Ten nights ago, the Flyers' Ray Emery blanked Calgary, 3-0, and was starting to look like the goalie who led Ottawa to the Stanley Cup Finals in 2007.
Now his season is in jeopardy.
Emery will be shut down for at least three more weeks and, based on medical information provided by the Flyers Thursday, no one is certain if he will return this season.
That means Michael Leighton will be the No. 1 goalie for the foreseeable future.
Emery has an injured left hip that is almost definitely going to need surgery; the Flyers are hoping three weeks of rest enables him to return to action next month. If that happened, surgery is likely after the season.
Because of the two-week Olympic break, Emery would miss only five games if he was able to return after three weeks.
General manager Paul Holmgren would not say what an MRI on Emery's hip revealed. He said tests showed "issues there" and added, "I'm not going to get into specifics because we're still working through some stuff."
Based on hints the general manager has been dropping, it appears that Emery has a torn labrum.
"Is he going to need surgery at some point? I would probably say, 'Yeah,' " Holmgren said. "Right now, we're trying to take that out of the equation. After three weeks, we're fairly confident that he'll be OK to play."
"Let me rephrase that," he said. "We don't know about surgery down the road. He's got hip issues. What we're trying to do" is help him get better "through rehabilitation and keeping him off the ice."
Holmgren said he had no interest in acquiring Dallas' Marty Turco or the New York Islanders' Marty Biron, a former Flyer.
The Flyers have little salary-cap space and figure to use the blossoming Leighton and Brian Boucher the rest of the way if Emery cannot return.
Leighton, 28, has been brilliant since the Flyers claimed him off re-enrty waivers from Carolina, compiling a 2.21 GAA and .925 save percentage.
Emery, 27, had a 2.17 GAA in the eight straight starts he made after returning from abdominal surgery. His last start was the shutout win in Calgary on Feb. 1. Four days later, he injured his hip during practice in Minnesota.