Flyers coach thinks Giroux was ‘terrific’ as captain


Fair or not, many will place some of the blame for the Philadelphia Flyers’ failed 2013 season on Claude Giroux’s shoulders (when they’re not putting most of it on Ilya Bryzgalov).

Even-more-embattled Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette provided effusive praise of the 25-year-old’s first season as the team’s captain to, however.

“I think he did a terrific job as the captain of the team,” Laviolette said. “It was a tough year for a first-year captain, and I think he did a really good job. He has terrific leadership qualities. He’s driven. He is an excellent teammate.

“I think sometimes when you’re not successful — or not as successful as you’d like to be — you really get to, whether you want to or not, use and try that leadership, and it becomes more in the forefront.”

GM Paul Holmgren agrees.

“Claude’s a young captain put into a situation where [there was] a 48-game schedule coming out of the lockout,” Holmgren said. “I think he performed admirably under those circumstances.”

So far, it seems like the organization is happy with Giroux, who generated exactly one point per game in 48 contests this season. With Philly’s expectations, that honeymoon might not last much longer, though.

Dropping like flies: Johnson, Killorn hurt in Bolts’ exhibition

Montreal Canadiens v Tampa Bay Lightning - Game One
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You probably know the drill: injury updates are murky in the NHL basically from the moment a puck drops.

We’ll learn more once the 2015-16 season begins, but at the moment, Saturday might have served as a costly night for the Tampa Bay Lightning. Both Tyler Johnson and Alex Killorn went down with injuries stemming from a 3-2 pre-season win against the Florida Panthers.

“Guys were dropping like flies,” Steven Stamkos told the Tamba Bay Times.

These could be minor situations – just about any ailment will sideline a key asset this time of year – yet one cannot help but wonder if the Lightning might limp into this campaign.

Nikita Kucherov is dealing with his own issues, so that means at least minor issues for one half of the Bolts’ top six forwards.

It’s believed that more will be known about these banged-up Bolts sometime on Sunday.

Raffi Torres gets match penalty for being Raffi Torres

Raffi Torres

With knee issues still limiting him, Raffi Torres isn’t as mobile as he once was. Apparently he still moves well enough to leave the usual path of destruction.

It’s the pre-season, so it’s unclear if we’ll get a good look at the check, but Torres received a match penalty for his hit on Anaheim Ducks forward Jakob Silfverberg.

Most accounts were pretty critical of the San Jose Sharks’ chief troublemaker:

It’s too early to tell if Silfverberg is injured. If he is, that’s a significant loss for the Ducks, as he really showed signs of fulfilling his promise (especially during the 2015 playoffs).

As far as Torres goes, he’s hoping to play in the Sharks’ season-opener. Wherever he ends up, he’ll certainly make plenty of enemies on the ice.

Whether it was because of that hit or just the general distaste shared by those sides, it sounds like tonight’s Sharks – Ducks exhibition is getting ugly, in general:

This post will be updated if video of the hit becomes available, and also if we get a better idea of Silfverberg’s condition.

Update: Bullet dodged?