Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Glue gone: Flyers lose Laperriere for the playoffs

(Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
It's going to be quite an uphill battle for the Flyers if they want to continue their playoff run. Injuries have already taken a toll with this team, what with Jeff Carter out for the playoffs and Simon Gagne out for at least the next round, but now we can add another body to the injury pile: Ian Laperriere will likely miss the rest of the playoffs with a brain contusion.

Lappy, who was hit by a puck when blocking a shot against the Devils in Game 5, will certainly be missed by the Flyers. His absence in the lineup is going to hurt, especially if/when the Flyers find themselves on the penalty kill a handful of times a game in the next round. Against a team like the Capitals, one of their possible opponents in Round 2, losing Lappy could be a huge blow.

While he doesn't score goals and he doesn't make the pretty passes, Ian Laperriere is the kind of player every team needs in the playoffs. He's one of the glue guys who kills penalties, blocks shots, shadows top-scoring forwards on the other team and generally plays the tough minutes. The Flyers don't have anyone on the roster who will be able to step in and do all of those things; instead, they have to hope for a combination of players to step into bigger roles.

Winning a Stanley Cup is truly a war of attrition and the Flyers find themselves losing the injury battle. All is not lost for the Flyers but their depth is really going to be put to the test by whoever they play in the next round.

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