Claude Giroux

‘Frustrated’ Giroux will miss two more preseason games

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Claude Giroux’s quest to avoid the same kind of rough start he endured last season hasn’t gone according to plan. He suffered a lower-body injury during his first training camp practice and has missed the Flyers’ first four preseason games as a result.

He won’t return to the lineup tonight or Monday either.

“Pretty frustrated right now,” Giroux said, per NHL.com. “I’m pretty hard on myself and having this kind of injury, you just want to go out there and play your best but you can’t because you can’t really do the things you used to do. So just a matter of time for it to come back.”

The silver lining is that Philadelphia seems to be targeting Tuesday’s exhibition contest as Giroux’s return date, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi. The Flyers final preseason game is scheduled for Thursday.

The 26-year-old forward has already firmly stated that he’ll be available for the season opener. Assuming that doesn’t change, then the big question is if he’ll be rusty going into that contest.

Giroux (lower body) back at practice, says he’ll play in season opener

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The Philadelphia Flyers received a surprise at today’s practice in the form of Claude Giroux, who returned to the ice less than one week after being shelved with a lower-body injury.

Giroux, who was originally supposed to be sidelined two weeks with the ailment, skated with teammates and spoke to the media afterward, confirming that he would be ready to go when the Flyers open their regular season against the Bruins on Oct. 8.

The Flyers captain has missed all three of his team’s preseason games thus far and won’t play tonight when Philly takes on the Devils at Wells Fargo. Assuming the club practices caution with Giroux’s injury, his lineup return could come next Tuesday, when Philly plays it’s penultimate exhibition campaign against the Rangers.

The Flyers then close out the preseason with a game against the Caps at Verizon on Oct. 2.

Crosby, Getzlaf and Stamkos MVP favorites, says oddsmaker

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Online oddsmaker Bovada has unveiled its list of odds for this season’s NHL awards, with Sidney Crosby favored to take home his second consecutive Hart Trophy.

Crosby tops the MVP odds list at 7/4, followed by Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf and Tampa Bay’s Steven Stamkos, who are both at 6/1.

The full list:

Sidney Crosby (PIT)                        7/4         (+175)

Ryan Getzlaf (ANA)                         6/1         (+600)

Steven Stamkos (TB)                      6/1         (+600)

John Tavares (NYI)                          8/1         (+800)

Alex Ovechkin (WAS)                    12/1       (+1200)

Claude Giroux (PHI)                        15/1       (+1500)

Tyler Seguin (DAL)                          15/1       (+1500)

Evgeni Malkin (PIT)                         15/1       (+1500)

Jonathan Toews (CHI)                    16/1       (+1600)

Anze Kopitar (LA)                            18/1       (+1800)

Corey Perry (ANA)                          20/1       (+2000)

Patrick Kane (CHI)                           20/1       (+2000)

Jamie Benn (DAL)                            35/1       (+3500)

Tuukka Rask (BOS)                          35/1       (+3500)

Henrik Lundqvist (NYR)                 40/1       (+4000)

Johnathan Quick (LA)                     50/1       (+5000)

Carey Price (MON)                          50/1       (+5000)

Erik Karlsson (OTT)                          50/1       (+5000)

Nathan MacKinnon (COL)             50/1       (+5000)

In terms of a value pick, or picks, Giroux and Seguin at 15/1 seems enticing. Let’s be honest, the Hart Trophy voting is almost always tied to point production and both of them averaged 1.05 per game last season.

As for other awards and potential value picks:

— You can get also Seguin to win the Art Ross at 20/1, behind the likes of Crosby (1/1), Stamkos (3/1), Ovechkin (17/2), Tavares and Malkin (10/1) and Giroux (15/1). Not sure if Bovada overlooked this, but Seguin finished fourth in the NHL in scoring last year and was three points back of Getzlaf for No. 2 on the list.

— Drew Doughty at 9/1 for the Norris, behind Erik Karlsson (4/1), Shea Weber and Zdeno Chara (11/2), Duncan Keith (6/1) and P.K. Subban (8/1).

— Pekka Rinne at 12/1 for the Vezina. He’s a two-time finalist and plays a ton… now all he needs to do is stay healthy. Sergei Bobrovsky at 15/1 also seems like a decent value bet because, y’know, he won it two years ago.

— Leon Draisaitl currently sits at 7/1 for the Calder. Consider his situation: Edmonton has so little depth at center he could be the No. 2 guy down the middle and end up with the likes of David Perron, Benoit Pouliot, Nail Yakupov and/or Teddy Purcell on his wings.

PHT Morning Skate: D2: Mighty Ducks cast brings back Flying V

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PHT’s Morning Skate takes a look around the world of hockey to see what’s happening and what we’ll be talking about around the NHL world and beyond.

The cast of D2: The Mighty Ducks had a reunion, so naturally they assembled the Flying V. (TSN.ca)

Greg Chase was in disbelief when he found out that he was put on a line with Taylor Hall and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins for Sunday’s preseason game. (Calgary Sun)

Mike Cammalleri has traditionally worn No. 13, but the New Jersey Devils have never had anyone wear the unlucky number. They gave him No. 23 instead. (Star-Ledger)

Although the Philadelphia Flyers will try, Claude Giroux doesn’t think anyone can replace Kimmo Timonen. (NHL.com)

Jarome Iginla appears to have been made an assistant captain. (Adrian Dater)

Montreal Canadiens prospect Nikita Scherbak is making a great first impression. (Montreal Gazette)

Injuries piling up as preseason schedule begins

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Sunday marks the beginning of the 2014-15 preseason schedule with seven teams participating in five games. Many of the league’s other teams will participate in scrimmages throughout the day.

However, just three days after camps began, injuries are piling up.

(Note: This post will be updated a few times on Sunday.)

Here is a list of players, who are currently sidelined:

Many of the injuries are day-to-day situations or precautionary. Should today be Day 1 of the regular season most of the aforementioned players would likely be taking part in game action. That said, these injuries could linger and become nagging situations as the season continues. Now you know where they originated.