|Atlanta Thrashers defenseman Tobias Enstrom, left, and Philadelphia Flyers forward Jeff Carter (17) vie for the puck during the first period of an NHL hockey game Saturday March 20, 2010, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Amis) |
(Voorhees, NJ) - Flyers center Jeff Carter will miss the next three-to-four weeks with a non-displaced fracture in his left foot, general manager Paul Holmgren announced on Monday morning at the team’s practice facility.
Carter, who leads the team with 33 goals and 60 points, suffered the injury while blocking a shot in the first period during Sunday night’s 3-1 loss to Atlanta. He finished the game, but noticed something wrong afterwards.
“It was a harmless play…took one off the side of the foot, got home last night and it just started getting worse and worse,” said Carter.
“It’s tough. This is really what you play all year for, down the stretch run and into the playoffs. I’d obviously love to be out there with my teammates. I guess it’s just part of the game. I’ll work hard to get back and join them in the playoffs.”
Holmgren explained that Carter had an X-ray on Monday morning that did not reveal anything, but the team followed that up with an MRI, which showed the fracture in the arch of his left foot.
For now, Holmgren will not recall anyone from the Adirondack Phantoms. Ville Leino will likely take Carter’s place in the lineup beginning with Tuesday’s game in Ottawa against the Senators (7:30 p.m., CSN).
“[Carter is] a big part of our team, and right now other guys have to pick up their socks a little bit and go at it,” said Holmgren.
Peter Laviolette will now have some line-shuffling to do now that the team’s top scorer is likely gone for the rest of the regular season.
“When you lose a player like Jeff, it’s certainly an important piece,” he said. “Every team in the league has injuries and loses top players, and our team is no different.
“This year has been full of opportunities for others to step up. Guys that have played under [Mike Richards] and Jeff now have an opportunity to fill a role with more minutes in more situations on the ice. We’ll be counting on those players to make the most of those minutes.”
One player that Laviolette could be referring to is Claude Giroux
, who will likely now be centering one of the top two lines. Giroux was arguably the Flyers’ best forward down the stretch last season and in the playoffs, where they were eliminated by Pittsburgh in six games in the first round.
Giroux has 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points in 71 games this year, but just one assist in the last seven games.
The injury to Carter puts an end to his consecutive games streak at 286 – the third longest in team history.