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Update On Giroux

For a team who is in first place in their conference, things could not get any worse for the Philadelphia Flyers.

That of course was until the final minutes of the second period in the team’s 5-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night.

Claude Giroux tried to make a defensive play in the neutral zone and ended up face first on the ice. Meanwhile, Wayne Simmonds was skating up to join the defensive setup.

While transitioning through the neutral zone, Simmonds path crossed with Giroux. In an attempt to evade a collision, Simmonds tried to jump over his fallen teammate.

He didn't quite make it.

“[Giroux] kind of fell and he was right in front of me so I tried to jump over him,” Simmonds said after the game. “Honestly I don't even know when I caught him, I was just trying to get back in the play.”

Giroux did not return.

Following the game, Paul Holmgren gave an update.

“Not really a headache or anything like that,” the GM said. “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.”

Holmgren went on to say that he was evaluated by doctors and would be evaluated again in the morning.

With so much attention being paid to concussions and hits to the head, many fear the worst for Giroux and with good reason.

The Flyers have been assaulted by one of the most aggressive string of injuries in recent memory. The team has already lost a total of 83 man-games through only 28 games played.

Considering that captain Chris Pronger is expected to miss a considerable amount of time due to concussion-like symptoms, fans are holding their breath at the thought of another of their team’s best players missing time due to a head injury.

“Certainly any time a player is removed from the lineup it’s disappointing,” Head coach Peter Laviolette said. “Claude is off to a terrific start and has been a very important piece.”

Disappointing doesn’t even begin to describe what an injury to Giroux may mean to the team.

“He’s our best player. He’s a big catalyst for us,” Scott Hartnell said. “He’s so strong with pucks. He’s great defensively. We know what he can do offensively as well. Obviously, if he is out, we’re going to miss him big time.”

Through Saturday night, Giroux currently leads the league with 39 points. He has by-and-far been the best player on the Flyers and leads the team in all three scoring categories (16 goals and 23 assists).

While Giroux was out, Sean Couturier filled in for him for the remainder of Saturday night’s game. If he does end up missing some time, it may be a chance for the rookie to spread his wings with an expanded role.

After scoring four points in three games at the start of November, Couturier has gone 14 consecutive games without registering a point.

Coach Laviolette wasn’t willing to speculate about Giroux or Couturier’s near future.

 “Well right now anything involving Claude is just speculation,” he said. “But to comment on Sean’s game I thought that he did a really nice job in the third period.  We double shifted him between that line and his line; you know young kid, lots of energy. He played extremely well, and I think that’s a real positive for our team.”

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