In sports, the phrase "injuries are part of the game" is used quite often. However, the popular phrase took on a whole new meaning for the Philadelphia Flyers during the shortened 2012-2013 regular season.
To put things into perspective, the Flyers lost 264 man games to injury or illness.
Some things were known heading into the season such the fact that defenseman Chris Pronger wouldn't see any action as he recovers from a concussion. The Flyers didn't have quite as much depth at the forward position as they did the season prior.
(Scott Hartnell. Photo by John Russo/The Checking Line)
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)
The Flyers are stuck somewhere between last place and a playoff spot. The next five games, all home, will be the final telling on whether or not this is a playoff team, or a team destined to draft high.
Now 5-9-0 in games against the current playoff set, acrimoniously booed off the Wells Fargo Center ice after a sadsack performance against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers find themselves at a crux. Are they a playoff team?
Is this team, that needs to be bailed out by magical timeouts on a daily basis, that can only play 20 minutes on any given night, that cannot get the big save when they need it, a playoff team?
The Flyers need to rebound after a bad loss against the Rangers on Tuesday. The task won't be easy as they host the first place Penguins. It's going to be another bitter, nasty rivalry game and it's gonna be in the city of Brotherly Love
In a huge surprise this afternoon, the Flyers have upgraded the status of three of their injured players.
Both Matt Read and Andrej Meszaros have been listed as day-to-day after having another successful practice this morning. Nicklas Grossmann, who left yesterday's game early and didn't return, was also listed as day-to-day.
The shortened season has certainly had an effect around the league this year.
Players have been getting hurt and the fatigue factor has been settling in despite not even being half way through the season. The biggest factor in the fatigue has been all of the back-to-back games being played.
They've been especially hard on the Flyers, who fell to 2-4-0 in those games after getting drubbed 5-2 at the hands of the Panthers on Thursday.
A part of the lackadaisical performance could be attributed to the emotionally-charged 6-5 win in Pittsburgh the previous night. The trip itself between the Steel City and Philadelphia wasn't exhausting.
(Pictured: Ilya Bryzgalov and Brian Boucher swap places during the Flyers 5-2 loss on Thursday. Photo by Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images)
Saturday night against Carolina, the Flyers dressed Kimmo Timonen, Luke Schenn, Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, Kurtis Foster, and Bruno Gervais as their defense.
All six shared one thing in common -- not a single one of them were drafted by the Flyers.
In fact, the Flyers have a consistent issue with things like that. Since the lost season of 2004-05, the Flyers have not gotten more than 150 games played from a defensemen they drafted and only one home grown defensemen has played more than 200 games in a Flyers uniform since that time, Randy Jones, an undrafted defender.
(Pictured: Braydon Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)