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Michael Raffl out with an upper-body injury

The versatile forward will be back by the end of the regular season

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

According to the team’s website, Flyers’ forward Michael Raffl will miss the next two weeks with a classic case of the upper-body injury. He’s anticipated to miss the next five games, but based on the timeline for his return he may return for the Orange and Black’s contest against the Boston Bruins on April 1st.

Raffl was injured in Sunday’s win over the Washington Capitals, as he only played 6:40 and didn’t take a shift in the third period. It’s not clear when or what the Austrian forward injured, as his last shift (with 6:17 to 5:14 left in the second period) was rather uneventful and didn’t provide a clear play to point to where the injury would have taken place.

Although he only has 11 goals and 8 assists in 73 games this season, Raffl brings a lot of on-ice value to the Flyers when it comes to territorial play. Of the 12 forwards who have played 400 minutes or more at 5-on-5 this season for Philadelphia, Raffl is one of five forwards with a positive relative Corsi for with 0.14. He is third in the group with a 52.08 Corsi against per 60 and 2.14 expected goals against per 60.

His strong possession play also comes through in the fact each line he is on usually controls play. Of the four lines he has been with for at least 50 minutes of 5-on-5 play this season (Jakub Voracek-Valtteri Filppula, Scott Laughton-Taylor Leier, Laughton-Jordan Weal, and Filppula-Travis Konecny), Raffl has helped three of these lines post a 50 Corsi for percentage or better. The three lines that posted a 50 Corsi for percentage or better (Laughton-Leier, Weal-Laughton, and Filppula-Konecny) also has positive expected goals for percentages as well as positive relative expected goals for percentages.

Raffl was recently on a line with Filppula and Wayne Simmonds, and also had some time on the top line with Claude Giroux and Sean Couturier, but he spent yesterday’s game on a line with Laughton and Matt Read before he was injured. It seems as though head coach Dave Hakstol’s most likely move will be to slot Taylor Leier on the fourth line in Raffl’s spot while keeping the other three lines intact.