Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Flyers lose Carter, Gagne for at least Game 5

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Suddenly, that 3-1 series lead doesn't look so solid. Just hours after their impressive Game 4 win over the Devils, the Flyers got some bad news: they will be without Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne for Game 5 and possibly beyond. Both forwards will be out with foot injuries that they sustained in Game 4, with Carter injuring his foot deflecting the puck on his second goal of the game and Gagne injuring his while blocking a shot. Flyers GM Paul Holmgren said that both players are "day to day", though in the playoffs, even players with major injuries are said to be "day to day".

Losing the two puts a damper on the Flyers chances in Game 5 but it doesn't kill them. Neither forward has been the focal point of the Flyers attack in the series, although the timing for Carter, who is a very streaky scorer, was especially bad considering he is coming off a two goal game. Replacing Carter and Gagne in the lineup will be Ville Leino and David Laliberte, which definitely constitutes a dropoff in offense. While I have been hoping Leino, a solid offensive player, would get some ice time in the playoffs, he certainly is no Jeff Carter.

Eliminating the Devils in Game 5 in New Jersey was already going to be a tough task for the Flyers; with these injuries, it almost seems insurmountable. That said, the best case scenario for the Flyers is probably to let these two heal and regroup for a chance to beat the Devils back in Philly for Game 6.

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