Slumping Flyers lose injured G Emery for 6 weeks
Flyers goalie Ray Emery will undergo surgery Wednesday to repair
a torn muscle in his lower abdomen, and is expected to miss about
Philadelphia general manager Paul Holmgren made the announcement
Tuesday night before the Flyers played the New York Islanders.
The Flyers, who lost five straight and eight of nine, recalled
goalie Johan Backlund from the Adirondack Phantoms, but will rely
heavily on Brian Boucher.
Emery hadn’t been playing well, and was pulled from Saturday’s
game against the Washington Capitals after allowing five goals.
“I felt something a while ago and didn’t realize what it was at
first,” he said. “Normally, I heal pretty quick. I thought it was
in my head and I could battle through. But I wasn’t able to
contribute, and when you can’t you have to get it fixed.”
Holmgren said the injury played a part in Emery’s slump.
“You know how hard he practices,” Holmgren said. “He’s been
trying to fight through this, but couldn’t practice the way he
normally does, and his game suffered. He’s a down young man, and
feels he let his team down.”
Emery also said that his play was affected.
“Quite a bit,” he said. “I didn’t go in there feeling like I
wasn’t capable of playing solid for the team. It was just at the
point where it wasn’t happening.”
The Flyers were aware of the injury since November, Holmgren
said, and tried rehabilitation and cortisone injections. However,
Emery’s condition deteriorated to the point where surgery became
the only option.
“It has gotten progressively worse,” Holmgren said. “The
tests and the MRI we’ve done showed a tear in his abdominal
Emery, 27, is 11-8-1 with a 2.83 goals-against average and .901
save percentage, including one shutout, in 21 appearances this
season – his first with Philadelphia. Flyers forward Simon Gagne
underwent a similar procedure last month.
“I want to help my team,” Emery said. “If they wanted me in
there, I wanted to be in there. You hope you’ll wake up the next
day feeling better. I got a couple shots and took a week off. It
just wasn’t working.”
The slumping Flyers have fallen into last place in the Atlantic
Division, which led to the firing of coach John Stevens last week
and the hiring of Peter Laviolette.
“It’s no fun being around here right now, for any of us,”
Holmgren said. “The players certainly want to get out of this
sooner rather than later. The one good thing about our sport,
especially now, is that we have games every other day, so there’s
always something (to work through).”