There is no doubt that the Flyers have had their share of injuries in this shortened season.
Whether it was Danny Briere missing the start of the year with a fractured forearm suffered in Germany, or it was Scott Hartnell going down with a fractured foot in the third game of the year, or Wayne Simmonds missing a week with a concussion, the Flyers have had a lot of hills to traverse on the injury front.
But each time, the recovery period seemed to expedite at a faster rate than what was originally anticipated.
Briere went from a month to two weeks. Hartnell went from a possible eight weeks to a little more than four.
So would it be a surprise if Matt Read made it back to the ice after suffering torn rib muscles on Feb. 20 sooner rather than later?
The way things have gone this year, it shouldn’t.
Read, who practiced again with the team Monday before they took off for New York, told reporters he could be back as soon as this coming weekend.
That means his initial prognosis of missing six weeks could be cut by more than 50 percent.
If he were to play Sunday against Buffalo, He will have only missed 17 days – or a two-and-a-half weeks – and would bring a huge boost to the Flyers lineup.
Of course, getting back by Sunday depends on a lot of factors this week, and might be more of a longshot than anything, but the Flyers won’t close the door on the possibility.
Read declared himself at about 80 percent now and admitted he was surprised by the speed of his recovery, but also added that he still has pain and that going from 80 percent to 100 percent could take up to two more weeks, he just isn’t sure.
Nevertheless, with the way the Flyers offense has been playing lately, adding Read would only be a major boost to the lineup and really give the Flyers four complete lines that could prove dangerous offensively.
The one guy who has been progressing slower than expected has been defenseman Andrej Meszaros.
The Flyers expected him back in the lineup by now, but his recovery from a dislocated left shoulder has stalled a little bit.
Gumming up the works even more was the fact that Meszaros was sick Monday and unable to practice with the team.
As a result, Meszaros will not return tomorrow for the game, even if he has recovered from his flu, because he is not physically ready to play.
The Flyers hope he will be good to go later this week.
Harry Zolnierczyk spoke for the first time about his four-game suspension for his hit to the head of Ottawa defenseman Mike Lundin and admitted he wasn’t happy about the ruling.
“I respect the league’s decision,” he said. “I don’t like it, but ultimately, I respect it. My job is to go out there and deliver a hard hit. That’s what I tried to do. Obviously, I had no intent of trying to get the guy’s head. That was the case. I apologized to him and that’s it.”
“I’m not going to comment on it anymore. We kind of discussed it with the hearing there. I just tried to deliver a hard hit and I apologized I got his head and that he was injured. I wish him the best. I hope he gets back soon.”
Danny Briere, usually a player who is cognizant of what lies ahead on the schedule, admitted Monday that he didn't know who the Flyers played later this week.
"I just found out that we play the Penguins [Thursday]," he said. "All of my focus has been on the Rangers that I didn't look past it to the rest of the week."
Of course, the Flyers have a monster schedule this week with games against the Rangers, Penguins, Boston and Buffalo.
Maybe Briere was being a little facetious, hinting that the focus for the Flyers is going to be one game at a time through this tough stretch - after all, who doesn't know when the next Penguins game is?
And if that's the case, Flyers fans should be happy, because they are clinging to the No. 8 seed in the East right now, but with so many teams having games in hand, the Flyers can't afford to let any game slip away, especially one like the Rangers where it could be a four-point swing one way or the other.
The Flyers announced that goalie Cal Heeter and forward Shane Harper were both transferred from the Adirondack Phantoms to the Trenton Titans of the ECHL Monday.
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