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Philadelphia Flyers Lose Danny Briere and Jaromir Jagr: What's Next?

PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 07:  Danny Briere #48 of the Philadelphia Flyers waves to the crowd after scoring the game winning goal in overtime and a hat trick against the Ottawa Senators at Wells Fargo Center on January 7, 2012 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIJanuary 22, 2012

Getting a concussion is just the thing to do in Philadelphia for hockey players.

After losing Chris Pronger for the season, plus leading scorer Claude Giroux for a number of games, the team lost rookies Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier to head injuries. Recently, James van Riemsdyk was diagnosed with a concussion.

During Saturday's 4-1 win against the New Jersey Devils, Danny Briere was injured and later diagnosed with a concussion. Jaromir Jagr also left the game due to a lower-body injury and Zac Rinaldo left with an upper-body injury.

This comes just a day before a Sunday afternoon showdown with the Boston Bruins.

As a response, the team called up tough, hard-hitting Tom Sestito (the guy who told Brad Richards and the New York Rangers "I'm gonna knock every single one of you out") and two-way forward and Adirondack Phantoms captain Ben Holmstrom.

They will join Harry Zolnierczyk, a healthy scratch on Saturday, in the lineup against Boston and all games until someone gets healthy.

This leaves coach Peter Laviolette plenty of shuffling to do, with two players from the top two lines missing.

During the last game Jagr missed, Matt Read was placed on the top line with Hartnell and Giroux. That line could return.

Max Talbot has been used as the second-line left winger with van Riemsdyk out.

Holmstrom plays center in the AHL and could likely take that position on the fourth line between Shelley and Zolnierczyk. This would likely cause centers Couturier to move up to the third line and Schenn to the second.The Flyers would then likely keep Simmonds with Schenn (the two have been linemates recently) on the second line. Simmonds played very well on Saturday and deserves the ice time over Voracek.

Here is what the forward lines could look like for the 3 p.m. puck drop against Boston on Sunday.

Line Combinations
Scott Hartnell Claude Giroux Matt Read
Max Talbot Brayden Schenn Wayne Simmonds
Tom Sestito Sean Couturier Jake Voracek
Jody Shelley Ben Holmstrom Harry Zolnierczyk

 

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B/R Featured Columnist Jason Sapunka is available on Twitter.

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