State of Giroux
The collective mass of Flyers fans held their breath in the 2nd period on Saturday night as the leading scorer in the NHL Claude Giroux slowly skated off of the ice and later walked back to the locker room for the rest of the night. He was kneed in the head by Wayne Simmonds who was trying to avoid a collision with Giroux who was down on the ice after being checked. Simmonds tried his best, but his knee clipped the assistant captain in the head.
There will be a re-evaluation today, but already there is good and bad news. The good is that there are no signs of a concussion and Giroux is feeling better. The bad is that he was not spotted at practice today putting his status for tomorrow in doubt. The team’s offense was able to survive for one period without him due mostly to the outstanding play from Jaromir Jagr and Sean Couturier who replaced Giroux on the top line.
If number 28 can’t go in Washington his replacement should be Sean Couturier. Head coach Peter Laviolette has shown a ridiculous amount of confidence in his first round pick this year, so it isn’t a far fetched idea for him to man the front line. He doesn’t have the play making ability of Giroux, but few in this league do. What Couturier does bring is a wicked passing game along with strong jousting ability in front of the net. He could make that line more physical in front and give Scott Hartnell a chance to keep firing from the circles where all of a sudden he has become a serious threat.
Danny Briere would be another logical fit to center that line, but his line would take a massive hit. That second line needs him more than the first line does and the fourth line can survive without Couturier there. Jagr looked like he was in a time warp against the Lightning, he played physical hockey and he did it at a speed that we haven’t seen from him this year. Hartnell and the ageless wonder can hold down the fort.