Matt Read will be out for the next six weeks due to torn chest muscles. This latest development proved to be the exclamation point to an already disappointing start for the Philadelphia Flyers, especially how Read had shaken the sophomore slump and scored seven goals and six assists in 18 games.
The Flyers already have to deal with Scott Hartnell out of the lineup for the next 7-10 days, and Andrej Meszaros out for about that length of time as well. Each of these losses seem akin to a blow-by-blow beatdown. When will the bleeding stop?
Round two of the Stanley Cup Quarterfinals from last year will occur in Pittsburgh tonight. One of the most potent offenses in the entire league will test the Flyers' defense. It's Rivalry Night in Western Pennsylvania.
It has been very apparent that the Flyers have struggled to get a consistent effort from any of their forwards this season.
Top players like Danny Briere and Claude Giroux have struggled, young players like Tye McGinn have been taken in and out of the lineup, and enforcers like Tom Sestito have made lineup changes even more interesting. It’s tough to think of a player that has provided a consistent effort while performing his specific role.
When you get down to it, Zac Rinaldo may very well be your guy.
(Pictured: Zac Rinaldo reacts after scoring in the third period on Monday. AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Only days after a candid interview in which he told reporters there has been a lack of effort on the ice by the team, Claude Giroux backed up his biting words with a two-goal effort, leading the Flyers past the Islanders, 7-0.
It was Giroux's first two-goal game of the 2013 season, and he snapped a seven-game goal drought in the process.
(Pictured: Claude Giroux celebrates with Jakub Voracek in the first period after scoring. Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)
Six wins, nine regulation losses, one shootout loss, 13 points. That’s where the Flyers stand one third of the way through the season. The record is not very good, but is the team bad or are they going through bad luck? Digging into the numbers suggests it is a bit of both.
Scott Hartnell’s return to the Flyers lineup is inevitable.
Certainly it’s going to be a huge bonus getting back the team’s leader in goals scored last season with _. But a bit of a dilemma will hit head coach Peter Laviolette when his star left-winger does return.
Unfortunately for the Flyers, the guys for them who are playing their best hockey are the guys who aren’t doing the scoring. And those who need to step their game up and perform better are those relied upon to put the puck in the back of the net.
(Pictured: Mike Knuble battles for a puck on February 11. Chris Young/The Canadian Press/AP)