, we gave them two power plays early and we gave them a little zone time, they scored a goal," head coach Peter Laviolette said. "It seemed like we stopped playing, but we stopped pressing offensively like we had been. It was like we were trying to defend that lead as opposed to getting the next goal."
The Flyers knew exactly what they needed to do if they wanted to keep their playoff hopes at a manageable level.
They didn't execute though, and it was seen clearly in their 5-2 loss to New Jersey. They were docked with seven giveaways in the loss, leading to some quick first period goals that put them in an early, insurmountable hole.
An Andrej Meszaros give away behind the net gave the Devils their first goal of the game.
Meszaros coughed up the puck to the slot and Adam Henrique put a shot on net. Patrik Elias intercepted the shot in front of Ilya Bryzgalov and beat the netminder backhanded to put New Jersey up, 1-0.
(Pictured: Devils goalie Johan Hedberg makes a save. Photo by Andy Marlin/NHLI via Getty Images)