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Upshall injury kills the offense

The Flyers announced today that Scottie Upshall is going to miss 10 to 14 days with a shoulder injury. Awesome. We're already down a forward with the absence of Glen Metropolit, and we don't know exactly when he's going to return.

With Upshall out and three bruisers taking roster spots, the forward lines look pretty damn bad. Of course, the top two units of Gagne-Richards-Knuble and Lupul-Carter-Hartnell are doing just fine (Carts was named the NHL's second star of the week, in fact), but the rest of the lineup doesn't shape up too well.

The bottom three forward lines, before the injuries:

Upshall - Metropolit - Asham
Cote - Powe - Nodl

Asham had his best game as a Flyer against Montreal. He was all over the ice and he had good chemistry with his linemates in the offensive zone, scoring a goal on a nice set up from Upshall and almost scoring on a shot that deflected and broke the glass behind the net. That line was probably the Flyers best in Montreal, but how quickly two games can change things, as Asham has lost both of his linemates to the injury bug.

My guess at the bottom two forward lines, after the injuries:

Nodl - Kalinski - Asham
Cote - Powe - Gratton

Ouch. The Cote line isn't all that bad for an energy line. I love the element Darroll Powe brings to the lineup. He's quick and always physical, and he's even had a few scoring chances. Gratton really brings nothing to the table, though. I do not understand why he's on the team, barring injuries. His role is filled by two other guys. He isn't needed.

Let's compare those third lines though. Nodl has just three points -- all assists -- in 24 NHL games. He had chances with the big club, but his lack of a quality line partner and his limited minutes just shattered his confidence, and he was ultimately sent down last Friday in favor of Gratton. Well, he's back, and maybe his confidence will be up and he can grab that first goal, but I wouldn't count on too much production from the young man.

Jon Kalinski has played seven games with the Flyers this season and he's yet to register a point. In fact, in 23 games with the Phantoms he's only got seven points. Why is this guy with the team again? Isn't Claude Giroux lighting up the AHL? Don't wanna bring him up this early in his career? Fair enough, where's Jared Ross?

We've got two lines of all-stars and two lines of AHLers. Great.