|Photo: Nina Weiss/Highland Park Hockey|
Written by: Tony Androckitis - Twitter/Facebook
Injury reporting in hockey is vastly different than in the rest of the sporting world.
Sometimes, terms like upper or lower body are used instead of accurate and detailed information like a broken wrist or MCL sprain in most other sports. Other times, there aren't any updates on injured players at all.
The Philadelphia Flyers organization typically falls under that latter category, and since the beginning of his tenure with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms head coach Scott Gordon has not offered updates on the team's injured players except for a rare occasion here or there.
That leaves the journalists that cover the team, and the fans alike, uninformed and left in the dark when talking about how long a player will be out of the lineup. It also opens the door for speculation.
Take forward Taylor Leier, for example. The entire organization has been extremely hush-hush on Leier's status. Let's take a look at what we do know.
- Leier hasn't played since the 2017 AHL All-Star Challenge on January 30th, nearly three weeks ago now.
- Leier took the morning skate in the Phantoms' first game back from the break in Albany on February 3rd, but was a surprise late scratch and non-participant in the pregame warm up skate.
- Entering Saturday night's game against Hartford, Leier has already missed the past seven games. He was reported to have skated on his own after one of the team's practices earlier this week along with other injured forwards Scott Laughton (returned to lineup Friday) and Boyd Gordon (expected to miss a few weeks with a knee injury).
- As far as trying to pin upper or lower body on Leier's ailment, he's been seen in the press box sporting no casts, slings, braces or walking with any kind of noticeable defects or limitations. He's also been in a Phantoms' video promoting the team's 90's Night (more on that below).
Typically when there is no information about a player's injury status, not even an off-the-record source has come forth with anything substantive, it means a concussion.
Given the only talk about Leier's ailment has used words like "lingering issue" and not injury, a concussion - or concussion-like symptoms - seems to be a likely possibility.
Despite having played up and through All-Star weekend, I can recall several big hits that Leier took in the end of January that could have had "lingering" effects.
Again, there's no insider information on this assumption. Call it reading between the lines, plus some investigative reporting. Maybe I'm way off.
Like the video the Phantoms did to promote 90's Night at the PPL Center, which is tonight against Hartford. Remember that infamous Bohemian Rhapsody scene in Wayne's World? The one where they're jamming in Garth's AMC Pacer.
Taylor Leier, Cole Bardreau, Sam Morin and Travis Sanheim recreated the scene at the PPL Center. When the end comes up and it cuts to the four of them head-banging, Leier is not exactly whipping his head back and forth like his three teammates (see below).
|GIF was taken from @LVPhantoms video.|