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Daily Times beat writer Anthony J. SanFilippo takes you inside the locker rooms of the Philadelphia Flyers and the rest of the NHL.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

What a headache! Giroux the latest Flyer with a concussion

After getting kneed in the back of the head by his own teammate Saturday, Claude Girox met with team doctors. He later told general manager Paul Holmgren he was already feeling better.

Sunday came an update that he was progressing and feeling better.

Monday brought similar news, although the Flyers also announced they were taking precautions and that Giroux would miss a game - tonight in Washington.

Still, things were looking up, as Holmgren released a statement Monday afternoon that started with "Claude is continuing to feel better..."

Then came Tuesday, and this bombshell from the team:

"Claude reported not feeling very good today," Holmgren said in yet another statement. "Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion."

First the captain, and stalwart defenseman Chris Pronger. Then uber-rookie Brayden Schenn, now Giroux, battling for the league scoring title through 28 games and having his name tossed about as a Hart Trophy candidate - all saddled with concussions - or concussion-like symptoms in Pronger's case - and all out of the lineup indefinitely.

“The guys have responded well to everything in general, I guess,” said coach Peter Laviolette, who while maintaining a stoic exterior is likely kicking chairs and cursing his luck on the inside. “Whether it’s schedule or injury or youth or change, whatever it might be. The guys we put into the lineup have gone out and played hard every night. We haven’t won every game. Certainly, there’s been a consistent effort.”

That there has, and the Flyers take their five-game win streak and put it on the line tonight against an inconsistent Washington team without their two most important players.

But, if there's one thing this Flyers team has been, it's resilient, and that can go a long way toward success - consider last season's Pittsburgh Penguins finished tied with the Flyers point-wise atop the Atlantic Division and did so without their two best players -Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin - for much of the season.

“It’s been awesome,” said Jody Shelley of the way the Flyers have responded to adversity. Shelley, by the way, returns to the lineup tonight. “All teams want to have that. All teams wonder what happens when you’re down. What happens when things are bad and guys are missing. We haven’t spent any time thinking or talking about it as far as Pronger and now Giroux and things like that. That’s just a test of our system and our young energy, I guess. Almost like an ignorance to even spend time looking at that.

“I’ve said it before. The 20 guys wearing the Philadelphia Flyers jersey are representing the organization and we play one way and we’re going to do it again. We don’t sit here and look for a crutch. … Since the first moment in camp, it’s been ‘wow, where did this guy come from?’ Or this guys impresses tonight, this week or this month. You have a situation where you have guys waiting to jump into a spot. And show what they got. Look at Couturier. He’s been waiting on the fourth line, he’s got great talent. He’s done a great job. Now he gets an opportunity."

As for Giroux, unlike Pronger, who is seeing the same specialists who treated Crosby at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center tomorrow, Giroux will continue to be treated and evaluated by the Flyers doctors - at least for now.

That could mean that the symptoms aren't as bad as Pronger's, and a more expedited return could be possible, but that's speculative.

Meanwhile the Flyers will try to keep on keeping on against the Capitals with Ilya Bryzgalov back between the pipes tonight.

Look for more on the game, the return of Jody Shelley and what he means to the Flyers as well as the latest on all the concussions here on this blog or on Twitter @AnthonySan37


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