PITTSBURGH Officially, Flyers center Claude Giroux missed Saturdays regular season finale against the Penguins with an upper body injury, according to general manager Paul Holmgren.
Unofficially, it was really an upper respiratory infection. As in a severe cold.
After the 4-2 loss (see story), Giroux said that he would have played if the game meant something in the standings.
It didnt. He sat and Harry Zolnierczyk replaced him in the lineup.
The only thing that hurt Giroux by not playing was it prevented him from having a chance to score 30 goals.
Giroux finished with 28 and will go down as the NHLs third-leading scorer for the season with 93 points.
He should finish first in power play points with 34.
Like his teammates, Giroux is looking forward to the playoff matchup against the Penguins next week.
Could it be a bit of a bloodbath between two clubs that pretty much despise each other?
Yeah, I think it's going to be a rough series, Giroux said. It won't be easy. They want to win as bad as us.
We're a young team, lot of energy and we gotta make sure we go out there and outwork the Penguins. That's going to a rough one.
Wins and such
The Flyers finished with 103 points and 47 wins. Alas, they failed to break their franchise mark on road wins. They came into the game having already tied last years record of 25 road wins.
This is the Flyers second consecutive 47-win season, which is the most theyve had in a two-year period since 1985-86 (53) and 1986-87 (46).
Matt Carle, Braydon Coburn and Wayne Simmonds were the only Flyers to play in all 82 games.
Zac Rinaldo finished with 232 penalty minutes, temporarily giving him the league lead over Columbuss Derek Dorsett for the league lead.
Rinaldo could become the first Flyer to lead the league in PIM while spending a full season with the club since Ben Eager (233 PIM) did it in 2006-07.
He could be facing a suspension after his game misconduct in the first period of Saturdays loss for a hit on Zbynek Michalek.
Incidentally, former Flyer Daniel Carcillo led the league in PIM in the 2008-09 season. He was a midseason acquisition from Phoenix, so its a dubious distinction there.
They were different for the season finale. With Giroux out, Bryaden Schenn centered Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr; Matt Read was between Zac Rinaldo and Wayne Simmonds; and Eric Wellwood centered Jody Shelley and Harry Z.
Of course, that all went south quickly when Rinaldo was ejected for his hit from behind on Michalek.
With the signing of Nicklas Grossmann, who remained in Philly for the final, regular season game, to a new four-year, 14 million contract, the Flyers projected payroll for next season, according to CapGeek.com hit 62.18 million, leaving them about 2.18 million in space Sources said, the Flyers are confident they will re-sign Matt Carle and that the early Grossmann signing doesnt mean they are conceding they will lose Carle to unrestricted free agency Depending upon what happened in Colorado late Saturday night, Matt Read was still first among all rookies with 24 goals Pens Evgeni Malkin is just the sixth Russian player to score 50 goals in the NHL.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at email@example.com