Better With Popcorn

JvR and Lilja Injured; Updates on Jagr and Pronger

This year, Black Friday had a whole new meaning for the Philadelphia Flyers.

Coming into their afternoon showdown with the Montreal Canadiens, the team already knew they would be without captain Chris Pronger and point-machine Jaromir Jagr.

Then, only a few hours before opening puck drop, it was announced that James van Riemsdyk was also going to miss the game due to an undisclosed upper-body injury.

General Manager Paul Holmgren made the official announcement following the game.

“It happened in the third period the other night,” he said. “He has a little bit of an upper-body injury right now.”

Holmgren went on to elaborate that van Riemsdyk was not hit on the play, had not practiced on Thursday and had no chance of playing in Friday afternoon’s game.

When questioned further about the extent of the injury Holmgren offered little information other than that it happened in the third period of the team’s 4-3 overtime win against the New York Islanders and that it was not sustained because of an Islanders player.

It was speculated earlier in the day that van Riemsdyk was expected to miss one-to-two weeks.

“No, we’re hoping to get him back sooner then that obviously,” Holmgren said in reference to the proposed timetable. “But, we’ll see how it comes over the next few days.”

The loss of van Riemsdyk only adds to the Flyers growing list of offensive weapons missing-in-action.

Jagr injured his groin on November 17th against the Phoenix Coyotes and missed the team’s next two games.

He returned to the starting lineup on Wednesday night against the Islanders only to leave the game with an injury.

He did not play on Friday.

“Unfortunately for Jaromir and for us he aggravated the same injury,” Holmgren said. “We're gonna take it a little slower this time. He did have a different treatment the last couple days since the injury so we're shooting for [next] Friday now.”

Holmgren also had a chance to address what was going on with Pronger.

Prior to the start of Monday’s game against the Hurricanes it was announced that the captain was out of the lineup because of a virus.

On Friday, Holmgren would not elaborate on what was ailing the captain.

“We're not sure, it's some kind of a virus,” he said.

Holmgren was vague as to when he was scheduled to return but presented a fairly optimistic timetable.

“Well, best case scenario he'll be back the same game [as Jagr],” he said. “Chris is feeling better but he's still not feeling like himself.”

And as if the team didn’t have enough roster spots that needed to be filled, Andreas Lilja sustained an injury in the second period of Friday’s game and will be missing a considerable amount of time.

“He suffered a high ankle sprain,” Holmgren said. “He’ll be out for about 6 weeks.”

Phantoms beat writer, Tim McManus, reported that Kevin Marshall was scratched just prior to the start of Friday night’s Phantoms game.

Marshall played just over 14 minutes in Monday night’s game against the Hurricanes. It is assumed that he will be filling Lilja’s spot for the time being.

Even though the team has sustained a plethora of injuries to this point, it certainly hasn’t seemed to slow them down.  In fact, the organization is fairly confident in the depth that they have throughout their system.

They view the injuries as a chance for young guys to win roster spots.

"[It] is opportunity,” head coach Peter Laviolette said. “The players that have come up have done a really nice job for us.”

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