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Max Talbot says Claude Giroux is just as good as Sidney Crosby

Dec 7, 2011, 10:10 AM EDT

Claude Giroux Getty Images

We all know that Sidney Crosby is a really special player. He’s one of the best in the league, if not the best. His former teammate Maxime Talbot seems to think he’s playing alongside someone just like him in Claude Giroux.

Sound crazy? Sam Carchidi of believes it himself but Talbot is eager to share his thoughts. Carchidi asked Talbot if it’s too early to put Giroux on Crosby’s level. His response was telling.

“No, he’s been the best in the league since the beginning of the year,” Talbot said the other day.

Not only does Talbot believe it but Hall of Famer and Flyers legend Bill Barber does too. Does that make it true though? The results are hard to argue with.

Giroux is near the top of the NHL scoring leaderboard and has easily been the Flyers’ best player and one of the best scorers in the league. All those accolades are what Crosby brings to the table for the Penguins.

Connecting the two isn’t quite as crazy as it sounds, but we’ll see how these two guys stack up against each other and through the rest of the season. We haven’t seen the best from Crosby yet while Giroux is showing us everything he’s got.

  1. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:31 AM

    Oh boy haha. This will get both sides of the Keystone State going. G is the man and I can’t stand Crosby but they are closer in talent then people think. G is more of a TWF and Crosby is more of playmaker. But G can be a playmaker too. Both can put the puck in the net if they want too. People can really debate this topic. Let’s go FlyBoys.

    • abrienza428 - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Talbot just likes his name in headlines.

    • hockeyfan9170 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      You don’t watch much hockey if you believe Crosby is more of a playmaker. Early in his career this was true but he has become a goal scorer despite not having legitimate first line players.

  2. psujay - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:40 AM

    They’re much much closer than people think. Crosby is the best in the world, Giroux is the second best, and I wouldn’t take Giroux and whomever you want to name the third best player in the world TOGETHER over Crosby.

    That being said, they are MUCH closer than people think. It’s amazing how far under the radar Giroux is.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:16 PM

      You wouldn’t take Giroux and Toews together vs. Crosby? Why aren’t you a GM?

  3. jpelle82 - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:54 AM

    lets see in 5 years and then talk about it…giroux has a long way to go before i would make any kind of comparison

    • psujay - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:41 AM

      This argument doesn’t hold water based on the Talbot’s argument. Talbot isn’t saying that at age 18 or 19 Giroux was Crosby’s equal. Talbot is saying that right now Giroux is Crosby’s equal. As noted above, I don’t agree, but I do believe Giroux is the second best player in the world at this point in time and in the foreseeable future. Who knows, maybe Nail will be the best in the world in two years, but right now who is better than Giroux except for Crosby?

      • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:07 PM

        Toews. I wouldn’t rate Giroux as his better just yet. Amongst forwards, there aren’t many competitors, admittedly, but if we say players as a whole, I’d throw Chara and Tim Thomas in the mix while I’m at it, too. Selanne and Lidstrom, to play at the level they do at nearly twice his age, are all kinds of fucking absurd. I’d not say they’re his equals, but come on, they should be RETIRED by now and they’re the best players on their teams.

        Not saying Giroux’s not top ten or even top five, but let’s be realistic.

    • comeonnowguys - Dec 8, 2011 at 9:24 AM


  4. govtminion - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:02 AM

    In raw talent, no. Just… no.

    In terms of effect on their team? Actually, yeah, I’d back that. Giroux has been huge for the Flyers, hard to imagine their team working without him at this point. Maybe Talbot is on to something here.

  5. mojosmagic - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:03 AM

    Crosby is better now but that guy from Philly just keeps improving. Sid also has won a Cup. Hard to believe Claud lasted as long as he did in the draft.

  6. ThatGuy - Dec 7, 2011 at 11:59 AM

    Come on. Grioux is a hell of a player, probably would be the best player on the vast majority of the teams in the league is playing phenominal at the moment. But let’s get real, he is playing his best right now and has a 1.28 PPG pace. The only season he has ever had a PPG pace. Crosby has a CAREER 1.39 PPG pace(currently at 1.5 in a very small sample size).

    No player in the world is close to Crosby.

    • psujay - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:10 PM

      While I agree with everything you said, there’s a bit more to hockey than just scoring. You’re thinking of basketball.

      • ThatGuy - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:28 PM

        Scoring and Defense. Since when is Crosby bad on the defensive side of the game?

    • botlecap - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:40 PM

      i really don’t think we’ve seen giroux at his best yet. this is the first time he’s being given a first line center role for an entire season. he also has less talent around him compared with crosby (especially true on the power play). you really have to watch him to realize how freaking good he is.

      all the same, crosby is the better player until grioux puts up the numbers to prove otherwise.

      • ThatGuy - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:53 PM

        We probably haven’t seen Crosby peak yet either is the scary part. Its not like we are talking about the old vet and the up and coming star. Girioux is a grand total of four months younger than Crosby.

        I’m really not trying knock Girioux because he’s a fabulous player, and I would kill to have him on the Wild. But Crosby is on his own level.

      • hockeyfan9170 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:51 PM

        Once again Crosby’s linemates are Kunitz and Dupuis. Crosby makes players around him better similar to Mario Lemieux.

  7. ballsohardu - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Sabres fan

    Ill take claude over sid any day..

    Sids just a pretty boy crybaby.. The leagues puppet…

    Go sabres!

    • hockeyfan9170 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:53 PM

      It seems Ryan Miller must of got some of that cry baby drink.

    • bcs1283 - Dec 11, 2011 at 6:17 PM

      Another “Sid is a crybaby” comment? How original.

  8. toegoat - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:12 PM

    Say what?

  9. toegoat - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:13 PM

    Yea and Talbot sucks I couldn’t wait for him to leave pgh… yea I know he won game 7 for us against the wings but still never liked him

    • stepasidesue - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:58 PM

      I agree, if only he had played as big for the Pens as his ego.

  10. shitforbrains1 - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:24 PM

    I think most of you are believing the headlines. Yes Crosby is great, but Giroux does EVERYTHING Crosby does, but does it better. Plus Crosby is one hit away from coloring outside the lines. There’s no way I’d EVER give Giroux away for a fragile player like Crosby. Although I will give that Crosby is untouchable on the ice. Anyone who gives him a sideways glance will get 2 minutes for thinking about it. That’s the 1 advantage Crosby has.

    But that’s it.

    • cshearing - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:43 PM

      Your username is apt. I’ve recently seen Crosby in 2 or 3 cross-check matches with opponents where no penalty was called, yet according to you if you touch him there is a penalty. Who do I believe, shitforbrains1 or my own eyes?

      They are closer in talent than most people think, but Crosby is the best in the league; there is no doubt amongst hockey people. He does everything very well, and works on his game constantly to improve on things.

      Not really ragging on Giroux at all, love the guy. Not sure there are 5 players in the league I would take over him. But with Crosby, there is no doubt that I would not take anyone over him. The skill gap is just too large. Anyone that disagrees probably has their home-team blinders on (I am not a Penguins fan, BTW).

      But, to answer an earlier question, I would take Toews and Giroux over Crosby. :)

      • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:11 PM

        Wise policy, that. Giroux and Toews on one line? That’s just sadistic. Hell, that doesn’t suit your fancy? Split ’em. Bam, you’ve got the best top-two centres in hockey. There’s just no end to how much you can troll everyone’s shit with those two on one roster. =D

    • hockeyfan9170 - Dec 9, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      Crosby is fragile so I guess Pronger must be too. How many games is he out for?

  11. cakrywyj - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:51 PM

    First of all, saying Talbot sucks just sounds bitter… He’s been great for Philly so far this year.. As a Flyers fan, Id pick apart a guys game if he signed with Pitt too do I guess I can’t blame you,,, you’re just wrong..

    Secondly.. Not sure Talbot was saying G is better.. But it’s not too soon to put him on Crosby’s level… Which I don’t think
    Anyone can argue with.. But to say G is better than Crosby at this point prob isn’t correct.. But to categorize them both as top level players is something that G deserves…. With more time, the NHL will see what Philly has been lucky enough to see.. G is a big time, all around great player with skill and, surprisingly for his size, a hell of a lot of toughness to his game… While I’ll agree Crosby might be better right now.. G is certainly in the conversation and creeping up as we go along here

    • trigzter - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

      aaron asham?

  12. cakrywyj - Dec 7, 2011 at 12:52 PM

    Oh and in mustache growing ability… It’s a no brainier to go with Giroux

  13. cmutimmah - Dec 7, 2011 at 1:25 PM

    Max Talbot is a goon and it looks like he’s also a buffoon.

    Giroux is good, but he’s done it for a VERY short period of time. By the arguements above that they are young, then Nugent-Hopkins and Tyler Seguin are both better players considering their ages….

    Also – Best scorer or all around player? Because I think there are big differences… and I think they would garner very different names.

    Right now, Toews, Crosby, Giroux, Datsyuk, Sedin, and Stamkos make up the top 6 Centers in the NHL. Ranking them would be very hard, but right now, I’d say Toews would be ahead of Giroux based on faceoofs, +/-, and shots. He’s clearly more effective all around. Crosby is still #1 until his play determines otherwise. He has 12 points in 8 games, averages more shots and has a comparable faceoff % and +/- pace.

    Either way, the Center position has made a youth movement pretty quickly in the past 3 seasons.

  14. wallis15 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:02 PM

    This is classic Talbot always stiring the pot to give himself headlines, he did it a few years back calling out Ovechkin. I guess 4th liners have to do something to get noticed nationally. Its funny seeing all of the Flyer fans showing their home colors and ignoring facts once again. Giroux isnt even a top 5 player in the league much less “on par” or “equal” to Crosby who love him or hate him is by far the best player in the league. I would take Crosby, Malkin, Stamkos, Toews, the Sedin’s and Ovechkin over him any day of the week and so would you. Giroux is a great hockey player but 1/4 of a season doesn’t make you an elite hockey player. If that is the case then why isn’t Kessel considered the best player in the world right now?
    It seems as though like Flyer fans are just so desperate they try and convince themselves they have something they don’t. It seems as though the fans and the organization are just trying to be the Penguins. Getting an “elite” goaltender (who hasn’t won a playoff series), pretending that Giroux is anywhere near Crosby, much less Malkin, and whats next? Pretending that they have won a Stanly cup in the last 30+ years? Ouch.

    • danphipps01 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:58 PM

      Eh. I’d take Giroux over Ovi. With you on the rest, though.

  15. hockeyfan1701 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:06 PM

    At what sport Max? Because I am sure you are not talking about hockey.

  16. jpelle82 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:08 PM

    where has giroux been since 2008 when he came into the league? we are only having this conversation because of the emergence of JVR and the aquisition of Jagr for one quarter of a season. Crosby has been doing it better and longer with less talented wingers…Dupuis and Kunitz come on. maybe Bill Guerin or Kovalev were the best he has played with and they dont even play in the league anymore. because max “benedict arnold” talbot decided to make a comment does not justify this comparison

    • jpelle82 - Dec 7, 2011 at 2:14 PM

      in fact if you run a direct comparison of giroux to the rest of the league in the past 5 years the only relevant players he compares to are David Kreji and Thomas Plekanec….not even close to Crosby tier centers….check it out for yourself

  17. chrisc72 - Dec 7, 2011 at 4:48 PM

    haha yeah and Talbot is just as good as James Neal

  18. midiman1225 - Dec 7, 2011 at 7:23 PM

    G is fantastic. he back checks like a beast (he’s just as good defensively as he is offensively), and has a wonderful work ethic… the only thing i’d like to see from G is improvement in the faceoff circle. he’s at 51.3% right now, but he’s been winning a lot lately because that number was much lower like 2-3 weeks ago. he’s durable, doesn’t bitch and moan AT ALL, leads by example, score, makes plays. it’s obviously all been said before, but it’s true.

    holmgren got rid of RICHARDS and CARTER largely because of this kid… i think that says a lot!

    ps i hate crosby

  19. cakrywyj - Dec 7, 2011 at 10:28 PM

    4 point night for Giroux with an OT winning breakaway after 3 assists to come back from a 3-0 hole…no big deal

    • iownyou2 - Dec 10, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      Sounds familiar to a certain players first game after missing almost a full year (2g,2a) hint hint his name starts with C and ends with rosby.

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