The Philadelpha Flyers will be without their top defenseman for the remainder of the playoffs.
According to TSN, Kimmo Timonen was diagnosed with a blood clot in his ankle. The injury likely stems from an incident in Game 4 of Philly’s second round series with the Habs wherein Timonen was hit by a shot.
Timonen leads Flyer defensemen with six assists in the 2008 playoffs and was selected to the NHL All Star Game this past season.
ILLEGAL CURVE ANALYSIS:
Aside from perhaps a Marty Biron injury, this is the worst possible news for the Flyers. Timonen has been stellar through the first two rounds and played a key role in largely shutting down Alex Ovechkin, the most dangerous offensive threat in the game, during Philly’s series against the Caps. As the leader of an arguably mediocre defensive corps, Timonen has been averaging in the vicinity of 25 minutes per game, and his absence will leave a huge void that will not be easily filled. Coupled with the fact the Flyers are about to face the NHL’s most potent offense – Pittsburgh – this might be prove to be an insurmountable obstacle for the Flyers to overcome, unless one of their less than household names on the point decides to become the RJ Umberger of defenseman and step up to the plate.
Look for Crosby, Malkin and friends to put up some big numbers, and don’t be surprised if Biron ends up facing nearly as many shots as the Slovenian goaltender did against Canada at the World Championships.
For Illegal Curve, I’m Steve Werier