While great news for Flyers fans, the news has to be something of a surprise — Giroux suffered the second concussion of his career just 11 days ago and has only missed four games dealing with post-concussion symptoms. That said, Flyers GM Paul Holmgren did say his star player was cleared for full-contact activities on Saturday (probably explaining why Giroux was pushing and shoving at practice on Sunday, even while wearing a non-contact jersey.) That’s alleviated some concerns that he was being rushed back into action.
Yesterday Giroux was a full participant in practice, skating on a line with Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr. It was his third-straight day of full practice and the first time he took a big hit — courtesy Flyers defenseman Braydon Coburn.
“I felt good,” said Giroux. “It’s pretty much the same [as before]. I went in the corners with Coby and told him to hit me a little bit. And that felt pretty good, too.”
Further evidence that Giroux will be playing tonight? The Flyers snuck in a player transaction in just prior to Monday’s midnight league-wide roster freeze, sending defenseman Kevin Marshall back to Adirondack of the AHL.
Too bad for HBO 24/7, as Marshall seemed to thoroughly enjoy singing and dancing to “Knock Knock”:
Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.
In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.
Many believe that hit was legal:
The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.
In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.
This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.
That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:
(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)
Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.
Other than putting an icebag over his nose, Jonathan Drouin seemed fine post-game. "He's a warrior," goalie Ben Bishop said.