Philadelphia Flyers: An Inside Look

Timothy WCorrespondent IDecember 9, 2008

The Philadelphia Flyers are currently sitting in sixth place with a record of 13-7-6.

They are facing the New York Islanders tonight as part of their first of four home games this week.

The Flyers have already seen many ups and downs this season.

Jeff Carter is playing like he is unconscious, netting 19 goals and 26 points.

As I was writing my previous sentence, Carter scored one more, bringing him to 20.

They have points in their last 12 games besides the one loss to Toronto.  But they started off very shaky and the injury list is continuing to grow:

Derian Hatcher (D): Missed last 25 games. Out indefinitely.

Ryan Parent (D): Missed last 25 games. Out indefinitely.

Randy Jones (D): Missed last 25 games. Out indefinitely.

Matt Carle (D): Missed last two games with an upper-body injury. Is listed as day-to-day.

Danny Briere (C): Missed last game with groin strain. Out four to five weeks.

Now the most obvious thing from that list is the amount of defence they have had to patch.

Somehow, without these key players, the Flyers are winning games or taking them to overtime.

Let's not forget to mention the impressive play of first-time captain, Mike Richards who has tallied 28 points and scored three game-winning goals.

Simon Gagne leads the team in points with 32 and has four short-handed goals.

In my opinion, Gagne was the best offseason addition.  Although Gagne was already a Flyer, he battled back from a nagging head injury last season and has played like he hadn't missed a game.

Biron has been streaky, but what else is new?

The thing I like most is the way Niittymaki has backed him up. I don't think you could ask for more in a backup role.

The season is long from over, and I am predicting the Flyers will see some more troubles along the way. But they will make the playoffs and hopefully they will do what they do best: Win physical hockey games with a few lucky bounces, and make a couple of great plays.

Oh, and tonight's final score? Philadelphia 4, N.Y. Islanders 3.