Apr 14, 2012
Flyers go up 2-0 on the Pens led by....
Claude Giroux, the marvel, who set a Flyers playoff hockey record with 6 points (3 goals and 3 assists). His 3 goals were all of different varieties: power play, short handed, and even strength (with an empty net, but still)....His first two goals were the comeback for the first and steepest uphill climb.
After being down 3-1 after the first period, including a deflating goal scored with 18 seconds to go, Giroux asserted dominance in controlling the puck, during the second period and beyond. He is a visionary passer, and it was special to watch. He's also usually on a line with the seemingly ageless Jaromir Jagr (who scored the game winning 6th goal), and the tenacious Scott Hartnell, and the three were not denied on this night.
Giroux may not have been the best Flyer on the ice either. That was probably 19 year old Sean Couturier, who was seemingly in the right place at the right time a lot to score all his goals on rebounds or scrambles or redirections. He notched the first hat trick by a rookie Flyer since Andy Delmore in 2000. He also seemed to win faceoffs all the time.
The game was a wild affair, and showcased two teams with incredible firepower. The series is not over and the Flyers can not rest, and especially have to stop giving up 3 goals in the first period like they have in the first two games in the series.
This is the Young Gun rookie of Giroux, the only hockey card single I have ever sought to buy on its own. I consider it a showcase piece as a Philadelphia Flyers fan. He finished 3rd in the NHL in points this year and has shown himself through talent and know-how to be a foundational piece of the franchise. Another example was his diving stop at the blue line in the 1st game of the series which led directly to the tying goal during the Flyers' only power play.
I am giddy on this night, but wary of the Penguins' talent for the rest of the series. It's just too bad two of the top three teams in the Eastern Conference have to face each other in the 1st round due to the NHL seeding rules. Go Flyers!