Archive | 3:27 PM

Claude Giroux Returns To The Ice

18 Dec

Finally, some optimism surrounding the Flyers and their injuries. Claude Giroux not only made the trip to Denver, but was on the ice with his teammates at the Pepsi Center. Wearing a yellow non-contact jersey, Giroux was reportedly taking part in all drills. It is a tremendous sign for the Flyers who have now been without Giroux for three games.

Still the NHL’s leader in points (although he’s now tied with Toronto’s Phil Kessel), Giroux remains out indefinitely after a concussion he sustained on Dec. 10 against Tampa Bay. In the second period of that game, teammate Wayne Simmonds accidentally kneed Giroux in the back of the head, attempting to jump over him.

His return to the ice is a pleasant surprise, considering as recently as Friday that the star center wasn’t able to string two “good” days together back-to-back.

“Since the initial incident against Tampa, he has felt good at times, but there’s other times, in his words, ‘I just don’t feel right,’” said general manager Paul Holmgren on Friday. “So until he feels right for a whole day and we get to the next day and he feels good another day, it is what it is. He’s not gonna be back in there.”

With the quick turnaround, it’s unclear just how soon Giroux can come back to the lineup, although first he’ll have to practice without that yellow jersey. Either way, the fact that he was able to join the team on the ice for practice after a flight to Denver is a very good sign.

In his injury update, Holmgren said that Giroux’s status remains unchanged, despite his practicing.

Sean Couturier Update

According to Holmgren, Couturier was released from Pennsylvania Hospital on Sunday. He was held for observation after taking a Kimmo Timonen slapshot to the back of the head. But, the Flyers aren’t calling it a concussion. He is day-to-day with a “head injury” and will be re-evaluated on Monday.

Roster Moves

The Flyers have recalled center Ben Holmstrom and defenseman Andreas Lilja. Lilja was in Adirondack on a conditioning trip, but did not play on Saturday after taking a puck to the hand on Friday. Holmstrom is expected to be in the lineup on Monday against the Avalanche.

Lilja remains on long-term injured reserve, so his name doesn’t come back to the 23-man roster just yet. Tom Sestito will likely be moved down to Adirondack when Holmstrom arrives in Denver, so the Flyers remain compliant with the 23-man roster which is maxed out at the moment.


Aiming To Forget An ‘Ol’ Fashioned Ass-Kicking’

18 Dec

WELLS FARGO CENTER — It was just about the ugliest way you could think to end a seven-game winning streak. The Flyers lost their first line center and got abused in a 6-0 thrashing, their worst home shutout loss since 2008.

From the first shot of the game, the Flyers were behind the 8-ball.

“I thought that was an old fashioned ass-kicking in every area of the game; goalies, defensemen, forwards,” said Kimmo Timonen. “They were better in every aspect of the game.”

He’s not wrong. Tim Thomas was phenomenal, making 31 saves. The Bruins were also better on faceoffs, special teams and blocked shots.

“I guess I would say he’s right,” said Danny Briere. “It’s just one of those games, you know. Nothing was going our way. I really believe you create your own bounces and we weren’t ready off the get go. Right off of the first drop of the puck we had too many guys that were… I think the mindset was more ‘Let’s see if we can stay in this game, let’s see how it goes and we’ll kind of ease our way into the game.’

“That’s the feeling that I got from a lot of guys around. It’s certainly the wrong way to go about it when you’re facing a top team who are defending Stanley Cup champions. I think that puts us in trouble right off the start of the game and playing catch-up hockey against the Bruins is not the best thing. You’re not going to give yourself the best chance to win that way.”

On the surface, it looked like the Flyers were just tired, or finally got the injury that, well, broke the camel’s back. But the team denies it. It’s an excuse they refuse to use. They knew darn well that a loss would give the Eastern Conference lead to the Bruins.

“We knew it was a big game,” said Jody Shelley. “We knew it was gonna be a physical game played by them and we knew we had to be there, but right from the start, we didn’t really engage in battle. We didn’t get pucks to the net. We had a game plan and we didn’t get on it early and it carried through the whole game.”

OK, so how does this go away? The fact that the Flyers were shut out big-time, almost makes you forget that they’re coming off a seven-game winning streak. The Bruins are now on four straight victories, but they’re an unbelievable 18-2-1 in their last 21. How do the Flyers get right back on the horse and keep trotting up the standings in the league?

“We have a plan,” said Shelley. “We know what we can do and hopefully you can look back in two weeks and say ‘Remember that game? Look what we learned. Look where we are now.’”

Just because they lost one game, as lopsided as it may have been, doesn’t mean the team thinks it is in a hole somehow.

“I think guys have taken a lot of pride in the way we have played the game, and they’re probably not happy about the way [Saturday] went,” said Peter Laviolette. “So we leave here and go back on the road and try to fix some of the things we’ve been doing and make them better.”