Andrew Macdonald’s injury will have a bigger impact on the Flyers than you might think

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The Flyers were off to a solid start last season. Sitting nicely at 5-3 after a hard fought 2-1 win against the reeling Edmonton Oilers on October 21, 2017. One would have thought it was a sign of good things to come. Unfortunately, the injury came at a big cost. Longtime ridiculed Defenseman (mainly for his contract), Andrew MacDonald was injured after blocking a shot on the penalty kill late in the game.

MacDonald managed to clear the puck down the ice on one leg, but he received some bad news following the game. Unfortunately, he was expected to miss 4-6 weeks with a lower body injury.

The orange and black followed the injury news to Amac with back to back losses, 6-2 to the Anaheim Ducks, and 5-4 against the Ottawa Senators. It became apparent the Flyers Defense missed Macdonald. Who would have thought the Defense would look that leaky after Macdonald’s injury? Some thoughts that were running through my head were Macdonald apparently is a very important piece to the team. How would the orange and black survive this type of adversity? Well, the Flyers went 3-6-6 without him, and 6-2-1 when he returned. Moreover, in just the first three games of Macdonald’s absence, the Flyers allowed 13 goals.

Amac’s strongest attribute is his penalty killing skills. He was one of the best penalty killers on the team in the 2017-18 season. When Macdonald was on the ice, opponents scored at a lower rate while they were on the Power Play. Macdonald would camp out in front of the netminder blocking shot after shot. For the season, Macdonald finished with 131 blocked shots, 6 goals, 15 assists, and a plus 8 rating in 66 games played.

 

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Blocking shots is an art in hockey, as it’s no easy task. But, one who sacrifices hisself for the team, well those players are usually more respected in the locker room. This is one reason why so many in the locker room love the guy, “Yeah, we will find a way to get around it,” Konecny said last Friday. “It sucks it happens, but we will have to find a way.”

With the cards stacked against MacDonald to start the 2018-19 season because of a lower body injury. A lower body injury that will see him miss the first 7-8 games, although there are rumors he may play opening night. This opens the door for a younger player to possibly make the team. However, there is no denying the value of Macdonald in the locker room, as he may be the glue that holds the Defense together, “Yeah, Mac is a tremendous guy in the locker room,” Provorov said last Friday. “He leads on and off the ice. Of course, it sucks. We’ll get through it as a team and move forward. He’s a great guy and tries to help everybody. We’re lucky to have him.”

This important character person in MacDonald was voted by the players to wear the “A,” for assistant captain last season. He appears to be a low key type of guy, not the outspoken leadership type. However, it’s evident the players love him. Hopefully he comes back 100%, and puts together a solid campaign. One thing is certain Flyers fans, the future is bright in Flyer land.

 

Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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