The Philadelphia Flyers have been hit with another injury up front, as Michael Raffl was forced from last night’s game in the second period. Today, Dan Gelston of the Associated Press is reporting that Raffl will be out for four to six weeks with a lower-body injury. The Flyers are already without top free agent signing James van Riemsdyk, and will now lose even more depth on the wing with Raffl out for at least a month.
Raffl, 29, has been quite the find for the Flyers since they signed him out of Sweden in 2013. An Austrian-born forward, he’d been playing in the Swedish second league for two seasons, and was dominating the competition at a relatively young age. After five full seasons in Philadelphia, he is an integral part of the team’s forward group even if he doesn’t contribute a ton of offense. That’ll be missing now, putting even more pressure on the rest of the forwards to turn around their early season struggles.
The Flyers are off to a 4-5 start, and have allowed more goals than any team except the Detroit Red Wings. The 37 goals against aren’t a positive outcome for a team that was supposed to be stronger defensively this season, given their youth on the blue line and continued development of players like Ivan Provorov. Goaltending is still a big issue for the team as they wait for Carter Hart to take the next step, meaning the forward group needs to carry the team for the time being. Without Raffl and van Riemsdyk that’s an even tougher ask, and one that might fall on the shoulders of younger options like Travis Konecny and Nolan Patrick to become top options.