Friday, February 12, 2016

Will Giroux be suspended?

Devils 4, Flyers 2

Will Giroux be suspended?

The Flyers now trail the Devils by three games to one in their playoff series. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
The Flyers now trail the Devils by three games to one in their playoff series. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

NEWARK, N.J. -- Claude Giroux has become the Flyers’ leader, and no one questions it. He is them and they are him and that is that, at least for now.

When Giroux is the best player on the ice, they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins in the first round of the playoffs. When he is quiet, they lose two straight games and fall behind the New Jersey Devils in the second round.

When he assists on a power play goal and persists on a shorthanded goal in the first period on Sunday night, the Flyers remain alive in a game in which they should be dead. Eventually, they were dead, by a final score of 4-2. They now trail the Devils by three games to one in the series.

But the issue has become even bigger than that, and more worrisome. Because he is them and they are him, and now there is a chance the Flyers will be without Giroux for Game 5 of the series after he was penalized at 19:56 of the second period for a head shot delivered with his shoulder against the Devils’ Dainius Zubrus.

More coverage
Follow the Flyers: On your iPhone, Android phone
Flyers T-shirt: Fear the fist!
Latest Flyers videos

To attempt to predict what Brendan Shanahan, the NHL’s dean of discipline, might do with this is a waste of energy. All we can know for sure is that it will be scrutinized. The guess here is that there will be no suspension, and that there should be no suspension -- that the hit was deserving of a penalty and nothing more.

But who knows? And who knows what effect a suspension might have on a Flyers team that has now been outplayed in three consecutive games.

Giroux has no history of discipline issues with the league, which will work in his favor. Zubrus returned to the game and did not appear to be injured seriously -- in fact, scoring the final New Jersey goal into an empty net -- which also will work in Giroux's favor. The fact that Zubrus, who is 6-foot-5, was hit in the head by the shoulder of a player who is 5-foot-11, means that Zubrus was already bent over -- and that should work in Giroux’s favor, too. It wasn’t as if he reached up with an elbow.

But who knows?

The problem is that it is very obvious that Giroux skated a long way in anger before the hit. He was carping with the officials seconds before, furious as he skated up the ice, apparently because Devils goaltender Marty Brodeur illegally played the puck outside of the trapezoid behind the net without being whistled for a penalty.

So there is that, and there is the penalty call itself: “illegal check to head.” You do not see that one every day.

Again, it was not a clean play. But it did not seem to rise to the level of a suspension. Then again, I don’t watch suspension video for a living.

So, we will see -- as if the Flyers didn’t already have enough to worry about.

Daily News Executive Sports Editor
We encourage respectful comments but reserve the right to delete anything that doesn't contribute to an engaging dialogue.
Help us moderate this thread by flagging comments that violate our guidelines.

Comment policy: comments are intended to be civil, friendly conversations. Please treat other participants with respect and in a way that you would want to be treated. You are responsible for what you say. And please, stay on topic. If you see an objectionable post, please report it to us using the "Report Abuse" option.

Please note that comments are monitored by staff. We reserve the right at all times to remove any information or materials that are unlawful, threatening, abusive, libelous, defamatory, obscene, vulgar, pornographic, profane, indecent or otherwise objectionable. Personal attacks, especially on other participants, are not permitted. We reserve the right to permanently block any user who violates these terms and conditions.

Additionally comments that are long, have multiple paragraph breaks, include code, or include hyperlinks may not be posted.

Read 0 comments
comments powered by Disqus
About this blog
Rich Hofmann arrived at the Daily News in 1980 for a job whose status was officially designated as "full-time, temporary." A senior at Penn at the time, he was hired to fill in on the copy desk during a staff illness. The notion of him covering the Eagles or being a columnist did not exist in anyone's imagination. It was supposed to be six weeks and out, but he never left. It is only one of the reasons why so many people have concerns about him as a potential house guest. Rich has blogged the postseasons of the Flyers and Eagles. E-mail Rich at Reach Rich at

Rich Hofmann Daily News Executive Sports Editor
Latest Videos:
Also on
letter icon Newsletter