Claude Giroux led the Flyers in scoring last season, posting 48 points in 48 games. (USA Today Images)
LAKE PLACID, N.Y. – Claude Giroux says he plans to play in his first game of preseason Tuesday at the Wells Fargo Center against the New Jersey Devils.
If he’s able to make it, as he’s been hoping for over the past few days, Giroux’s appearance will be his first return to game action since his offseason freak hand injury.
“I guess I’ll know Tuesday morning, but right now the plan is for me to play Tuesday,” Giroux said. “But you can wake up tomorrow not feeling good or whatever. We just got to go day by day.”
Giroux underwent surgery on his right hand Aug. 15, and was estimated to miss five to six weeks. A return Tuesday would put him right at the end of that timeline.
Vinny Lecavalier did not participate at all in Sunday’s practice. Wayne Simmonds took the ice with the rest of the team at 10:30 a.m., but left shortly thereafter.
According to general manager Paul Holmgren, both players are dealing with “bouts of the flu.”
Minding the net
There’s no word yet whether Steve Mason or Ray Emery will start in net Tuesday, but one thing is expected: Whoever starts will spend the full game between the pipes.
“You’ll probably see full games, but we’re just getting to that point right now,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “We’ll talk it over with the coaches and the goaltender and find out what the best rotation is from here on out.”
The Flyers have three preseason games remaining: In addition to Tuesday, they will also face the Devils in New Jersey Thursday and the Capitals in Washington on Friday.
And about Warrior Forge?
On Saturday, the Flyers had a full day off the ice, but most of it was spent in Operation Warrior Forge, a military-themed leadership-training exercise.
Ahead of Saturday, the players had no idea what they were in for. But on Sunday, the reviews were in – and they were positive.
“It was fun, it was good,” Brayden Schenn said. “It was good to get some team bonding out there, and do some cool things and get the team tighter. It was good to get out there, that’s for sure, and get a day off the ice.”
Said Giroux: “Basically we were just in the woods, doing exercises as a team and doing a lot of cool things. It was a long day, but at the end of the day I think everyone enjoyed it.”