Saturday, April 19, 2008

Flyers lose Knuble for rest of First Round

If the Flyers are going to get past the Washington Capitals and into the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, they are going to have to do it without the hero of Game Four's double overtime victory, Mike Knuble. Knuble injured his hamstring during the second period of Game Five when his skate got caught on the ice and did not return for the rest of the game. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren relayed the news that Knuble will be out, saying that the injury was worse than the similar hamstring injury that Mike Richards suffered earlier in the season that kept him out for two weeks, meaning Knuble will be out for at least the rest of this series and possibly another one if they Flyers make the second round.

Losing Knuble is a big blow to the Flyers attack. His line with Jeff Carter and Scottie Upshall was the best line in Game Four, and generated plenty of chances in today's game as well. Knuble's injury will allow either Riley Cote or Steve Downie to suit up for the foreseeable future. While Cote is the more logical choice, the Flyers might go with Downie because he would bring some of that offensive punch that the Flyers will miss without Knuble.

While this injury might hurt the Flyers in the short term, I still think they should still be able to beat the Capitals in Game Six. Losing Knuble's leadership, toughness and scoring touch is big, but the Flyers have more than enough depth to make up for the loss of one player.

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