In an article on Philly.com yesterday, Sam Carchidi wrote about a possible early return for Flyers sniper Simon Gagne.
Gagne, who broke a toe in his right foot in Game Four of the Flyers’ Eastern Conference Quarterfinals series after blocking a Brian Rolston slap-shot, was originally thought to miss three weeks or more of action – basically ruling him out for the second round. However, Carchidi has done a tremendous job of getting to the bottom of the story, finding out per Paul Holmgren that a return for Gagne as early as Game Three is not out of the question.
Obviously, it goes without saying that having Gagne back in the Flyers’ line-up automatically makes them a better team. The argument can certainly be made that he was the Flyers best offensive force against the Devils, despite the fact that he failed to find the back of the net against Martin Brodeur. Still, a Gagne return makes the Flyers more formidable, especially if it’s as early as Game Three. Certainly, a few cortisone shots should have Gagne ready to go after some more time healing, but as of now it’s all just a matter of speculation. It would be great to get Gagne back earlier than expected, but foolish to rush him back and then have him re-aggravate the injury. Until it’s a definite that Gagne is returning, Ville Leino and the Phantom of Peter Laviolette’s choice as well as the rest of the team, will need to hold up their ends of the bargain and play strong.
By the way, just in case you’re curious, I have a feeling we may be seeing Patrick Maroon in this series for the Flyers over David Laliberte – he gives the Flyers a bigger body with some skill, and they will certainly need everything they can get in the second round regardless of who their opponent is: whether it’s Washington or Boston.