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.
- Report: Sharks to name DeBoer head coach 0
- Video: Lundqvist helps lead Rangers back to New York for Game 7 5
- Lightning get taken to ‘school of hard knocks’ in third-period collapse 11
- A storm brewing: Rangers rally to force Game 7 with Lightning (Video) 11
- Video: Lundqvist stones Stamkos with left-pad save 0
- Bob Clarke really doesn’t care for tanking 37
- Hitchcock re-signs for one more year in St. Louis 10
- Ducks win crazy Game 5, push ‘Hawks to edge of elimination 32
- WATCH LIVE: Blackhawks at Ducks, Game 5 of Western Conference Final 3
- In the playoffs, sometimes it comes down to the ‘bounces’ 4
- Reports: Sabres thought they had a deal with Babcock, aren’t happy (174)
- Leafs land Babcock with reported 8-year deal, estimated at $50 million (130)
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (75)
- What’s wrong with Lundqvist? (70)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)