Apr 22, 2012, 4:07 PM EDT
Following a season-ending loss to the Flyers, Brooks Orpik wasted no time identifying the primary cause of Pittsburgh’s demise:
“He was the best player on the ice,” the Pens defenseman said. “But I don’t think we were surprised by that.
“Maybe two years ago, we’d be surprised.”
Giroux was absolutely massive in Game 6 — he flattened Sidney Crosby early with a message-sending hit, scored the opening goal, assisted on Scott Hartnell‘s game winner and Erik Gustafsson‘s insurance marker. The 24-year-old finished with three points, five shots, almost 25 minutes of ice time and a ton of respect from his head coach.
“His game tonight was monstrous,” Flyers bench boss Peter Laviolette said. “When your best player makes a statement like that … Claude Giroux led us to the second round.”
In a telling anecdote, Laviolette told reporters Giroux asked to start the game –“I don’t know who you plan on starting, but I want that first shift,” he said — then went out and flattened Crosby. It was a move that impressed Laviolette enough to shower Giroux with praise.
“He’s the best player in the world,” Laviolette said.
- Evander Kane: I know I can score 50 goals 4
- ‘C’-less Thornton comes out swing against Wilson’s ‘tomorrow team’ talk 13
- Joe Sakic’s now general manager in name too 5
- Update: Giroux out two weeks with lower-body injury 24
- Update: Crosby on ice with Penguins teammates Friday, leaves early 5
- Ouch: Wild reportedly suspend Harding for ‘non-hockey injury’ 28
- Keeping Kuemper: Wild sign goalie to two-year deal reportedly worth $2.5M 15
- Selanne regrets harsh words toward Boudreau 9
- Flyers’ Timonen admits chances of playing are ‘really slim’ 8
- Desjardins (a.k.a. not Torts) makes good first impression on Canucks 28
- Heeeeeere’s Johnny! Davidson shreds Johansen’s agent for ‘baffling, nonsensical’ contract demands (62)
- Chiarelli: At some point, I’m going to have to trade a defenseman (56)
- Jackets reveal Johansen offers — including an eight year, $46M deal (55)
- Will the NHL publicize divers? (48)
- No icing on the PK? The USHL will see how that looks (43)