The Flyers entered Sunday three points out of a playoff spot, but with the unsightly prospect of not having center Vinny Lecavalier for the next four weeks.
Lecavalier, whose nine goals are tied for the Flyers’ lead, has a non-displaced fracture of his lower back and could miss the next 13 games.
This four-week stretch could define the Flyers’ season.
They are just 2-5 in games Lecavalier has missed, and if that trend continues, they may find themselves buried in the standings by the time their gifted 33-year-old center returns.
It’s time for the underachieving forwards _ guys like Claude Giroux, Scott Hartnell, Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds _ to step up. Time for the team, which has recovered nicely from a 1-7 start, to show some character.
If not, the Flyers will be looking at their second straight playoff-less season.
GM Paul Holmgren said there’s no urgency to try to acquire a forward _ at least that’s his public stance _ but if the above players don’t start producing, he has to do SOMETHING before it’s too late.
The Flyers, 2-2 on their six-game road trip, play in Ottawa on Monday night; they desperately need a win because they figure to be overmatched in the finale of their journey, a game Wednesday in Chicago.
Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.