Giroux Ordered the Chicken, or......Chicken; Travels Out West with Flyers
I don't want anyone to get too excited. After all, a concussion is a tricky bitch to tame.
But it's already been reported that Claude Giroux's traveled with the Flyers on their Western Conference two-game road swing and practiced on the ice (video of drills here). He's currently dressed in the yellow "no contact" sweater, as expected, however he's battling for pucks in scrums which Tim Panaccio's described as not the usual "protocol" for players wearing the yellow jerseys.
Once this news came to light I decided to call up my cousin Joey who is a board-certified neurologist. I was quick to pop questions about Giroux's concussion and factor in that he's traveled on a commercial flight with his team.
See, it's been said that the changes of barometric pressure within the cabin of an airplane promote symptoms from a person who's recently suffered a brain injury. Given that the average commercial airliner flies at a steady 35,000 feet, a person is only subjected to 26% of the oxygen available at sea level (source).
Some of us get airsick. It's our body having a tough time adjusting to the abnormal pressure in our earth's upper atmospheres. Some throw-up in a bag, some get headaches, some excuse themselves to the lavatory half a dozen times as they regret consuming the airport's Sbarro six-cheese pizza prior to the flight.
But those are normal symptoms from ordinary travelers. Giroux catching a flight to the Colorado Rockies in the midst of his post-concussion treatment has got to be a great sign, right?
Even though Claude sitting in a seat and getting rocketed through heights traveled by weather balloons and Wonder Woman is a great indication of our forward's progression, Joey told me it was his practicing with the team that was the greatest sign of them all --
"Yea, in order to practice with the team, he must be symptom-free."
In a post-practice interview, Giroux said that, "Everyday's getting better." Most of the time it's how you feel in the mornings when you wake up that give you an idea of how well you're progressing. The last two, three days he's been symptom-free. He wanted to get back out on to the ice, get in his "routine", and if he continues to feel this good then he'll get back to working out and hopefully back on the active roster.
Claude did not want to get into details about his condition. When asked if the mountain air is bothering him, he didn't give any specifics. But given the traveling, the practicing and how he's practiced, all signs are pointing to a welcoming speedy recovery.
In the same interview, Giroux was asked about the Winter Classic and if playing in the event is a short-term goal of his. Personally I wouldn't have asked the question. Let the player ease his way through the condition on his own accord.
Nevertheless, #28 told the press that it's game-by-game, and he cannot predict anything just yet.
I'd still count him out January 2nd. Last thing we need is to exacerbate things with a premature return to the ice.
Ben Holmstrom and Andreas Lilja have been recalled from the Adirondack Phantoms and added to the roster for tonight's game against the Avalanche.
Our gunning rookie Sean Couturier was released from the hospital yesterday after spending an overnight stay for observation. He was struck in the back of the head by Kimmo Timonen's slap shot during the 6 - 0 butt-raping the Bruins handed us this passing Saturday afternoon. He will not be in the lineup tonight. Instead Ben Holmstrom (F), I imagine, will fill the spot and take the center position on the fourth line.