A bit of a scare at practice this afternoon, as for the second straight day Derrick Brassard (back) headed to the locker room before the end of practice.
JT Miller took his place in between Beniot Pouliot and Mats Zuccarello for the remainder of practice.
…very encouraging news. Although, I’m as confident about him being 100% as I am about McDonagh. Meaning, very skeptical.
…if you’ve ever thrown your back out, you know it can be a tricky injury. Just have to hope he gets the proper treatments to keep the swelling out of there and he should be able play without any restricts.
Speaking of McDonagh, he told reporters to stop asking about his shoulder as he feels well, has full range of motion and no restrictions.
…i hope these idiot reporters stop as well. The Flyers have basically already admitted that they’re going to target McDonagh. Don’t need to provide anymore Kryptonite to the Flyers for our Superman. Case in point, this quote from Wayne Simmonds on his mindset going up against McDonagh (via Bergen Record)…
“I’d hit him if I’m out there. He’s a defenseman who is going to play a lot of minutes in this series. He played just below 25 minutes during the regular season so he will probably play closer to 30 minutes in the playoffs. You want to put pucks in his corner. You want to punish him physically. Anyone who is going to play that amount of time, if you start to punish them physically, they will wear down over time.”
Meanwhile, the injury news wasn’t so good over at the Flyers practice facility as head coach Craig Berube announced that his goaltender Steve Mason (upper body injury) is out for Game 1 and backup Ray Emery will get the start.
“He’s out,” Berube said. “He’s not 100 percent. I said if he weren’t 100 percent, he would not play.”
Emery is 7-2-0 lifetime against the Rangers, with a 1.87 goals-against average and .936 save percentage. However, he struggled in the sole game he played against the Rangers this season, a 4-1 loss in January.
Mason will not travel with the Flyers to New York for Game 1.
…i know Emery has had past success against the Rangers, but most of that was done during his time in Ottawa where he hasn’t played in five years. I think his rocky performance against the Blueshirts earlier this season gives us a better indication of the kind of goaltender we’re going to see in this series.
…Mason is a career 0-4 in the playoffs, while Emery is 20-15, but make no mistake about it, this is a huge blow for the Flyers.
A few additional notes from Rangers practice as Dan Carcillo was taking lines rushes with Dominic Moore and Brian Boyle, while Raphael Diaz was again skating on the fourth defensive pair with Justin Falk.
…you guys know my fanboy crush on Carcillo, but I still expect to see Dorsett on the fourth line when the series opens tomorrow night. Now that doesn’t mean I don’t think Carcillo won’t get a chance this round, but that’ll have a lot to do with the temperature of the series.