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Giroux: “I’m not a dirty player… I was just trying to finish my hit.”

May 7, 2012, 9:16 AM EDT

Now that Claude Giroux is apparently headed for a meeting with the NHL over his hit on Dainius Zubrus, Giroux’s explanation of the play following last night’s loss to New Jersey gets more interesting.

Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun got Giroux’s reasoning behind his hit on Zubrus that got him sent off for two minutes for an illegal check to the head. As you might expect, Giroux wasn’t about to say he did anything wrong on the play.

“I’m not a dirty player,” said the Flyers captain. “I don’t hit guys in the head. I was trying to finish my hit.”

He did finish it, for sure, just directly into the head of an opposing player. One thing is for sure, Giroux isn’t a dirty player, but he sure looked like a highly frustrated one last night and now that his team is on the brink of elimination, there’s a chance he won’t be on the ice to help his team try and avoid elimination.

In case you missed it, here’s video of the play in question.

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  1. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 9:25 AM

    Yeah, 10 seconds after he released the puck. What an ass.

    • polegojim - May 7, 2012 at 10:17 AM

      But SJ…. that is an incredibly common occurrence. The timing was not even remotely out of the norm.

      I’m all for correcting targeted head hits, but this one is a bad deal for G.

      Sadly, it’s an unintended consequence for trying to correct blatant actions. Shanahan has no choice but to proceed.

  2. ironcity6pak - May 7, 2012 at 9:35 AM

    F this guy and his baby tantrums. 1 game suspension and suck it up.

  3. spavs412 - May 7, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    I loved hearing the flyers last round about Neal but it was only a matter of time before G went scum bagish lol

    • supercoop8 - May 7, 2012 at 11:30 AM

      Scum Bagish sounds like a Scottish porn star with a giant ginger beard, wait…

      • kitshky - May 7, 2012 at 12:29 PM

        Let’s leave my Pops out of this ok…

    • ml3939 - May 7, 2012 at 11:46 AM

      James Neal has a history of dirty hits. Giroux had none before this incident. There is no comparison between the two players. Furthermore, Neal was not happy targeting one player, he went after 2 players in the same sequence.

      • atb4 - May 7, 2012 at 12:34 PM

        I think Neal’s record was only one hit 3 years ago, so that’s a pretty much a wash. Could be wrong on the facts there though.

      • ml3939 - May 7, 2012 at 1:52 PM

        Neal was suspended 3 years ago, fined once this year and warned two other times this year. He also left his feet on both hits against the Flyers.

      • crosberries - May 7, 2012 at 2:55 PM

        Haha he was fined this year because Suban slew foot him and came down with his stick and hit him on top on the head after having his legs kicked out from under him

      • ml3939 - May 7, 2012 at 3:08 PM

        What about the other suspension, fine and warning?

    • wicky888 - May 7, 2012 at 12:41 PM

      Neal also did the same thing twice in 40 seconds and left his feet on both.

  4. iluvwikileaks - May 7, 2012 at 10:09 AM

    This Penguins fan is loving this ish:)

    GO DEVILS!!

  5. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 10:28 AM

    ^ are you saying it wasn’t a late hit?

    • jelliot1978 - May 7, 2012 at 10:39 AM

      SJ, was it late yes but no later than dozens of other hits a game that happen. Just watch when a defenseman clears the puck and then gets hit 2 seconds later. The problem with this hit was were contact was made – to the head. If he goes shoulder to shoulder there is probably not an issue. It will be interesting to see as Giroux has no previous history of bad hits. This hit does not make him a dirty player, just made a bad play.

    • polegojim - May 7, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      yes, exactly as jelliott described.

    • crosberries - May 7, 2012 at 3:00 PM

      And there was no intent there or anything ha

  6. GenoPringles - May 7, 2012 at 10:36 AM

    Do people in Filthy still want to give this guy the C? Kid needs anger management.

    • jelliot1978 - May 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

      Geno, people in glass houses should not throw stones. Your captain will instigate a fight and have someone else do the dirty work. Syd is a great player but lets be honest here, he is not a clean player. He has a history of being a diver, whiner and will always start something and not finish it. He has changed some of this as he doesn’t whine nearly as much and also cut down on the diving but he still does both.

      • crosberries - May 7, 2012 at 3:07 PM

        So your saying giroux shouldn’t be the captain because Sid does the same things that you hate? Crosby never instigated a fight Hartnell acted like Crosby pulled him super hard just so he could go after him. Your stupid to think if the same thing happened with giroux with say Neal someone would jump in to save your star player from getting hurt. If not your team would be under fire for not doing it so save the “he runs from fights” for the people who are stupid and don’t know what’s going on in a hockey game.

  7. atteckus - May 7, 2012 at 10:43 AM

    The hit was way late, was intentionally directed at the head, came from the blind side and was clearly motivated out of frustration/revenge for a perceived non-call when G got hit along the bench wall. G can protest that he’s not a dirty player all he wants. But opinions will be shaped by how he acts on the ice, not words. Two games for you, says the suspension nazi.

    • kingmiedus - May 7, 2012 at 11:11 AM

      It may have been frustration, but wasn’t revenge. If you actually watched, he was pissed because they didn’t call a penalty for Brodeur playing the puck outside the trapezoid.

      I think the hit ended up being to the head because Zubrus slowed a bit due to stopping his stride. It also didn’t look particularly hard (Giroux’s reaction appears to be him thinking that Zubrus is faking it).

      Given that part of the reasoning on Neal’s was that he was a repeat offender, and the whole “series of events” (hitting Couterier before that), I wouldn’t expect Giroux to get suspended if Shannahan is going to be consistent. But we all know the likelihood of him being consistent, so I wouldn’t be surprised with one game.

  8. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 10:45 AM

    No it does make him a dirty player. It was a retaliation hit. The refs didnt give him what he wanted so he was intent to injury someone. You can see after he does it too that he is yelling at the refs, probably about not giving the flyers a power play but instead giving the devils one. When you are intent on hurting someone, it does in fact make you a dirty player. As for him not getting the C. Does anyone remember who the flyers captain is anyways? Giroux is following rite in his foot steps haha.

  9. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 11:14 AM

    Are you kidding King? You’re trying to blame it on everything else except Giroux? Are you blind or just in denial?

  10. Hillary - May 7, 2012 at 11:26 AM

    Yeah, I’m a Flyers fan. Yes, it was an illegal head shot. Yes, he was pissed for the blown call. From watching Giroux play since coming into the NHL I think he was trying to spark the team with a hard hit. He does not have a history of high hits not cheap shots. If the NHL decides to suspend him then the Flyers have to live with that. To compare him to Neal’s blindside, intentional head shots is moronic. Yes, he did it twice in a row. Giroux is a guy that every NHL fan would love to have on their team. The Devils are playing an amazing series. I give them all of the credit in the world for this domination. If not for Bryz playing well the series would have been all blowouts.

    • hawksandsawx - May 7, 2012 at 11:51 AM

      You think a player with as much skill and body control as Giroux can’t control where he hits someone? This was an intentional shot to head but a guy who plays with some fire. Also it was way too late, if you look at the review of the Torres hit it was one of things mentioned and G’s hit was later than that. Hope it was worth not playing in the last game of the season

      • kmq102 - May 7, 2012 at 12:17 PM

        Just to be clear: this is the same person that posted as Hillary. My wife was logged in and I didn’t know it. Anyway, I 100% think Giroux was trying to hit Zubrus in the chest. Zubrus was leaning forward. Basic physics says that a 5’11” guy would have a very tough time hitting a 6’5″ guy in the head without something else at play. Giroux did not jump. Unfortunately for Zubrus he was bent over. I hope that he is ok. I don’t know if that warrants a suspension. Shannahan’s ruling this postseason have been all over the place. I do agree with a previous poster that hits that late have been common place in hockey for as long as I’ve watched the game.

        Broomhandle, Neal intentionally targeted the head twice on one shift and only got one game. That was partially because he was ejected from the game. I think Giroux will get a fine and warning as a first time offender. However, his obvious fury at the refs could come into play as a indication of what his intent was.

        Only one person knows what the intent of that check was. He will have to answer for it to the NHL and step up his game in the offseason to avoid this situation next season. Please don’t misunderstand what I trying to say. I am NOT defending the hit. I am NOT trying to say it was an excuse because he was pissed. I am simply saying he is not the head hunting, cheap shot artist guys are making him out to be. Philadelphia had the guy that created the current head hunting rules. He’s now playing in LA.

  11. quonce - May 7, 2012 at 11:31 AM

    so brodeur playing the puck outside the “brodeur trapezoid” allows opposing players to target heads?

    seriously.

    the only reason that trapezoid is there is because of him and once he retires, those lines

    • kmq102 - May 7, 2012 at 12:26 PM

      Fantasy contest…Brodeur versus Hextal…Both guys in their prime.

      Rules:

      1 on 1
      1/2 ice game
      Must tag up at blue line
      Fighting allowed
      Sisters in law are in play

      Marty has been one of my most hated NHL players for years. Mostly because he’s so amazing that he’s blocked my beloved Flyers. He’s the best goalie of my generation.

  12. broomehandle - May 7, 2012 at 11:44 AM

    He launched himself up ad directly to the head, this should be more than a one game suspension. Minimum 2.

  13. jagrbomb18 - May 7, 2012 at 12:11 PM

    Suburbs got up 5 seconds later…let’s all make this a bigger deal then it really is…go get a job you morons

  14. jagrbomb18 - May 7, 2012 at 12:12 PM

    Zubrus

  15. tcclark - May 7, 2012 at 12:14 PM

    Some of these comments are ridiculous. Yes Giroux was angry about the non-call, but he wasn’t out looking to hurt anyone. The idea that Claude Giroux was angry at the refs so he decided to hurt a Devils player is ridiculous. Why would he risk getting suspended by hurting Dainus Zubrus of all people?

    Giroux was trying to make a big hit and spark his team like he did against crosby in game 6 last series. He went in on Zubrus literally a second after he got rid of the puck which is not late by any means (if the check was clean it wouldn’t have even been a close call) and got him in the head. If you look at the reverse angle at around the 30 second mark, you can see that Giroux came in on a good angle. Ahd Zubrus not slowed down to side step the hit, Giroux would’ve gotten the body. However, Zubrus slows down and picks his head up and Giroux gets him in the chin. Giroux was not intentionally aiming for Zubrus’ head. he missed the check and tried to finish his check by getting what he could. Zubrus was behind him at that point so there was no way Giroux could even see where he got him.

    The check was intentional but the head shot was not. i expect him to be suspended, and honestly he should. It wasn’t as bad as what Neal did, but for some reason they will probably get the same suspension length. Claude Giroux is not a dirty player. He plays hard, he plays with emotion, but this was not a dirty play. He had plenty of chances to be dirty in the Penguins series. Malkin and Crosby cheap shot him every chance they get, but he never retaliated in a dirty way. This was an unfortunate hit, and I hope Zubrus the best (He will always be remembered as the former Flyer that got us Mark Recchi back), but Giroux is not dirty. Let’s not put him in that category after one unfortunate mistake.

  16. emperorzero - May 7, 2012 at 12:37 PM

    He may not be a dirty player, but that was definitely a late-hit to the head. How Giroux plays from here on out will determine if he’s a dirty player or not. This will be the first incident to go into the book judging him in the future.

    • maalea - May 7, 2012 at 2:49 PM

      The “book” was started about 350 games ago. That should count into the judgement.

  17. cmv08 - May 7, 2012 at 1:00 PM

    Shanahan’s bias will really be seen now as Giroux will skate with a fine. NO WAY does he sit an elimination game.

    • buckeye044 - May 7, 2012 at 1:32 PM

      Spot on. Giroux is a star, they are treated differently by the league.
      And because Zubrus wasn’t injured a fine is all he will receive.

  18. tackledummy1505 - May 7, 2012 at 1:03 PM

    You all can eat it. The guy laid a check on him and yes because Giroux is a Flyer I expect him to get suspended. Zubruis isn’t missing any games and if Giroux was a Pittsburg Penguin or any of the other team favorites he would just get a $2,500 fine. The NHL is so bias and I’m tired of it. I’ve been able to watch NHL games for 24 years and rarely do the Flyers get more Power Play chances then the other team. The Devils could get a call for holding or interference on almost every play, but the refs let it go against the Flyers. That’s why the only way for the Flyers to beat the trap is to carry the puck in. Funny thing is the Devils have been playing the same crappy hockey for 2 decades and they even created the holding call and interference call strictly because of the Devils. Yet it never seems to fail that when the Flyers play the Devils the whistles go in their pocket. Last night was dumb to the point of disbelief. The Flyers got 2 Power Plays in the beginning of the game and when they went up 2-0 they never saw another one. Once I would love to see the Flyers not kill off an entire period of power plays. The NHL will never forget the Broad Street Bullies and it’s starting to get to be too much. Every year we lead the league in PIMS. Giroux’s check was even that bad and considering Malkin elbowed the crap out of Grossman and Grossman missed 2 games, yet Malkin never got suspended is getting too normal. Giroux gets suspended and I’m done watching this crap. Too many years of the same bs where another team cries (Brodeur) and if we fart in his direction and we get loaded on with penalties. Then the NHL wonders why they get low ratings lol. Penguins/Flyers type hockey- highest ratings in the playoffs. Devils 2000 Stanley Cup team- Lowest ratings for a sports championship series. The show Seinfeld actually had better ratings on the same night of a game.

    Point is no one wants to see grown men hug the entire game. Devils hockey is why the NHL struggles to be as great as leagues such as the NFL/MLB. Holding in the neutral zone should be totally illegal.

    • crosberries - May 7, 2012 at 6:47 PM

      Conspiracy!!!! Conspiracy!!!! I love the philthy fans who scream this. Your morons.

    • crosberries - May 7, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      And I also want to know what the devils way of playing has anything to do with making the NHL not as good as the MLB? The MLB is the most boring sport ever so if your saying the devils way is boring it’s exactly as good as the mlb

  19. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 1:19 PM

    Hey kmq I see you are using the famous Chris Pronger excuse to why he would target players heads. It’s just physics!

  20. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 1:31 PM

    @tackledummy, I notice you are very upset of a holding call while the subject is the flyers star player laying his shoulder into a players jaw. Did you want them to let this go and not call it like the hold you’re speaking of? Because last time I checked, you don’t have the possibility to get a concussion from a hold.

    Someone needs to flatten Giroux with a good hard open ice hit. Teach him that he is not the NHL and is a player just like everyone else. It’s a shame the NHL is trying to market this guy.

    • tackledummy1505 - May 7, 2012 at 2:21 PM

      @sjs- No I think the call was right. It’s a penalty, the problem is they call almost everything they can against the Flyers and they turn the cheek on every dump play the Flyers do. Last time I checked you couldn’t hold up a player’s progress going into the zone if they don’t have the puck or haven’t played the puck in themselves. Watch the game and you’ll know what I’m talking about. Our wide guy will go into the zone and be stalled or held up by the defender that’s playing him. The same thing goes on in the neutral zone, where they employ the trap and do it. Problem is we have slashes go unnoticed when the Devils score, our goalie gets ran into with no interference call, yet if Hartnell touches Brodeur (even if he’s skating in the white zone and Brodeur is in the blue) he gets called for it. It’s the same thing over and over again. One side of hockey gets over looked while if the Flyers sneeze the wrong way we get called. It’s just getting to be too much for me to watch anymore. There’s no way that you or anyone else can say that the Flyers are guilty more times than their opponent every game. If you do then that’s retarded, because you have a better chance at hitting the lotto then a team always committing more fouls then their opponent every game.

  21. hagigun - May 7, 2012 at 2:13 PM

    The guy makes 1 “questionable” hit and people brand him Dirty?!?

    He didn’t leave his feet
    It wasn’t all that late
    The hands or elbows never came up

    He basically made a hard hit and Zubrus had his head/chin down and that was the point of contact.

    Certainly Giroux was looking to deal out some punishment and hit him hard because of his overall frustration in the game/series. But get a hold of yourself if you think this guy is dirty! Even IF he gets suspended 1 game, that doesn’t mean you are a dirty player. It’s a fast game, people react, emotions run hot. Until I see multiple offenses or his game changes to goon tactics, I’m not going to label this guy “Dirty” or “Cheap” or “Goonish” whatever you want to call it.

    Pierre-Marc Bouchard was suspended 2 games this year…what a dirty player! Cheap goon! (Obviously being sarcastic)

  22. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 2:29 PM

    Im pretty sure hartnell cross checked someone, ran into Marty and then speared the same guy he cross checked. That’s why they gave him a penalty. I’ve seen the flyers run over goalies multiple times with no call, you can’t be upset when they call interference 1/10 times. Trust me, I’ve watched every playoff game. I’m not just going along with what everyone says happens. As for the contact comming Into the zone I’m pretty sure you are able to make slight contact with the players when they dump in the zone. Changing your lane and completely cutting them off is an interference penalty. This is what I’m talking about, flyers fans want a penalty everytime they are touched by someone. It’s a physical contact sport, they’re not just going to let you in their zone and score.

    • tackledummy1505 - May 7, 2012 at 2:35 PM

      lol ok, watch the games. Unless you’re looking for it you won’t see it. I’ve watched Devil-Flyer games my entire life. I know the game the Devils play and I knew it was going to be like this right after I saw game 2. Watch for it and you’ll see what I’m talking about. Half of the game will be the Flyer players fending off defensivemen trying to enter the zone. They either grab them as soon as they come in or they block them off from the puck completely. I understand if it’s fighting for the puck, but the puck isn’t anywhere near them. That’s why they made such penalties. Funny thing is they called it against them in the Florida series. Since they’re playing the Flyers though the penalties don’t come as much. Just funny that’s all. Same story different day.

      • kmq102 - May 7, 2012 at 3:13 PM

        I still cannot understand the mugging that goes on each and every time they enter the zone. It’s blatant interference the majority of the time the Flyers are charging into the zone and the Devils D locks onto them. It’s frustrating but the teams have to play according what the refs are allowing and adjust. No whining…they need to step up and make them pay for doing that.

  23. tackledummy1505 - May 7, 2012 at 2:31 PM

    What hit was worse, Giroux to Zubruis or Scott Stevens to Eric Lindros? Seriously look at both videos and tell me which was the worse of the two. Yet hello Giroux is the dirty player lol I understand Lindros had his head down, but can we say that about every player who has his head down?

  24. kmq102 - May 7, 2012 at 3:10 PM

    Giroux suspended one game. Brendan Shanahan continues his inconsistency this playoff season. I do not disagree with the suspension based on his actions leading up to the hit and the fact that he contacted Zubrus’ head. However, Weber pulled a WWF move smashing a player’s head into the boards in the 1st round and was only fined.

  25. sjsharks66 - May 7, 2012 at 3:24 PM

    ^ if you were the refs you would give the flyers a 60 minute power play. I understand that the flyers get out played 5 on 5 and can only score on the power play. They look just like the Canucks last year, out played 5 on 5 but any time they could dive or draw a penalty they score.

  26. pens5829 - May 7, 2012 at 4:14 PM

    Hey Claude? You are now.

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