Thursday, April 19, 2012

Grossmann hurt, defense gets quicker

It certainly isn't a good thing that Flyers defenseman Nick Grossmann was knocked out of the game Wednesday night. Grossmann has been solid since being acquired from Dallas at the trade deadline, and despite playing on two balky knees that severely limited his mobility, he was an early team leader in blocked shots in a series against the Penguins that now sees the Flyers up two games but questioning themselves how they could possibly allow 10 goals in a game.
Grossmann was hit by Tyler Kennedy in the first period, came back and played a little in the second then retired for the night in what the Flyers called an "upper body injury" and what everyone else thinks is a concussion.
Don't expect to see him Friday night in Game 5 at Consol Energy Center.
That leaves two rookies, Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson, at the Flyers' disposal. And Bourdon, who went out hurt early in the series, might not be ready to play after getting hit with what some people said was also a concussion.
Either one, especially Gustafsson, however, would add speed to a Flyers blue line that really needs it.
Give the Penguins an inch -- and the Flyers gave them several feet in the 10-3 loss Wednesday night -- and they will be behind you in a blur. That's what it's been like for a Flyers defense with a hurting Grossmann and Pavel Kubina back there.
It doesn't help to have Grossmann hurt again.
But at least the Flyers can be quicker afoot at the blue line.


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