Friday, November 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

Giroux playing in Game 6

Three things.

Giroux playing in Game 6

Claude Giroux injured his shoulder in Game 5, but plans to play tonight against the Boston Bruins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)
Claude Giroux injured his shoulder in Game 5, but plans to play tonight against the Boston Bruins. (Yong Kim / Staff Photographer)

Three things to watch in the Flyers' Game 6 against Boston...

1) Claude Giroux. Nobody is saying out loud what the injury was -- head, shoulder, knees, toes -- but the reporting done by the Daily News' Frank Seravalli is that the Flyers were worried about head trauma after Giroux was boarded by Steve Begin in Game 5 on Monday night, and that Giroux was tested and passed the tests. Now today, Giroux participated in the morning skate before Game 6 and says he is fine. (It was hard to tell if his fingers were crossed.) As for the coach, Peter Laviolette was emphatic when asked if Giroux would play: "Absolutely, Claude Giroux is going to be in the lineup tonight and he's going to be an effective player."

2) Michael Leighton. The goaltending wheel of fortune has been spun one more time this season for the Flyers, and it has come up Leighton. He arrived here as somebody with no obvious upside, here just for depth because of injuries, and Leighton has been both excellent and injured. Now, because Brian Boucher is hurt again, Leighton is back. We'll see what the reality of an elimination game means now that Leighton has had some time to prepare. As Laviolette said, "He probably would never have imagined this in his wildest dreams." And, well, Leighton can get in line on that one.

3) The crowd. Truth be told, the Wachovia Center crowd was much better in the first-round series against the Devils than it was in Games 3 and 4 of this series against the Bruins. Some of that was natural enough, given the Flyers' deficit in the series, and some was because the crowds were unusually late in arriving because of 45,000 baseball fans arriving at the same time across the street. This, though, is all different, with the Pattison Avenue clear and the Flyers having clawed their way back into this series. But, as Laviolette warned, "You can't just rely on the crowd and their energy. The players have to go out and do the work."

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Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com Reach Rich at hofmanr@phillynews.com.

Rich Hofmann Daily News Sports Columnist
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