It would have been difficult for the Philadelphia Flyers to beat the New Jersey Devils last night given that Claude Giroux wasn’t available, but the fact that they were missing one of the best players in the game isn’t something they are going to hide behind.
Not when Saturday’s 5-2 defeat to New Jersey extended Philadelphia’s losing streak to five games and further diminished the team’s chances of making the playoffs.
“Obviously, we’re not playing,” goaltender Steve Mason told CSN Philly. “[Coach Craig Berube] has given us a game plan and we’re not sticking to it in any form. We’re letting down Chief. We’re letting down ourselves and the Flyers organization’s reputation as a whole. This is not what we’re supposed to be known for.”
Mason feels the Flyers’ efforts have been flat at times and defenseman Nicklas Grossmann offered a similar sentiment, but Berube disagrees.
“I really don’t believe it’s the overall game itself — the effort’s been there, the competitiveness has been there,” Berube said. “I think we played well on this road trip. I look defensively, I think we’ve done a real good job. We haven’t scored timely goals at times, and different things that have cost us hockey games.”
Philadelphia is 10 points shy of a playoff spot as it nears the halfway point of its schedule. On the plus side, the Flyers will play at home on Tuesday for the first time since Dec. 18. Given their 6-13-4 road record this season, a four-game stretch at the Wells Fargo Center will be a welcome change of pace.
Perhaps getting dominated by an all-time great (Jaromir Jagr) and being without one of the game’s best forwards (Claude Giroux) had Wayne Simmonds thinking as the New Jersey Devils plundered his Philadelphia Flyers 5-2 on Saturday.
Either way, greatness was clearly on his mind, as this quote to CSNPhilly.com can attest.
“The way we played tonight, we could have had Wayne Gretzky in our lineup and I don’t know if we would have won,” Wayne Simmonds said.
/Pauses for “Probably because Gretzky’s 53 years old now,” jokes.
It’s tough to say which NHL legend might have been able to turn this one around, especially when New Jersey wasn’t just sitting on its lead:
(Chart via Natural Stat Trick)
The Flyers have lost five games in a row, but the good news is that they’ll be back in Philly for four straight home games. Even with a holiday break to soften some of the blow, that eight-game stretch is a challenge for any team, let alone an up-and-down group like the Flyers.
It was expected that Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux would test his leg to see if he could play against the New Jersey Devils on Saturday, but he didn’t even warm up and will miss the game altogether.
CSNPhilly.com points out that Giroux had played 168 games in a row, having not missed a game since April 7, 2012. He suffered a cut from a skate blade via Carolina Hurricanes defenseman Justin Faulk on Friday.
Philly will dress 11 forwards and seven defensemen against the Devils tonight, as Scott Laughton is also out with an undisclosed injury.
Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux left Friday’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes early in the third period after appearing to suffer a serious cut.
From CSN Philadelphia:
Giroux went into the corner with the ‘Canes defenseman Justin Faulk to battle for a loose puck and became entangled with Faulk in the first five minutes of the third period with the Flyers trailing, 2-0.
Faulk’s skate appeared to slice through Giroux’s left leg. Replays show significant blood leaking through his tape wrap and socks.
The injury was serious enough that referee Ian Walsh stopped play and motioned for the Flyers’ training staff to come onto the ice. Giroux was helped off with his left leg in the air and went through the Canes’ off-ice entrance to get quicker medical attention.
Updated: Good news. The Flyers just announced via Twitter that Giroux is probable for Saturday’s game in New Jersey.
“I know I got lucky. It’s pretty scary,” said Giroux, as per the team’s Twitter account, after the game.
The Toronto Maple Leafs got off to a 2-0 lead against the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday night, but the Flyers weren’t discouraged and it soon became apparent they had no reason to be. With goaltender Steve Mason (back) unavailable, the Flyers gave Ray Emery all the support he needed in a 7-4 victory.
The Flyers trio of Michael Raffl, Claude Giroux, and Jakub Voracek led the charge for Philadelphia. Giroux had two goals and two assists, Voracek recorded four assists, and Raffl had a two-point night. Leafs coach Randy Carlyle remarked that the Giroux line took Toronto “to school” in the second frame, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
Philadelphia outshot Toronto 42-25 in tonight’s game and 34-16 in the first 40 minutes alone. That’s been a common problem for the Maple Leafs as their shots on goal differential stands at minus-4.1 so far this season.
“We have got to cut down our shots against,” Leafs defenseman Dion Phaneuf conceded, according to TSN’s Jonas Siegel.
Toronto has now lost two in a row, but the team is still 7-3-0 this month.