Claude Giroux Leaves Game After Taking Knee To Head

10 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — Another head injury may be haunting the Flyers. In the second period of Saturday night’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, Claude Giroux was kneed in the head and left the game.

With under two minutes left in the second period, Giroux was trying to catch up to Ryan Shannon and went down on all fours at center ice. Wayne Simmonds was behind him and tried to leap over his teammate, but his right knee caught Giroux in the back of the head.

The NHL’s leading goal scorer skated off the ice under his own power and eventually left the bench for the locker room after talking with athletic trainer Jim McCrossin.

Giroux did not join the team on the ice for the third period.

“He was evaluated by our doctors, held out for precautionary measures in the third period and we’ll evaluate him again tomorrow and see how he is,” said Paul Holmgren.

“Not really a headache or anything like that. This was really just a precautionary stage where we didn’t want to put him back in there at that time. It’s a game in December and obviously he’s one of our better players. We’ll just err on the side of caution here.”

This is a script the Flyers have seen before and the vibe from the bench wasn’t pretty.

“It’s scary to see Claude go down like that, but it’s the game,” said Danny Briere who filled in on Giroux’s line periodically. “We’re hoping and praying for the best right now. There’s not much you can do. I think the team probably did the right thing by not letting him go back and trying to make sure everything’s OK before letting him go back on the ice.”

Chris Pronger is out with concussion-like symptoms and Brayden Schenn has a mild concussion. Matt Read missed three games earlier in the year with what is believed to be a concussion. The Flyers can ill-afford another injury, especially one as serious as a concussion.

“That, and you look around the league and it’s a scary injury, starting with Sidney Crosby,” said Briere. “You want to be on the safe side and hope that it’s not the same thing and after a day or two he’ll be ready to go back.”

A concussion is certainly the fear, but it’s also too soon to make that call.

“I just talked to him a minute ago and he feels better,” said Holmgren about 15 minutes after the game ended. “I just said ‘Go home and get some rest and we’ll see you tomorrow.’ Our doctors will see him tomorrow early and we’ll see where we’re at.”

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