It’s not safe to be a Philadelphia Flyers defenseman these days. The season is only 14 games old and the organization has already placed four blue liners on injured reserve and its top two prospects have also been injured playing in the AHL and juniors.
Kimmo Timonen started the string of bad luck this summer when he was diagnosed with blood clots and is likely done for the year. Braydon Coburn was hurt in the season opener and didn’t return until Saturday while Andrew MacDonald was injured late last month. Sam Morin, their first-round top pick in 2013, is nursing a broken jaw after getting hit with a puck.
Although the Flyers finally got good news with Coburn’s return, they announced before Saturday’s game that Shayne Gostisbehere, another top prospect, tore his ACL playing for the Phantoms on Friday and he could miss the remainder of the season. To top it all off, the team announced Luke Schenn will miss two weeks — with a likely sore shoulder — after an ugly hit from behind.
“Yeah it’s tough to see,” Steve Mason said of losing Schenn just after getting Coburn back. “Those are plays that can’t really happen in hockey, guys are vulnerable in that position. Could be the slightest of pushes but when the guy’s facing the boards it’s a dangerous play. ... Nothing more serious happened to Luke [Schenn]. Look forward to getting him back. The sooner the better.”
Mark Streit, a Flyers alternate captain and defensive leader agreed.
“It feels like one guy gets healthy and another guy goes down," he said. "But it’s part of the game, unfortunately.”