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Jack McCaffery is the lead sports columnist for the Daily Times and He has spent several decades covering everything from the Phillies, Eagles, Flyers and Sixers, to college hoops, to high school sports in Delco.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Downie still day to day

By JACK McCAFFERY @JackMcCaffery
VOORHEES, N.J. --- Steve Downie, believed to be concussed but officially recovering only from an upper-body ailment, did not practice with the Flyers Wednesday.
Craig Berube refused to consider that a deep indication that the right wing will be unavailable to face the Rangers Wednesday night in New York.
“No, not really,” the Flyers' coach said after practice Tuesday at the Skate Zone. “He just needs some more time. He is still listed as day-to-day. But he just wasn't right to skate today.”
Downie left the Flyers' Saturday victory over the St. Louis Blues early, after seeming to be knocked out by a collision with Patrick Burgland. He has had two reported concussions this season. He did not play Monday in a 3-2 loss to the Los Angeles Kings.
Asked directly if Downie was concussed Tuesday, Berube said he did not know.
In a statement to the press, general manager Paul Holmgren would say only that Downie remains “day-to-day with an upper body injury.”
“I honestly don't know when he will be back,” Berube said. “I haven't talked to the trainer today. I will. But I don't know when he will be available.”
Tye McGinn replaced Downie on a third line Monday.
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Two of the signature players in the history the Lightning will face each other Wednesday, neither in a Tampa Bay uniform.
Vinny Lecavalier will play for the Flyers, Martin St. Louis for the Rangers, who'd acquired him at the trade deadline.
“It will be weird, for sure,” Lecavalier said. “I have watched a few games of him with the Rangers, but now I will be playing against him. It was weird when I played against him earlier this year against Tampa.
Lecavalier and St. Louis played together with the Lightning from 2000 through the end of last season.
“He was such a big part of the Lightning organization,” Lecavalier said. “I had heard rumors that he would be traded, but I was still shocked when it happened.”
Lecavalier and St. Louis helped the Lightning win the Stanley Cup in 2004, but will find themselves Wednesday in a Metro Division rivalry with its own postseason implications.
“A year back, you'd have never thought that,” Lecavalier said. “But things change quickly.”
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Ray Emery tended goal for the Flyers Monday, and Steve Mason is expected to face the Rangers Wednesday.
But even with only 11 games to play, Berube is not yet ready to go to the one-goalie system in preparation for the playoffs.
“They've both done a great job,” he said. “I thought Ray played very well (Monday) night and he deserved the victory. I go game-by-game and we will see how it goes.”
Mason is comfortable with that arrangement.
“I feel good right now,” Mason said. “But at the same time, going along in a playoff drive, you have to make sure you have some energy in the tank. The coaching staff has done a great job of managing my time right now and I feel pretty fresh.”
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The Flyers had a short but high-speed practice Tuesday, and then caught an afternoon chartered train to New York.


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