Paul Bereswill/Getty Images
Sure, there's a plague of concussions in the NHL and all around the sporting world partly due, in my opinion, to over-diagnosis, but also because of greater awareness.
Whatever the cause, many star players are missing a lot of playing time because of the still-mysterious brain injury.
But it seems concussions were holding the Flyers back before it became "cool."
We all know the stories of Eric Lindros and Keith Primeau, and every fan is now hoping Claude Giroux does not fall to the same fate.
Chris Pronger is out with what is being described as an "eye concussion," stemming from taking a stick to the eye in October. Giroux got kneed in the head by teammate Wayne Simmonds as both hustled to make plays in the neutral zone and ended up colliding with Simmonds' knee to Giroux's head.
Brayden Schenn is also suffering from concussion symptoms, and Sean Couturier was recently hit in the side of the head with a shot puck and is now out with a "head injury."
And what fan did not automatically react to Harry Z's face-first collision with the boards in Monday night's loss to the Colorado Avalanche with the thought "concussion?" Luckily, Zolnierczyk was able to return to the game.
This is not really an answerable question from the Flyers perspective, but it definitely makes me wonder: Why does this keep happening to Philly's best players?
The open ice and full-speed mentality of the post-lockout NHL and the evolutionary "bigger, stronger, faster" athlete training technology makes every collision in the pros more violent than the ones from past generations.
But there seems to be a pattern, no?
As I'm writing this, Comcast Sportsnet Philadelphia reports Giroux could return as soon as Wednesday in Dallas, but still, the nerves of that first hit and those first few games remain.
Sidney Crosby was well on his way to returning to full strength before several setbacks over the past 12 months have put his career in question.
Having already suffered the loss of Eric Lindros and never cashing in on a Cup like Crosby already has, the sentiment around Giroux is even more desperate, and all we can do as fans is enjoy Giroux and hope he's 100 percent.