Briere Receives Three Game Suspension--What's Next For The Flyers?
Flyers forward Danny Briere had his conference call with the league about two hours ago regarding the cross check he gave to the face of Islanders’ Frans Nielsen.
He will receive a three game suspension. That means he’s out tonight against the Carolina Hurricanes, Thursday’s game against the New York Rangers, and (ironically enough) Saturday’s game against the New York Islanders.
The suspension will cost Briere $209,677.44 in salary between today and Saturday.
Briere is no stranger to this sort of situation. According to John Shannon of Sportsnet, the scrappy forward has been fined/suspended/warned by the league a combined eight times dating back to 2005.
What does this mean for the Flyers?
Well, the interesting thing about the timing of this scenario is that the situation is compounded by the upper body injuries that defenseman Andrej Meszaros and forward Andreas Nodl received against the Islanders.
According to Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News, Meszaros is doubtful for tonight’s game. The Flyers recalled defenseman Oskars Bartulis from the Adirondack Phantoms upon the completion of his conditioning stint.
Tim Panaccio reports that Phantoms forward Eric Wellwood has been recalled to play tonight in place of Nodl. He has been a shining star on an otherwise abysmal organization so far this season.
Nikolay Zherdev (who you may recall has sat out the past two games in favor of Dan Carcillo) will replace Briere.
So what do the lines look like?
Tim Panaccio of CSN Philly gave us a big hint, reporting that Wellwood has stated that he’ll be on the top line with JVR and Richards tonight. It makes sense because the Flyers have won three straight and head coach Peter Laviolette doesn’t want to mess with the team’s chemistry more than the circumstances already have. The fourth line will likely stay the same.
Look for Zherdev to replace Carter at wing on the third line. Carter, in turn, will likely center that line. Giroux, who centered Carter against the Islanders, will probably fill in for Briere on the line with Scott Hartnell and Ville Leino.
On defense, look for Bartulis to fill in for Meszaros. Laviolette commented to the media that the defense did well while he cycled 5 defenseman, but it makes more sense to use 6, especially because Bartulis was likely sent down to the Phantoms in the first place to gain more ice time.
Panaccio reports that Bobrovsky will look for his fourth straight win as he gets the start tonight.
Van Riemsdyk / Richards / Wellwood
Hartnell / Giroux / Leino
Powe / Carter / Zherdev
Shelley / Betts / Carcillo
Pronger / Carle
Timonen / Coburn
O’Donnell / Bartulis
Scratches: Nodl (upper body), Meszaros (upper body), Walker (hip), Laperriere (post concussion symptoms, IR), Michael Leighton (back, LTIR)