Philadelphia Flyers

Flyers’ D takes another hit as Coburn (lower body) out four weeks

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Braydon Coburn’s injury-riddled season continued on Tuesday, as Philly announced the veteran d-man would miss the next four weeks with a lower-body injury.

Coburn, who missed 12 games earlier this season with a broken foot, is believed to have re-aggravated that injury after blocking a shot during Philly’s 7-3 win over Tampa Bay last night.

With Coburn out, Carlo Colaiacovo will draw into the lineup.

The Flyers’ defense has been something of a nightmare all season long, and this Coburn injury only adds to it. He’s now on the shelf next to Nicklas Grossmann who, prior to getting hurt, was one of only two Philly blueliners (Mark Streit was the other) to play in every game this year.

As for the rest of the blueline… well, it hasn’t been pretty. The Flyers have played musical chairs with regards to d-men sitting in the press box this year as Michael Del Zotto, Andrew MacDonald and Luke Schenn have all sat as healthy scratches.

Three reasons to wonder if Babcock might pick the Flyers

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We’re not sure if TSN/NBC insiders Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger are just speculating, or if they’ve been told something, but it’s worth mentioning that both have gone on the radio recently and raised the possibility of the Philadelphia Flyers trying to hire current Red Wings coach Mike Babcock, who, of course, has no contract with any team past this season.

Some may look at where the Flyers are in the standings and snicker at this suggestion. But here are three reasons to wonder if maybe, just possibly, Babcock could pick Philly over staying in Detroit:

1. The Red Wings’ two core forwards, Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg, are both well into their 30s. The Flyers’ two core forwards, Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek, are still in their 20s. While it’s true the Wings have some excellent young wingers on the roster (Gustav Nyquist, Tomas Tatar) and in the system (Anthony Mantha), their long-term future at the all-important center position is less certain. In Philadelphia, the future down the middle could be Giroux, Scott Laughton, and Sean Couturier. That’s pretty promising. Plus, the Flyers also have some good young wingers on the roster (Wayne Simmonds, Brayden Schenn).

2. When Babcock won his only Stanley Cup in 2007-08, he had a blue line that featured Nicklas Lidstrom, Brian Rafalski, and Niklas Kronwall. Only the latter is still around, and he’s 34 now. While the Flyers’ blue line is arguably its biggest current weakness, there are promising pieces on the way, including Samuel Morin, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Travis Sanheim. Those three won’t be NHL-ready overnight, but would there be a better coach than Babcock to guide their development? And, more importantly, might he see more promise in the future of the Flyers’ blue line than Detroit’s?

3. Money. The Flyers aren’t afraid to spend it. As McKenzie noted on TSN 1050, per Nichols on Hockey, “they’ve got an owner who’s not going to worry about putting a 5 in front of anybody’s salary, and a lot of zeroes after it for a coach.” Not saying Babcock is all about the money, and Detroit should at the very least be willing to make him the highest-paid coach in the NHL. But if Ed Snider sets his sights on Babcock, you just know he’s going to open his checkbook in a big way.

Now, having said all that, the consensus is that Babcock will stay in Detroit. Overall, there’s a lot to like about the Red Wings, including their long-term future. But until he picks a team, the speculation will continue. For now, we’ll keep the Flyers on the list of possibilities.

Lightning’s terrible night: Game vs. Flyers, Johnson, Hedman all lost

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The Tampa Bay Lightning suffered a 7-3 blowout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers tonight. It was the Lightning’s worst defeat of the season and that wasn’t even the low point of the night for them.

Tampa Bay announced that forward Tyler Johnson and defenseman Victor Hedman both sustained lower-body injuries during the contest. Hedman was forced to exit the game late in the first period while Johnson’s night ended in the second frame.

The extent of their injuries wasn’t immediately apparent, but any length of time Tampa Bay has to go without those two would be trying for the club. Johnson, who was named to the All-Star roster, has 17 goals and a team-leading 46 points in 43 contests. Hedman was averaging 22:21 minutes per contest and had 20 points in 25 games before Monday’s game.

Although Tampa Bay held its own early in this contest, the tide turned when Jakub Voracek and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare scored 51 seconds apart in the second period to give the Flyers a 4-1 edge. Tampa Bay responded by pulling goaltender Evgeni Nabokov, but Ben Bishop didn’t fare any better.

That took the pressure off Flyers goaltender Rob Zepp, who was playing in his second career game because Steve Mason has a knee injury. Zepp stopped 21 of 24 shots, which proved to be more than enough for him to improve to 2-0-0.

Related:

Braydon Coburn sustains lower-body injury

Braydon Coburn sustains lower-body injury

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The Philadelphia Flyers have a commanding 7-2 lead over the Tampa Bay Lightning through 40 minutes tonight, but the news hasn’t all been good for them. Defenseman Braydon Coburn left the contest due to a lower-body injury and won’t return, per the team’s website.

The Flyers are expected to make further details available on Tuesday. Before sustaining the injury, Coburn had an assist in 6:49 minutes of ice time. That gives him six points in 31 games this season.

If he isn’t available for Wednesday’s game against Washington, then the Flyers will likely turn to Carlo Colaiacovo, who hasn’t played since Nov. 19.

Philadelphia is also missing defenseman Nicklas Grossmann (upper body) while Kimmo Timonen (blood clots) hasn’t been available at all this season.

Flyers chase Nabokov as veteran’s struggles continue

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Evgeni Nabokov, 39, is in the twilight of his career and at this point, it has to be asked: How many more chances will he get?

The Philadelphia Flyers chased him tonight after he surrendered four goals on just 13 shots. Although to be fair, Ben Bishop hasn’t been able to contain Philadelphia tonight either.

Chris VandeVelde and R.J. Umberger each beat Nabokov in the first period, but what ultimately sank the veteran goaltender were the goals scored by Jakub Voracek and Pierre-Edouard Bellemare just 51 seconds apart in the second frame.

This could be chalked up to a rough night if it were an isolated incident, but Nabokov had a .892 save percentage in 10 contests going into this game. Andrei Vasilevskiy has proven to be an appealing alternative in his four games with Tampa Bay this season, although the 20-year-old will get more playing time in the minors as Bishop has a firm hold on the starting gig in Tampa Bay.