The Philadelphia Flyers are fighting hard to maintain their current position as one of the teams currently in line to make the National Hockey League's playoffs but unfortunately they are having a ton of obstacles thrown in their path.
The latest obstacle now comes in the form of yet another injury to one of the organizations top players, veteran forward Wayne Simmonds. According to a report from the Flyers official website, Simmonds was injured during the team's 7 - 4 victory over the New York Rangers on Sunday night. Although the details surrounding his injury are unclear at this time the Flyers are calling it an "upper-body injury," and it's expected to keep him out two to three weeks.
Interestingly although the Flyers haven't commented on the nature of Simmonds' injury, it sounds like it may have been something that occurred early in the game. The hint that this was the case came when Flyers star Claude Giroux was asked about how tough it would be for the Flyers to lose a player the caliber of Simmonds.
"He's been playing some good hockey for us," Flyers forward Claude Giroux said as per NHL.com. "Wayne's a tough guy. Played a whole game with a pretty big injury. He's one of the main guys here in this locker room."
Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol was asked about how losing Simmonds, the #10 ranked player in the entire league in terms of power-play goals, would impact his power-play unit. Hakstol though chose to play things close to the vest.
"We'll adjust," Hakstol said. "I'm not going to get into specifics. … It creates a domino effect within our power-play units. That's all part of players stepping into different roles and going out and doing a good job in the role that's going to be asked of them by the staff and by their teammates."
Simmonds is a huge part of what the Flyers do offensively and has once again exceeded the 20 goal marker for now his fifth consecutive season, that on top of having multiple game winning goals for the organization this season already.
The Flyers have already been decimated by injuries this month, first losing their number one goaltender Brian Elliott to a core muscle injury that required him to under go surgery. That injury was expected to keep Elliott out for five to six weeks and forced the Flyers to rely on backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
Unfortunately for Philly Neuvirth quickly suffered an injury of his own and while initially there was some suspicion it that injury would take less time to heal, we now know that is no longer the case. With Neuvirth expected to miss several weeks of action the Flyers were forced to make a trade and pulled the trigger on a trade with the Red Wings last night to bring in goaltender Petr Mrazek.
Needless to say this is a far less than ideal situation for the Flyers and it would not be a shock to see them suffer a slump in form as a result of the large number of injuries they are currently dealing with. That being said the players on that roster as well as their head coach have no intention of slowing down in their march to the postseason.