And so now the Flyers have come clean: Mike Richards played virtually the entire season with two bad shoulders that will require surgery, and Jeff Carter played most of the last four playoff games against Pittsburgh with a separated right shoulder that will not need surgery.
Give both players cedit for their gritty efforts, but it doesn't change the disappointment of the first-round exit.
Carter's injurty occurred early in Game 3. With the Flyers holding a 2-1 lead late in pivotal Game 2, Carter appeared to have an open net but was robbed by goalie Marc-Andre Fleury with 8:30 left. He then committed a penalty in the waning minutes _ though it appeared Jordan Staal grabbed Carter's stick _ that led to a Pittsburgh power-play goal that tied the score and led to an eventual Penguins win.
Carter and Richards each scored just one goal in the playoffs in a combined 51 shots.
If they were healthy, would it have made a difference?
Doubtful, but it does explain some of the faceoff deficiencies. It should be noted that the Penguins were bothered by lots of injuries, too. The bottom line: Pittsburgh produced in the clutch and deserved to advance.
And when you cough up a 3-0 lead in an elimination game at home, you don't have the right to make excuses.