Claude Giroux might be the front-runner for Hart Trophy honors as league MVP, but the NHL’s leading scorer had a scary moment Saturday night and might not be in the Philadelphia Flyers’ lineup when they visit the Washington Capitals on Tuesday.
Giroux took a knee to the head in an accidental collision with teammate Wayne Simmonds late in the second period and did not return. He was evaluated Sunday, according to general manager Paul Holmgren, but more of that will be needed.
“Claude felt better this morning,” Holmgren said Sunday in a statement posted on the Flyers’ website. “He will be evaluated again tomorrow morning.”
With so much sensitivity being paid to concussions in hockey, it would not be a stretch to think Giroux (16 goals, 23 assists) would be held out of the Flyers’ game against the Caps for precautionary reasons. Concussion symptoms aren’t always present right away.
“It’s frustrating because you have no control over it,” Caps forward Jeff Halpern said recently. “I don’t think anyone in the world really understands why it happens or the the extent from one hit to another.”
Flyers goaltender Ilya Bryzgalov also left Saturday night’s game early. He tried to explain it was an equipment issue but admitted that he’s a “bad liar.”
“It’s an old boo boo, that’s it,” he said.
Holmgren on Sunday said he expects Bryzgalov to be ready to face the Caps. Sergei Bobrovsky would start if Bryzgalov is not 100 percent.
The Flyers are already without captain Chris Pronger, who’s out indefinitely with concussion symptoms and a knee injury, and Brayden Schenn, who has a concussion.