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Gill set to take Grossmann’s spot on Flyers blue line

Apr 26, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

Hal Gill Getty Images

Nicklas Grossmann‘s early exit from Game 4 with an injury has created an opening on the Flyers defense.

According to reporters at Philly practice this morning, it looks like Hal Gill will take Grossmann’s place for Game 5. Gill was paired with Mark Streit, Grossmann’s usual spot, during practice and is rested and ready to join the fray if called upon.

If Gill plays, as Adam Kimelman of NHL.com shared, it’ll be his first playoff game since May 17, 2012 when he suited up for the Nashville Predators against the Phoenix Coyotes. Gill played in just six games this season.

As for why Gill gets the call, Dave Isaac of the Courier-Post shares Flyers coach Craig Berube’s logic for that decision is that he likes having a puck-moving defenseman with a stay-at-home guy. Gill fits the bill as the latter to the mobile Streit. For that reason, Erik Gustafsson would likely stay as the odd man out.

Game 5 between the Flyers and the New York Rangers is Sunday at noon ET on NBC from Madison Square Garden.

  1. phillyphanatic77 - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    I get the whole big, physical defender paired with more of a puck mover but I really think Gustafsson’s mobility would’ve helped against the speed that the Rangers have in their forward group. The Flyers gave up far too many odd man rushes in game 4 and part if the issue (beyond terrible turnovers) was the lack of recovery speed on the Flyers blueline.

    We’ll see if Gill can still do it. Wonder how long Grossmann is out?

    • ericjbaker - Apr 26, 2014 at 12:57 PM

      You said exactly what I was thinking.

      • maalea - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:24 PM

        No kidding, I didn’t think the Flyers could get any slow on the back end but Gill had slipped my mind.

    • twpguy1964 - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:45 PM

      Yeah but what about Gus’ turnovers? That speed isn’t very good when you turn the puck over. Gill is stay at home, he won’t be getting caught as much as these “Puck Movers”

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:19 PM

        Everyone on the Flyers blueline turns the puck over, however Coburn and Gus are probably the only two guys they have with actual recovery speed. Gill is slower than Grossmann, if anyone can believe that. I just disagree with the move. To me Gustafsson is a far better option against this Rangers team.

    • inbullieswetrust - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:56 PM

      Gustafsson gave up several pucks last yr that cost the Flyers a few games. I can see why Berube has a more experience player coming in.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Apr 26, 2014 at 11:11 PM

        Look I’m not a big Gustafsson fan but his ability to move the puck out of the defensive zone and his mobility make him a better matchup against the Rangers forwards. They have some small, quick guys. If Berube wanted a straight replacement for Grossmanns skill set then I understand. And Gill obviously has plenty of playoff experience. But there’s a reason why he only played 6 games this season.

  2. stcrowe - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:04 PM

    I didn’t know that Hal Gill was still playing. Well, here comes the cavalry, coming ever so slowly…

    • twpguy1964 - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:46 PM

      Yeah that slow guy is terrible in his playoff career. NOT. When exactly did Grossmann become fleet-a-foot again?

  3. twpguy1964 - Apr 26, 2014 at 1:43 PM

    Gill is a damn good playoff defenseman! Don’t be stupid and underestimate that fact, he’s a plus player in his career in the playoffs

  4. courtjester1234 - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    Made looked solid last night. Need the next one and finally take a lead in the series

  5. mclovinhockey - Apr 26, 2014 at 2:46 PM

    Anyone know what exactly is wrong with grossmann? Ankle, knee, foot, sprain, broken, sore?

    • broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 26, 2014 at 3:03 PM

      Looked pretty nasty on the broadcast. My guess is its long term.

  6. puckmepuckyou - Apr 26, 2014 at 5:03 PM

    Gill is the man. The Flyers need Smart defense not necessarily fast defense. Gus is quick with the puck but he is small and turns the puck over a lot. IMO Gill will do the job nicely.

  7. mcphillthy - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:28 PM

    This is exactly why homer had gill around. Emergency basis. He is a reliable solid plug in.
    I’m gonna give props to homer for being smart enough to plan ahead for situations like this.
    Lets go flyers!!!!

  8. broadstreetbeatdown - Apr 26, 2014 at 7:30 PM

    Gill played really strong games a couple of weeks ago. what he lacks in speed he makes up in size, reach and an active stick. He’s also got 110 gms of playoff experience, including a SC ring and is good at clearing the front of the net.

  9. poconophlyer - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:30 AM

    I feel Gill is going to be a pleasant surprise. This is his sort of series. A big physical dman is just what we need in this physical series. Hopefully he clears the crease a bit more. Bringing his down wouldn’t be a bad idea either. This game is huge. I feel this is an indicator of how deep we are going. We have to limit the rags shots. He may be just what the doctor ordered. Here’s his chance to go out with a bang on his terms. Good luck Hal, leave it all on the ice, do it for yourself man.

  10. matthewmacisaac - Apr 27, 2014 at 7:57 AM

    I think Gill is the right guy to plug in opposite Streit. Streit turns the puck over a lot and Gill will be there to clean things up. He has played well in all the games he has been in. Lets go Flyers!

  11. matthewmacisaac - Apr 27, 2014 at 8:03 AM

    I haven’t heard anything official on Grossmann, but watching the replay looked like his right knee is what popped. It didn’t look like something short term as his leg was pinned back with all his weight going on it. That is a lot of pressure on an over-extended joint.

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