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Braydon Coburn injury could be serious blow to already bad Flyers defense

The first test to Ron Hextall's "don't rush the kids" mentality...

Katie Spence/BSH

This isn't good. Whatever your feelings on Braydon Coburn might be, he is one of the Flyers two best defenseman. He's now out of the Flyers lineup with a lower-body injury -- exactly what that injury might be is unknown -- and it looks like it could be serious, according to what Ron Hextall said before the game Thursday night.

I mean, if you look at it in the worst way, the Flyers have now lost both pieces of last year's top pairing to injury: Coburn and Kimmo Timonen. This is on a defense that was already mediocre at best, and now is just flat out bad.

So, what now? The Flyers have a defensive unit that looks like this for tonight's game against New Jersey (and by "this" we mean "really, really ugly").

Nick Schultz - Andrew MacDonald
Nicklas Grossmann - Mark Streit
Luke Schenn - Michael Del Zotto

There's one guy on that list we'd consider "good" and his name is Mark Streit. Everybody else is league average or worse.

Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, Brandon Manning and Mark Alt are all options currently in Lehigh Valley. Samuel Morin can play nine games in the NHL this season before burning a year of his entry-level contract, so maybe he's a temporary option as well. (Correction: Morin can't be called up unless it's an "emergency" scenario. He's in junior for the year.) Most will likely call for Gostisbehere's call up, but this injury is the first test to Ron Hextall's "don't rush the kids" mentality. We'll see.