With the news
coming over the wire today that Claude Giroux's Hart Trophy campaign has
been interrupted by a concussion, placing the team's best offensive
player alongside Chris Pronger in the abyss of indefiniteness, the
feeling among fans going into tonight's matchup with the Washington
Capitals is muted. We're not riding high on first place, a five-game
winning streak, or having the NHL scoring leader as our top centerman.
We're wondering how long "indefinitely" equates to in terms of days on a
calendar and games on a schedule.
The scariest word in sports right now is Concussion, and the Flyers
are without three key players tonight because of it. We've already
discussed the concussion thing a few times, and we'll get into it more
in the coming days and possibly weeks. But tonight, there's what could
be a very fun game in DC, the flames of a Patrick Division rivalry to
Our title is perhaps a bit melodramatic; the Flyers may be without
their top offensive and defensive players, respectively, but they still
have every bit a team that should be expected to be in every game they
Rookie Sean Couturier filled in for Giroux between Scott
Hartnell and Jarormir Jagr, and he will presumably do so again tonight,
at least to start. Hopefully his veteran linemates can get his offensive
career going after spending most of his minutes as a low-liner and
penalty killer so far. Those minutes could serve him well in handling
expanded duties, provided his natural scoring abilities click as well.
Peter Laviolette will stick with Ilya Bryzgalov in net, we hope sending him a message that he is the man for the long haul.
Dale Hunter Era
kind of awesome and amazing that we'll see Dale Hunter behind the bench
for the Caps tonight. If that isn't the most 'hockey' thing… Tough and
talented, his number in the rafters, Hunter will be remembered by many
hockey fans for one of the dirtiest hits the sport has ever seen. But
most also know he was a smart player, a legend in a hockey town that had
few, and he's said to be a pretty good coach. The Bruce Boudreau Era
was a significant one in Capitals history, in that the Capitals were
significant for its duration. That hasn't always been the case. Whether
Hunter can take them beyond that, and beyond the first round of the
playoffs, is what everyone's wondering now. The Caps certainly didn't
get any less interesting in bring Dale to the bench. [More from the WaPo]
Another Jagr Reunion
We haven't heard nearly as much about Jagr
facing this former club as we did last week when he suited up in Orange
& Black to face the Penguins, but Jags did don that hideous Capitals
eagle jersey for a few seasons before being dealt to the Rangers.
Former Flyers scribe Chuck Gormley has more on that dynamic here. [CSN
Hopefully we'll have another win to talk about in the comments tonight, and not just e-prayers that our guys are okay.