UPDATE 8:53 PM: Quotes from Lappy, via the Flyers.
“They don’t want any bleeding in [my brain]. If you start bleeding in your brain it’s not good," he said. "We’re hockey players and take pride in playing through injuries, but that’s one thing I just can’t afford to do for the sake of my family. Trust me, I want to be out there. I’m mad about that."
“I’m not mad about the play. That’s the play I make a living with, and I’m going to do that play again," he said. "I did it 10,000 times in my career and I’m going to do it again. It’s a matter of bad timing, I guess. Right now, I’m going to be a cheerleader, and if my teammates need anything I’m going to do it for them. I’ll be right there cheering them on to the Stanley Cup Finals.”
“I have a family to think about. I can’t be selfish about that one. The ending of that injury, if it goes wrong, there’s no worse and you’re dying on the ice. That’s one thing I don’t want to put my family through and I’m not willing to take that chance. [Flyers trainer] Jim [McCrossin] and the organization won’t take that chance, either.”
UPDATE 6:30 PM: Anthony SanFillippo of the Delco Times passed along the news to us that Laperriere will be out for at least a month. Holmgren has said it's likely he's done for the year. According to SanFillippo, Jon Kalinski and Andreas Nodl will likely both be in for the Flyers, though that is not set in stone just yet.
Losing Simon Gagne and Jeff Carter was a big blow, but this is quite possibly one of the biggest.
Ian Laperriere is out indefinitely with a brain contusion and a slight concussion, according to the team. Who knows if that means the rest of the season or not, but he obviously won't be around for the start of the second round. He saw several doctors over the course of the last few days, and Paul Holmgren said the most recent visits "erased any optimism" the team had about his status.
We all know how tough Lappy is, but the way he was hit with that puck could sideline anybody. You can't fault the guy here at all, and we know this must be really bad if it's keeping him out of the lineup in the playoffs.
It's a crushing blow to this team. We wrote the other day how important blocking shots and playing solid team defense were in the Devils series. In that sense, losing Laperriere is one of the worse possible losses for the Flyers in these playoffs.
Is it the end of the road? No, it's not. We don't know exactly when Lappy will return, but if he's out for the entire second round or even the entire season, the Flyers can still beat whoever they face. But whether that team is the Caps or the Bruins, the Flyers are going to really have to cut down on the penalties now, considering Laperriere is the heart and soul of the penalty killing unit.
This couldn't happen to a more likable guy. It's really a shame. Let's hope the team rallies around it.