Forsberg Remains Sidelined
Monday, 11.28.2005 / 12:00 AM / News
Voorhees, NJ – Peter Forsberg will remain out of the lineup on Tuesday with a right groin strain after skating on his own on Monday morning at the Sovereign Bank Flyers Skate Zone.
The Flyers center missed Saturday's loss against the New York Islanders and will miss the rematch at Nassau Coliseum. He is still on a day-to-day basis.
"You don't want to push it too hard because if you do then you're going to strain it again," said Forsberg. "I was just out there today skating a little bit and see how it felt and it was not good enough. If you pull your groin higher up, it usually takes a long time, but this is further down so it should not be that long and shouldn't be long-term at all."
Ken Hitchcock pulled Forsberg in the second intermission on Friday with the team en route to a 5-3 victory in Boston. The Flyers' head coach is taking every precaution with the superstar, who is currently tied for first in the league in scoring with 39 points. His 31 assists lead the NHL.
"You're hoping it doesn't get any worse and that's why we're protecting him right now," said Hitchcock. "He doesn't feel good enough to push off on the exercise machine, let alone skate on the ice so he's just not 100 percent and probably isn't even 80 percent."
Stevenson Also Out; Flyers Recall Ryan Ready
Turner Stevenson left the game early on Saturday with a hip flexor and will also be out of the lineup for Tuesday's game. To take his place on the roster, the Flyers on Monday recalled left wing Ryan Ready from the Phantoms. Ready will be making his NHL debut.
"Ready is a guy that we really like," said Hitchcock "Until he hurt his groin [in the preseason], he was vying for a spot on our hockey club. We really felt like he was going to make our club coming out of training camp. He's back playing with the Phantoms and has been arguably their best player since coming back and we want to give him every opportunity to play here."
Ready missed the first month and a half of the season with a groin injury and has played in the Phantoms' last two games, scoring one goal. Last season, in 72 games, Ready totaled seven goals and 18 assists for 25 points and 104 penalty minutes. In the AHL playoffs, he spent most of his time on the team's top line with Patrick Sharp and Jeff Carter in helping the Phantoms to the Calder Cup Championship.
Desjardins Comments on Accusations
There has been a stir in the NHL recently ever since Dick Pound, the chairman of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said as many as one-third of the league's players may take performance-enhancing substances.
That comment did not sit well with the NHL or the NHLPA. Several players around the league commented on the accusation, and it bothered several members of the Flyers as well, including Eric Desjardins.
"If you want to go after something, you have to make sure you have facts. To put numbers on it is making people guilty before you get them on the stand," said Desjardins. "I don't think it's fair. It makes our league look bad. To come out with something like thatâ€¦I think there's no reason."
Flyers Pass Season's Quarter-Point
With 22 games played, the Flyers have passed the regular season's quarter point with a 13-6-3 record. While the record is certainly respectable, the team still feels like it can dramatically improve, especially with the multitude of injuries.
"I don't think we've played one [game] with a healthy lineup," said Derian Hatcher. "That's tough, so you don't know what you have. Obviously Keith [Primeau] has been out and we don't know what his status is, so it's tough to make an evaluation."
"I think if you look at the team we have right now, we've seen some flashes of what the team can do," added Simon Gagne. "Right now, we're going through injuries and big guys are missing. It's a great challenge and maybe that is something that will help us be a better team in the end."
Esche to Start on Tuesday in Long Island
After Antero Niittymaki made consecutive starts against Boston and the Islanders, Robert Esche will be back in net on Tuesday.
"We'd like to see Esche play against the Islanders and the Devils, but we'll see how it goes," said Hitchcock.