• May 24, 2022

Claude Giroux Suspension is Watershed Moment for 2012 Philadelphia Flyers

It’s no longer “breaking news” that Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers has been suspended one game for his hit to the head of Dainius Zubrus in the Game Four loss on Sunday, but I thought I would weigh in on the subject.

The explanation provided by Brendan Shanahan suggests that Giroux recklessly delivered the hit out of frustration at the officiating. “As the puck is shot past Giroux, he displays frustration at the referee, and even goes to the degree of turning his back to the play to continue making his point. He then turns back to re-focus on the puck,  recognizes there’s a turnover, and begins to pursue Zubrus, and delivers a late, reckless hit to the head.”

He doesn’t address the quality of the officiating or whether Giroux had a point, but that’s irrelevant to the argument. He also goes on to point out that despite Zubrus’ head being down, it did not go down suddenly or change direction as Giroux approached. My initial reaction while watching the game was to use this defense.

In reality, though, the suspension is fair and reasonable. Its frustrating for Flyers fans that, of all the suspensions that Brendan Shanahan chooses to deliver and “get right,” it’s one that comes at an inopportune time for the home team, facing elimination on Tuesday night.

It’s the right call, though, and should serve Giroux as a lesson on how to control himself in spite of the circumstances. If he’s ever going to be handed leadership of the team, he’s going to have to learn to respond to poor officiating by ignoring it and focusing on the game instead.

The loss of Giroux for Game Five will diminish the available talent that Peter Laviolette has at his disposal, but if the Flyers have any shot at coming back in this series, they will use their misfortune as a rallying point. It worked for the Pittsburgh Penguins during round one, when they scored in double digits against the Flyers in spite of the odds and without top forward James Neal.

This is the 2012 Philadelphia Flyers’ watershed moment. This is the game that will define their season. To respond to the adversity with a team-wide commitment to leave it all on the ice and come away with a win will leave fans with pride and appreciation for their resilience.

It almost doesn’t matter at this point if they end up losing the series in six or seven games, as long as they don’t lose in a convincingly clumsy fashion like they did over the last three games. If the team rolls over, it unravels all the success they achieved during the season in spite of their youth, in spite of their injuries, and in spite of the roster upheavel that took place 11 months ago.

Peter Laviolette was asked in the post-game press conference after Game Three of the Quarterfinals if his team had an advantage in knowing what it’s like to play a team down 3-0 in a series, alluding to being in that situation in 2010 and 2011 against the Boston Bruins. “My team? My team hasn’t been down 0-3.”

“Some of the players on the team have.”

“Yeah, but this team hasn’t.”

Well, now they basically are, Peter. Your move.

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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13 Comments

  • The Watershed moment was the 3rd Period in last night game in which even they they were outplayed for most of the game, they still had a great opporutnity to steal a Victory on the Road… This Game 5 is basically meaningless for the Dvils since they are up 3-1 and have Game 6 at home regardless of what happens in Philly tommorrow night..This series has been lost in the Period #3 in games 2,3 & 4 where the Flyers have tightened up and unable to play loose and free like the Devils have. Was it game 2 or 3 weher Flyers had back to back man advantages and were unable to even got a quality shot on net… The better Team is winning this series hands down and to be honest, it plays like men playing against teenagers.. The lack of heart and passion is what realyl pisses me off.. I saw at least 4-5 players and most of them Veterans just appeared to have packed it in last night…

  • Flyers simply being outplayed and OUTCOACHED.

    Here’s a juicy rumor for you: contact tells me from police source that current LA Kings Richards and Carter traded because they were bustred buying Oxycontin from ‘non-approved’ source.

  • The watershed moment, was when we treated beating the Penguins as our Stanley Cup, & then came into this series thinking that we could just show up & the Devils were going to just give us the series. We have been thoroughly dismantled, embarrassed, made to look like an AHL team. Our team is slow & lumbering, our DF has been horrid all playoffs, we have depended on our kids entirely too much, Lavy makes to many wholesale changes to the lineup configuration, & our Veteran leadership has let us down BIG-TIME!!! If it weren’t for Bryz, this series could have been even more ugly than it has been (IF THAT’S EVEN POSSIBLE) & over already. Stick a fork in them, with or without Giroux. I hope I’m wrong, but they’re done.
    OFF-SEASON moves-
    Sign/ trade for Shea Weber rights.
    Trade JVR for Luke Schenn.
    Let both, Carle “the TO machine”, “Sloth” Kubina walk.
    Unless Jagr will take the minimum, let him walk too.
    Figure out what to do with Timonen’s future.
    Trade Coburn, Hartnell.
    Send Lilja to Siberia.
    Play the kids Gustaffson, Bourdon, Wellwood, Ryan, McGinn, Cousins, Zolnierczyk, ?
    Homer needs to complete the rebuild, by doing the same with our defensive corp, that he did with the forwards, last off-season. We have plenty of young talent & Timonen, Grossman, Meszaros returning to make it happen.

  • frank, that has been the word on the street for awhile now. It’s not just rumor.
    I have GREAT sources.

  • BTW, they weren’t busted. 😉

  • If viewed individually, I think 4 in 5 Flyers fans agree with the decision.

    But when viewed in the context of all of the other decisions (or lack thereof) by Shanahan, there’s a major problem.

  • I mean, Neal didn’t even get suspended for Couturier’s hit. Why? Wasn’t that hit full of intention?

    Nothing of Malkin, or Ovi. It’s wheel of discipline.

  • TT, it’s because Shanahan isn’t qualified for the job & is over his head. He is very inconsistent & doesn’t have a clue. He won’t be on the job much longer. He was already on the hot seat before & during the season. He’ll be gone by next year, bank on it. Bettman needs to can 50% of the refs too, because they are horrid!

  • DCAR- why do you want to trade Hartnell? I asked you that earlier in the season and you never answered. The reason that he is having such a tough series is because he needs to be able to muck it up in front of the net. You can’t do that if your team doesn’t control the puck in the offensive zone at all. Dude scored 37 goals and had 30 assists. Don’t try to tell me that you can plug any guy in with Giroux and have those same results. Not to that level. You need that presence in front of the net to get the gritty goals and to screen the goalie a la LeClair and Knuble when he was here. He is only 30 years old. I agree with the rebuild, but why trade away a guy who is producing for you?

  • bugsy, I did answer you then, & I’ll state it again, I DO NOT WANT to trade Hartnell, I just said we can include him if we can be upgraded. Remember, before this year, he has was a disappointment. Don’t make him out to be the next great PF of the NHL. All props to him, for taking last off-season seriously & finally, by his own admission, getting into good hockey shape. He is still one of the worst skaters & stick handlers, I’ve ever seen, right on par with Simmonds. Also, both can’t stay on their freaking feet. No excuses to why he is having a tough series. Along with Jagr, Simmonds, Talbot, & the entire DF, HE has been MIA the most of the playoffs.

  • Still haven’t convinced me to let go of a 37 goal scorer. 8 points in 10 games is hardly vanishing. If you want to say defensive liability, I agree which can also be said about Danny B. Hartnell -7, Danny B -6. Simmonds is the same type of player. They are not puckhandlers. They score in front of the net and they have not have much opportunity in this series. SO with no control of the puck, when would they have a chance to score?

  • bugs, they aren’t doing ZILTCH, that’s the problem. They ain’t hitting, making plays, going into the corners, nothing. Also because they are carbon copies, they SHOULD NOT, be on the same PP unit. Although Briere has been playing scared, he has at least put the puck in the net & is our leading scorer. BTW, I don’t have to convince you, nor anyone else, of anything. It’s my opinion & the nature of sports business, if there’s a chance to get better. You have to give to get. If I remember correctly, you weren’t in favor of the Richards & Carter trades either. How has that worked out? We got rid of 2 punk cancers, & now have the deepest young talent pool, in recent memory, because of the trades. We must make major upgrades to our DF, & with our possible salary cap issues arising, someone has to go. Unless Briere & Timonen wave their NTC/ NMC, Hartnell is the next logical player. He also has a NMC, so it could be a moot point, anyways. I always have had success in my life, being 1-2 steps ahead of everything. Or you wind up like the Phillies. OLD, NO OPTIONS, UNDERACHIEVERS!

  • I think coaching failed, along with season long porous defens…Reup defense with youth, bring in defensive coordinator.

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