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Briere out indefinitely; Grossmann out 7-10 days

It is being reported by several sources that Philadelphia Flyers star forward, Daniel Briere is out indefinitely with an upper back contusion.

The injury came as the result of a hit in the final minute of Sunday’s 6-4 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins when Penguins forward Joe Vitale tagged Briere with an open ice hit with a little over a minute left in the game.

By all accounts, it was a clean check.

Ultimately, the Flyers and their players did not take too kindly to it and a line brawl broke out at center ice.

The players weren’t the only ones getting into the action.

Flyers head coach, Peter Laviolette was enraged over the fact that Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma put out his checking line after they had not played for an extended period of time and broke Maxime Talbot's stick over the glass in frustration in addition to climbing onto the boards to try and confront Bylsma.

Laviolette went as far as to call the decision to put out the checking line ‘gutless.’

Bylsma declined comment, but Penguins captain Sidney Crosby stated that if Laviolette and the Flyers didn’t want Briere getting hit, then he shouldn’t have had him on the ice in the first place.

Needless to say, this should make the next meeting between these two teams next Saturday all the more interesting.

The loss of Briere will be felt by the Flyers.

Although he hasn’t been scoring many goals lately, he has been producing at a rapid pace registering nine points in his last five games.  

As it is well documented, he has historically been an amazing playoff performer registering 96 career points in 97 playoff games.

With Briere out indefinitely, it seems likely that Ben Holmstrom will be recalled from the Phantoms.

Holmstrom has played in seven career games with the Flyers, five of which came during this season. He has averaged 6:43 of ice time in those five games and has yet to register an NHL point.

However, if Holmstrom is called up, he probably won’t be making the trip alone.

The team has also announced that defenseman Nicklas Grossmann will miss 7-10 days with a knee injury, which was also caused by a hit by Vitale.

Grossmann is expected to return in time for the playoffs.

It seems likely that Erik Gustafsson will be recalled from the Phantoms, especially considering that Andreas Lilja has been out of the line-up since March 24 with an ‘upper body injury.’

In 30 games with the Flyers this season, Gustafsson has five points (one goal, four assists), 35 blocked shots, nine hits and has averaged 16:47 of ice time.

UPDATE: Late Monday night, Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted that the Flyers were most likely going to dress Jody Shelley rather then make a call-up from the Phantoms.

Check back as more information is made available.

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Comments

John Russo's picture

Total BS that Bylsma sent out his 4th line against the Briere-Schenn-Simmer line. Vitale's hit, though clean within the rule books, was cheap and uncalled for. It sent a message alright, a message that the Flyers are going to take to heart heading into their destined first round match up with the Pens.