PHILADELPHIA – Matt Read was on the ice with his teammates Wednesday at their morning practice, one week after suffering torn rib cage muscles in Pittsburgh.
That’s the good news.
The bad news is everything hurts. He can’t do a lot and is still considered a long-term injury, out for another month or more.
“It’s pretty painful,” Read said. “But I don’t know, I guess it could be a lot worse, you know?”
We get it.
The timing couldn’t be worse for Read who was the Flyers leading goal scorer at the time of his injury.
Now, he’s going to take it slow and easy, and hope to be back for the final month of the season.
“I can skate, but I can’t do anything else besides that, really,” he said. “It’s frustrating. It’s part of the game. Injuries are part of the game, and you can’t do anything about it. You just got to take it with a grain of salt, and when you get back to being healthy, get ready to play at 100 percent.”
Getting back to 100 percent is going to be a slow, arduous task – one that will take several evaluations before his return can be expected.
“ We’ll see how my body feels in the next couple days, and if I can get back on the ice,” Read said. “But it’s not my decision it’s the trainer’s decision and Paul Holmgren’s decision, so it’s not up to me.”
With the addition of Simon Gagne via trade to the lineup, the Flyers had to do some line juggling.
Tye McGinn (fractured orbital bone) went out, but hat wasn’t the only switch.
Coach Peter Laviolette, looking for more speed in the lineup, chose Harry Zolnierczyk to play instead of Mike Knuble.
It proved to be a wise choice by the coach as Zolnierczyk was flying around the rink, creating havoc and pestering the Caps.
However, Zolnierczyk’s night ended early when he was hit with a major penalty for kneeing Mathieu Perrault and a game misconduct.
The hit appeared clean on replay, but at top speed, could easily have been construed differently.
However Laviolette thought the hit was clean, as did Washington coach Adam Oates.
“I don’t think it’s dirty at all,” Oates said. “I think it’s a product of our whole game. There is 30 seconds left, the games over, and Matty thought he could stick handle through the team. It’s not what we do, all of us tonight, and guys are sitting there waiting for you, and you get hit.”
Because he got a game misconduct, the hit will automatically be reviewed by NHL Director of Player Safety Brendan Shanahan.
This and That: Nick Grossmann had seven more blocked shots Wednesday, bringing his total to 61 for the season, which is most in the NHL… Erik Gustafsson suffered a lower body injury in the second period and did not return. He is day-to-day and will be re-evaluated tomorrow… Despite reports to the contrary, general manager Paul Holmgren said the Flyers have not discussed a trade with any team regarding Danny Briere.
To contact Anthony SanFilippo, email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37