After losing for the first time in the month of December, the injury-depleted Philadelphia Flyers (20-8-3) will kick-off a five game road trip tonight in Denver when they face the Colorado Avalanche (15-17-1) in their only meeting of the season.
The Flyers had their seven game unbeaten streak come to a screeching halt Saturday afternoon (6-0) by the defending Stanley Cup Champion Boston Bruins.
Tonight they will try to stay unbeaten on the road in December, and will do so with yet another new young player in the line-up.
With many beginning to question whether the Flyers will be able to remain competitive without the aide of their best players, it has become crucial for the team to prove that the sum is more important than their parts.
However, it is also important that individual role players step up and help carry the load.
On Thursday night, Max Talbot was one of those players.
Gord Miller is probably not wrong in his assessment that HBO could probably have made a special about this game. Unfortunately for the Canadiens, they would not be the heroes in this one.
After a topsy-turvy matchup that saw the game tied three times, the Flyers finally came out of the Bell Centre with a 4-3 win in hand while the Habs saw more of referee Chris Lee than the back of the Flyers' net.
Philadelphia got on the board first as everyone's eyes were on Jakub Voracek's dazzling dashes into the offensive zone, leaving none on Max Talbot, who potted the game's first ...
Nothing is going to stop this Flyers team it seems.
With their captain and leading scorer on the shelf for an extended period of time, the Flyers persevered another big challenge.
The Canadiens had an answer for the Flyers first three goals. But it was the final tally early in the third period that Montreal couldn't respond to and the Flyers went on to win, 4-3, Thursday night in Montreal.
It was the seventh straight win for the Flyers, who are rolling despite finding out their leader Chris Pronger will miss the rest of the season with severe post-concussion syndrome. They improved to 12-4-1 on the season without their captain, an impressive feat when looking at his impact when on the ice.
Nothing was going to stand in front of the Flyers tonight; not even the absence of the NHL's leading scorer.
With Claude Giroux back in Philadelphia nursing a concussion, the Flyers offense erupted in a 5-1 win over the Washington Capitals on the road. It was the first Flyers win in Washington since the 2009 season.
Stepping into the centering role on the Flyers hottest line was eighth round draft pick Sean Couturier. Without Giroux, the top line didn't skip a beat when Scott Hartnell found twine for the sixth straight game, giving the Flyers an early 1-0 lead.
Hartnell's tally was his 15th on the season, good for second on the Flyers.
But it was also a milestone goal for the 29-year-old left-winner. It was the 200th goal for Hartnell, who tossed a soft shot at the net that got through Washington goalie Thomas Vokoun's five-hole.
The statement was deafening, as if a booming voice was speaking it over a loudspeaker.
"Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion"
Not feeling very good, gotten worse, out indefinitely?
In a year where Claude Giroux was proving his superstar-like talent every night in the NHL, it’s stunning. With one hit, those who have grown accustomed to watching the Hearst, Ontairo native are now relegated to the waiting game.
It’s eerie timing in the wake of the latest news regarding Sidney Crosby. Crosby, the game’s ubermensch is out for as long as symptoms still remain. Sadly, the let down after what many thought would be his final, and maybe last, return seems to tell the tale of the future.
As per the Flyers website, Claude Giroux has a concussion and will be out indefinitely.
According to general manager Paul Holmgren: "Claude reported not feeling very good today. Over the past few days, his symptoms have gradually gotten worse. He will be out indefinitely with a concussion."
This is terrible news for the Flyers, who currently have Chris Pronger and Brayden Schenn out indefinitely with concussion problems as well (Pronger also had knee surgery).
Giroux's concussion came as a freak accident in the Flyers 5-2 win over the Lightning on Saturday. Giroux, who was down on the ice, was hit in the back of the head by Wayne Simmonds. Simmonds' knee collided with Giroux when he tried to avoid him on the ice.