Flyers forward Michael Raffl will be out for six weeks after suffering a lower-body injury on Tuesday.(Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)
Tuesday's strong win for the Flyers was marred by the impending news of Michael Raffl's injury. On Wednesday, the Flyers got bad news on the top-line winger.
Raffl will be out for six weeks with a lower-body injury, according to GM Ron Hextall. Raffl suffered the injury in Tuesday's third period while blocking a shot.
The extent of Raffl's injury is unknown as the Flyers did not specify what is ailing the forward. Raffl's awkward shot-blocking style definitely contributed to the injury.
At practice on Wednesday, Chris VandeVelde moved into Raffl's place on the top line. Blair Jones, who on Tuesday was on waivers to be sent to Lehigh Valley, will now likely remain with the Flyers as an extra winger. Jason Akeson, a healthy scratch on Tuesday, will likely fall into the fourth-line spot VandeVelde previously occupied.
Raffl's expected return, based on the projected severity of the injury, is mid-December.
Kevin Durso is managing editor for Flyerdelphia. Follow him on Twitter @KDursoPhilsNet.
Steve Mason made 35 saves in his first win of the season on Tuesday night.(Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)
Craig Berube refused to consider the factors off the ice for the Oilers on Tuesday. What mattered was the effort of his own players.
The Flyers turned in their best game of the season on Tuesday, playing with excellent jump from the beginning. In the first 40 minutes, the Flyers opened a 4-1 lead. There was no scoring in the final 20 minutes, but Berube thought the third period was the Flyers best of the game.
"I thought it was our best period of the game," Berube said. "We killed a couple penalties, with Mason making big saves at the end. I thought the first two periods were not casual, but sloppy at times for me, with not enough attack. We had more attack in the third."
Jake Voracek added two goals on Tuesday to increase his points total to 18 through 12 games this season.(Photo by Amy Irvin/38Photography)
Make no mistake, the Flyers top line has been incredibly productive over the course of the first month of the season.
Jake Voracek leads all NHL players with 13 assists. Michael Raffl is on pace to trump his goal total from his rookie season in 2013-14 with six goals already. Claude Giroux remains at the center of the production - just two goals but 12 assists.
But all hot streaks go south as some points. Take away the top line, and the Flyers have just 39 points divided among the remaining 11 forwards that have played in a game this season, the same amount as the top line.
When the cold spell comes and the top line can't seem to buy a goal, with the rest of the forwards be able to step up in their place?