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Top 2012: Flyers, Penguins put on series for the ages

Dec 25, 2012, 6:30 PM EDT

Crosby and Giroux Getty Images

It was the series nobody wanted to end.

In a postseason where top seeds fizzled out early and just four series went the distance, the Flyers and Penguins put on an unforgettable first-round performance featuring more subplots than General Hospital.

The numbers alone tell a story — six games, 56 goals, 309 penalty minutes — yet they don’t even begin to explain what transpired.

A refresher:

Game 1: Philly erased a 3-0 deficit (in Pittsburgh!) to win in overtime. That, combined with the Flyers’ regular season success at CONSOL Energy Center, prompted Philadelphia owner Ed Snider to remark that his team was in Pittsburgh’s head.

Game 2: 19-year-old Sean Couturier scored a hat trick (youngest playoff hatty since Ted Kennedy in 1945) and the Flyers erased deficits of 2-0, 3-1, 4-3 and 5-4 to take a two-game series lead.

Oh yeah, the two teams combined for 13 goals.

Game 3: Frustrations boiled over as the two sides amassed 158 penalty minutes, 38 penalties, four ejections, four 10-minute misconducts and three fights (one of which was Claude Giroux vs. Sidney Crosby.)

Arron Asham, James Neal and Craig Adams were suspended for their actions and Penguins head coach Dan Bylsma drew a $10,000 fine.

Oh yeah, the two teams combined for 12 goals.

Game 4: Down 3-0 in in the series and shorthanded due to suspensions, Pittsburgh annihilated Philly 10-3 (13 goals total, for you mathletes.)

Jordan Staal scored a hat trick and 14 of Pittsburgh’s 19 skaters recorded at least a point as the Penguins scored 10 goals in a game for the first time since 1989.

“This is like the weirdest series I have ever seen,” Penguins defenseman Brooks Orpik said after the game.

(Fun fact: Pittsburgh and Philly scored 45 times through Games 1-4, an NHL record for the most goals in the opening four games of a seven-game series.)

Game 5: Finally, some goaltending! Marc Andre Fleury, who’d been ventilated for 20 goals on 105 shots in the first four games, stopped 24 of 26 in a huge win, putting the Penguins right back in the series.

Game 6: This happened.

Then, seconds later, this happened:

That sequence of events pushed Giroux into superstar status (assuming he wasn’t already there) and into direct competition with Crosby.

Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called Giroux “the best player in the world” while Orpik admitted he was “the best player on the ice.”

So, having re-lived all that…how much are you missing hockey right now? Sorry. Happy holidays tho!


Philadelphia Daily News captured Giroux’s hit on Crosby rather well

Giroux on surgically repaired wrists: “Those are from Crosby”

Crosby doesn’t recall injuring Giroux’s wrists…but if he did, he’s not sorry about it

Laviolette on Crosby-Giroux fight: “I loved it”

  1. aklolzer - Dec 25, 2012 at 6:51 PM

    Oh man, what utter destruction of the penguins by giroux and the flyers. Haven’t see an annihilation like that since id4joey in the comment sections.

  2. bleed4philly - Dec 25, 2012 at 7:14 PM

    That’s my Flyers!

  3. hockeyfan28 - Dec 25, 2012 at 7:27 PM

    Man just as the NHL gets it’s best rivalry since Colorado/Detroit they go on strike…..S.O.B.S!!!!!!!!

  4. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - Dec 25, 2012 at 7:49 PM

    Since we’re not having a season let’s put on a best-of-31 rematch of this and award the Cup accordingly.

  5. icelovinbrotha215 - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:17 PM

    It was an entertaining series but it did expose teams and their lack of team D. Can’t win a Stanley Cup with a ‘run-and-gun’ mentality.

  6. mojosmagic - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:27 PM

    Cindy Crosby is still a sissy. Ah just writing that puts me in a good frame of mind even without a season. You to Malkin.

  7. sampulls - Dec 25, 2012 at 8:56 PM

    Coming from an Avs fan….I’ll take Sidney over Claude in a heartbeat.

  8. phillyphanatic77 - Dec 25, 2012 at 9:46 PM

    There’s no question on career production Crosby tops Giroux. But I love Giroux’s all-around game. He has unbelievable leadership qualities, and will eventually be one of the top captains in the game (if we ever get hockey back). He really fits the mold of a Bob Clarke. And he showed in that game 6 that he can put a team on his back, even if he had a few lapses in judgement against the Devils (still just 24 yrs). Ever since he came up he’s reminded me of a small Forsberg, with his unbelievable vision and hockey IQ. And it pains me to think the league is making me miss a full year of this guy and our young forward group scoring tons of goals. This article makes it that much more unbearable. Personally, I would never swap Giroux for Crosby, they both fit their cities perfectly.

  9. murtdurt - Dec 25, 2012 at 10:36 PM

    Flyer fans act like this series won them a championship. Meanwhile, Penguin fans act like they won it…in ’09. Oh that’s right, they did win it

  10. sampulls - Dec 25, 2012 at 11:34 PM


    Claude is a great hockey player and might be compared to guys like Pavel Bure & Marty St. Louis.
    But Syd the Kid is in a different stratosphere and will be measured by the likes of Gretzky & Lemieux.

    • blomfeld - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:53 AM

      Ahem …

      With all due respect friend, if you’re man Crosby is supposed to be “sashaying” about in some stratosphere, then by default, that would put my entire glorious “Stanley Cup Champion” Los Angeles Kings in the Mesosphere! :)

      In all seriousness though, until the Flyers and Penguins clean up their respective back ends, then neither of them can or will ever reach their true potential or make it to the “big” show again. Today’s level of competition simply doesn’t allow for “winners” to go around playing in games which end up like football scores! The NHL is not some “free for all” joke like the Arena Football league or Roller Derby! Look, we Kings were actually hoping for the chance to “have a go” at either of these two worthy opponents last spring, believe me. Yet their “porous” goal-tending and “parasitic” defense precluded that from ever having a chance of materializing … and that’s a shame. My advise to both of these teams is to tone down the “big man” tough talk and instead focus on “sound” defensive principles.

      • hockeyfan28 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:20 AM

        Why would a Kings fan come here and brag on a flyers pens thread? oh that’s right your not familiar with sticking for a team that has actual fans to quote Conan O’brien “it’s quiet in L.a. kinda like the day the Kings won the Stanley Cup” so take nice little Stanley Cup there junior and go back to L.A. where you can’t even keep a football team.

  11. orangeandblack67 - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:42 AM

    I actually thought I would get through the comments section without reading more Cindy Crosby ball washing… Guess not.

  12. girouxvy - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:11 AM

    G I R O U X V Y

  13. mojosmagic - Dec 26, 2012 at 10:17 AM

    Your a joke Blomfeld. LA was an 8 seed, got hot at the right time and road their goaltending to a Cup. Happens all the time and congrats. But don’t go telling teams that are winners year in and year out what they need or don’t need. You come across like a Johnny come lately know it all.

    • blomfeld - Dec 26, 2012 at 12:55 PM


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  14. orangeandblack67 - Dec 26, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Here is joke… How many former Flyers does it take to win a Stanley Cup? Answer- Just ask LA

    • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:06 PM

      Here’s another joke, what will it take for the flyers to win their next cup? Stop trading players who can help you win the cup.

    • id4joey - Dec 26, 2012 at 4:08 PM

      Or, hire Dean Lombardi.

  15. ironcitydonnieiris - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:22 PM


    Love the advertisement! Thanks for the laugh!

  16. orangeandblack67 - Dec 26, 2012 at 7:23 PM

    Granted, I was not to happy to see Richie go. Oh and Lombardi was also formerly employed by the Flyers once upon a time.

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