It was an ominous way for the Flyers season to get underway.
As the team hit the ice for their first training camp workout, Claude Giroux lasted for just 15 minutes before leaving the ice. The Flyers say Giroux has a lower body injury, and will likely be out for two weeks. Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall says it was frustrating to see his captain suffer a setback, but knows the team has to move on with Giroux sidelined.
“We don’t want to start camp like that,” said Hextall. “But what are you going to do? We’re going to battle through and be the best we can be. That’s all we can do.”
Flyers Coach Craig Berube continued to put the rest of his players through practice as Giroux headed to the training room. Like Hextall, Berube said the team has no choice but to deal with life without their captain for much of the rest of the preseason.
“He’s out right now,” Berube said. “We’ve got lots of good players. You’ve got to deal with it. That’s the best way to look at it. We’ll deal with it and get through it and we’ll be fine.”
Many of Giroux’s teammates didn’t even realize Giroux left the ice in the early part of practice. Defenseman Andrew MacDonald said
“You never want to see your leader and your big guy go down like that,” said MacDonald. “For the rest of us, we just have to continue to stay focused on the ice and do what we’re told out there. He’s a pretty competitiveguy and obviously, he wants to be out there every chance he gets.”
While Giroux was unable to finish practice, the rest of the Flyers went through an intense workout. This is the first training camp for Berube as head coach, and players such as Brayden Schenn could sense the intensity from the start.
“You can just tell it’s at a high pace out there,” Schenn said. “No time to take a sip of water. The pace is fast out there and that’s what he wants.”
The Flyers went out in the first round last season after falling in a hard-fought seven-game series to the Rangers. Players such as Steve Mason were eager to get back on the ice after suffering an early exit last spring.
“The summer’s long when you don’t go far into the playoffs,” said Mason. “It’s just been nice to get back around the guys and be in a fun atmosphere. Today was the first day of really putting in some solid work.”
The Flyers will continue with training camp workouts on Saturday and Sunday.
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