NEW YORK – The Flyers lost to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden Wednesday night, but that doesn’t spell doom for any possible playoff matchup, according to the team.
If the playoffs were to start now, the Flyers and Rangers would meet each other in the first round, with the Rangers holding home-ice advantage, thanks to their 3-1 win. It’s a likely possibility.
The Flyers, though, aren’t worried.
“We’re still fine here,” Wayne Simmonds said. “We still control our own destiny. We lose this one to New York, it’s a big game, but we’ve still got a game in hand on them. We’ve just got to take care of our own business and see where that takes us.”
With 10 games left to play, coach Craig Berube isn’t even thinking about the playoffs yet -- let alone the dangers of facing the Rangers.
“I’m not thinking about that,” he said. “I’m just thinking about the next game. We’ve got to fight to get into the playoffs, that’s what we’re thinking about now.”
Kimmo the warrior
Kimmo Timonen left the game for a stretch in the second period after blocking a shot by Brian Boyle that clearly hurt him.
He managed to return, though, and according to Berube, should be OK to play Friday against the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Flyers haven’t diagnosed Steve Downie’s upper-body injury as a concussion, but they’re treating his situation as one -- as well as some other issues, too.
General manager Paul Holmgren didn’t want to get into specifics about what’s ailing the 26-year-old winger.
“Just because we’re talking about a guy that plays the game a certain way,” Holmgren said. “When he comes back, he may still have issues like that.”
The good news for the Flyers’ forward is that he’s improving. Holmgren said it’s possible he’s able to practice Thursday afternoon.
“Getting better,” Holmgren said. “We’re hoping he skates tomorrow. I would say questionable for Friday. But looking better after that.”
An honor for Hextall
Flyers assistant general manager Ron Hextall on Wenesday was named assistant general manager of Team Canada in the upcoming World Championships in Minsk, Belarus.
He joins L.A. Kings assistant GM Rob Blake (who will serve as GM of Team Canada) and Phoenix Coyotes assistant GM Brad Treliving.
“It’s a good opportunity for Hexy and Blake and Brad Treliving to be involved with a world championship team,” Holmgren said. “It’s a good opportunity for all three, but I’m happy for Ron.”
And one for Clarke
Bob Clarke, who currently serves as the Flyers’ senior vice president, was named to the Hockey Hall of Fame’s selection committee, also on Wednesday.
He joins Nashville Predators GM David Poile, L.A. Kings president of business operations Luc Robitaille and new chairman John Davidson.
“It’s a good honor for Clarkie,” Holmgren said. “It’s kind of a secret society there, you don’t even know who’s on it. I’ve got a lot of names that are involved in this new chapter. Good for Bob to be on it. John Davidson to be on it is a good thing, too. Fresh blood.”
Braydon Coburn played his 527th game as a Flyer, moving past Ilkka Sinisalo and into the top 25 in Flyers history. … Lundqvist is now 26-12-0-3 in his career against the Flyers. Wednesday’s win was his eighth consecutive victory at Madison Square Garden. … The Flyers dropped consecutive games in regulation for the first time since Jan. 23-25.