Saturday, February 23, 2008

Flyers Lose Richards, 10th in a row

This is getting ugly. The Flyers lost their tenth straight game tonight, tying their franchise record they set last season. They also lost the services of Mike Richards, their best player and lone all-star forward, for at least three weeks with a torn hamstring. This brings to mind one of the favorite sayings of Philadelphia fans: when it rains, it pours.

The Flyers keep finding new ways to lose. After a second period goal by the slumping Danny Briere, the Flyers shut the Panthers down and looked like they were going to snap their losing streak. Instead, with 3.7 seconds left, Jay Bouwmeester tied the game at 1-1. The Panthers then won the game 2-1 in overtime on a powerplay goal by Olli Jokinen. It was a tough loss, especially considering the Flyers managed only 1 goal against the mighty Panthers goaltender, Craig Anderson.

The worst part of the game was the injury to Mike Richards, who has easily been the most consistent Flyer and is one of the leaders of the dressing room. Late in the third period, as Richards was hustling in on net, his leg and ankle twisted in a way they aren't supposed to. According to GM Paul Holmgren, he will miss at least three weeks with a torn hamstring. Judging by the way the injury looked, it could be longer:

(Video courtesy of 700level)

That's about it for this Flyers season. The injuries are mounting and they are digging a hole so deep, they may never get out. Look for the Flyers to stand pat at the trade deadline; any moves that sacrifice the future to win now would be foolish. Perhaps the Flyers will consider moving some veterans for cap space and draft picks.

There are 36 more days until the Phillies play real games. It's going to be a long month.

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