On Tuesday, Frank Severalli wrote that the Philadelphia Flyers still controlled their playoff destiny, even as they sat in 13th place in the East. "It's still in our hands," Kimmo Timonen said of the team's hopes to make the postseason.
But if it is still in the Flyers' hands, the hockey gods are doing their absolute best to wrest it away. Two days after losing Daniel Briere indefinitely to a concussion, the club learned that defenceman Andrej Meszaros would be out indefinitely with a shoulder injury. From the Flyers:
Andrej Meszaros re-injured his left shoulder in the closing minutes of yesterday’s 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers when he collided with a Rangers player on a clearing attempt in his own zone.
According to Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, Meszaros will be out of the lineup indefinitely.
Meszaros already missed more than a month this season with a similar injury, also suffered against the Rangers in the fourth game of the season.
Meszaros has struggled to stay healthy all year, a complete turnaround from the recent past, where he put together an iron man streak of 298 games before a back injury began this rash of injuries last March.
It's been nothing but bad luck for him. Consider: seconds after the photo above was taken Tuesday night versus the Rangers, he was whistled for a holding penalty. Nothing is going his way.
Same goes for the Flyers. The loss of Meszaros will hurt, as he averaged 18:27 for the club in the 11 games he played, fourth among defenders. Unless Nick Grosmann is ready to go, this injury leaves Philadelphia, who has dropped to 14th in the East, with just five healthy bodies on their back end. That makes for a tough hill to climb as they look to stop a three-game losing streak, turn things around after dropping 7 of 9, and convince themselves and their fans that destiny is still in their hands.
Hug a Flyers fan today.