Wild and Flyers Blame Olympics for Injuries

Some people really don’t like the NHL’s participation in the Olympics during its regular season.

Apparently, Tim Panaccio and I are two of those guys.

His Sunday column hypothesizes the Flyers recent struggles are at least partially linked to the amount of Olympians they had playing in Vancouver.

I’m no fan of the Olympics, but I think you have to also give some credit for Philadelphia’s slide to their Spinal-Tap-esque loss of goalies.

Also, in that same Sunday column, Panaccio mentions Vancouver’s Kyle Wellwood’s resurgence since the Olympic break, crediting the time off for the improvement.

So I wonder if some owners like the idea of the Olympics because it’s a free break for their team.

The Flyers are still trying to figure out their goaltending situation. Brian Boucher looked OK in last night’s big win over New Jersey. Boucher was backed up by college senior Carter Hutton, who was sent back to the AHL after last night’s game.

Regular backup Johan Backlund has a tweaked groin, but might be ready to return. Otherwise, it seems like Jeremy Duchesne will backup Boucher.

It’s crazy to see how much juggling and thinking the Flyers have to do, just to play a game. And if Boucher hadn’t settled down, who knows what they would be doing. Maybe going six-on-five.

But again, that wasn’t really an Olympic issue. Or was it?

The Wild are also dealing with some injuries and are also blaming the Olympic-induced compressed NHL schedule.

Wild GM Chuck Fletcher actually has people looking into why certain Wild injuries happened and if they were somehow preventable, which seems like a great, and ambitious, plan of attack.

Of course, not everyone hates injuries. I just posited the New York Rangers would have been better off with more injuries over the past two seasons. The health of the team prevented coach John Tortorella from having to get creative and re-imagine his line-up. And that’s a club that needed to have its lineup re-imagined.