Tag Archives: Claude Giroux

Timonen, Giroux Named All-Stars

12 Jan

The Flyers will be well-represented in Ottawa at the end of the month. According to the team, Claude Giroux and Kimmo Timonen will be All-Stars. Matt Read and Sean Couturier will make the trip as well for the rookie game.

This is Timonen’s fifth All-Star nomination. He didn’t play in 2000 due to injury and hinted last Saturday that the same might happen this time around as well.

“It’s hard to say,” said Timonen who had just played against Ottawa despite a wrist injury that nearly kept him out of the lineup. “It’s hard to say no if you get chosen, but it’s one of those things where if you’ve got injuries, it’s time to heal your injuries at that time. When that time comes, I’m gonna really take a look at the situation, but it’s that time.”

Timonen has one goal and 24 assists on the year. He is also the keystone to the Flyers’ defensive corps. That became more obvious when he missed parts of two periods a week ago against Chicago.

For Giroux, the All-Star Game will be somewhat of a homecoming. Ottawa may be hundreds of miles away from Hearst, Ont., where Giroux was born, but it’s still in the same province. Giroux came in seventh among forwards in the fans vote and didn’t initially make the cut when the fans voted the starting six players.

“I don’t care if it’s top six, I just want to make the team,” said Giroux last week. “That would be pretty cool and to go back to back would be pretty cool. It’s in Ottawa where my friends are. It would be a pretty good experience.”

Giroux is second in the league in points, tied with Phil Kessel. Last year he had a goal and an assist in the All-Star Game in Raleigh, N.C.

Read is tied for first among rookies in goals. He has played on every line this season for the Flyers. Couturier has seven goals and six assists this season in 37 games. He has centered the fourth line during most of his action.


Twitter Mailbag: Flyers At The Midway Point

10 Jan

From time to time, we reach into the Twitter machine and address some questions that Flyers fans have. With Tuesday night’s game sending the Flyers to the midway point of the year, this is a good time to take a step back and evaluate.

Here’s some of the best:

@ChristopheTaitt — i’m starting to think all the money the Flyers have in goalies is a waste! wasnt Bryz supposed to be stable goaltender?

Yes, he is. Although he said he knew what it would be like coming to Philly, I think he underestimated all the attention and definitely underestimated the microscope that the sports scene lives under. That said, I really think these last two games we’re seeing him play some really good hockey. Yeah, it’s tough to defend a guy who allowed five goals last game, but two of them were put in by his own teammates. I think we’re seeing a more confident Bryz. The question is whether he loses hope because of a loss that was really on his defense and not him.

@cubishboy — What’s the delay in calling Gus up?

I’m not entirely sure. He is physically ready, that much I know. He’s played five games since returning from a left wrist injury and has three assists in that time. In talking to him after the Outdoor Classic, he says he’s just waiting on the Flyers for a call. Andreas Lilja has been a liability on the back line, but he makes $737,500 and Gustafsson makes $900,000. It behooves the Flyers to use as little of their long-term injured reserve cap relief as possible

@RipVanEichwald — supposing bryz doesn’t turn his game around, are there any outs in his contract?

Right now, no. The school of thought exists that the next CBA might have a “get out of jail free” card to use on one contract. Even if the Flyers got that, they probably wouldn’t use it on Bryzgalov’s contract. The more likely scenario is that they use it on Chris Pronger, who has five years left on his deal after this season.

@Flyerdelphia — If they wanted to call up Leighton does he have to go thru re-entry waivers?

They don’t, but yes, he would.

@John_Devereaux — How realistic do u think getting Shea Weber or Ryan Suter would be? Or do they suck it up and bring up an Erik Gustafsson?

Paul Holmgren is becoming more and more unpredictable. Right now, I think the Flyers will keep with what they have. Come time for the trade deadline (Feb. 27) if the Nashville Predators don’t think they’re making a run, I think the Flyers could go after Shea Weber. To me, Weber looks like Pronger in 1999. I guess we’ll see what Holmgren thinks in late February.

@major78 — …Dave…Why all the turnovers lately? How did Ott shut down our #1 line?…What are the fixes?

Claude Giroux told reporters that it wasn’t so much what the Senators did to him, but rather his own uninspired play. Most of the turnovers lately have come in the Flyers’ own end. The fix is just to play more responsibly defensively. Some passes need to not be made.

@Estebomb — Can the Flyers throw Chris Pronger into a Batman type Lazarus Pit to revive him? What about a time machine?

There are side effects to the Lazarus Pit. What if he comes out as Ra’s al Ghul? As for the time machine, the Flyers don’t have enough cap space for the DeLorean.

Giroux Not Worried About All-Star Snub

5 Jan

WELLS FARGO CENTER — It’s still a foregone conclusion that Claude Giroux will be playing in the NHL All-Star Game in Ottawa later this month, we just have to wait a little longer for that announcement.

On Thursday morning, fan voting ended and six players were announced as the starting lineup for the All-Star Game. Giroux was not among them. Instead, four Senators and one Maple Leaf topped the charts north of the border.

Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza, Milan Michalek, Erik Karlsson, Dion Phaneuf and Tim Thomas are the starting six of this year’s All-Star Game as voted by the fans, many apparently in Ottawa.

“They want to see their own in the All-Star Game,” said Danny Briere. “I get that. I understand that. That’s why only the top six get voted in. Claude definitely has his place there. He’s probably gonna be the first one, or at least the top three, that will be added right away. It’s not even a question mark in his regard.”

Giroux doesn’t feel miffed. He didn’t even know the announcement was coming, so he was far from worried about it.

“Nah, I understand,” said the Flyers leading scorer. “I think everybody understands. It’s in Ottawa; they want Ottawa players to be there. That’s fine.

“I’m not gonna judge the way they do it. It really doesn’t matter. I don’t know what to say. It seriously doesn’t bother me one bit.”

Giroux has 18 goals and 28 assists this year for the Flyers. He is second in the league in scoring will, in all liklihood, be heading to a second straight All-Star Game. He admitted that it would be special being in his home providence of Ottawa.

“I don’t care if it’s top six, I just want to make the team,” said Giroux. “That would be pretty cool and to go back to back would be pretty cool. It’s in Ottawa where my friends are. It would be a pretty good experience.”

Peter Laviolette has not been shy about his feelings on Giroux’s All-Star status.

“Maybe I’m biased,” said the coach. “If I had to start a team, I’d pick him first over anybody else in the league.”

Giroux finished seventh in overall voting with 385,253 votes. Linemate Jaromir Jagr was just outside of the top 10 with 255,178 votes, 48,548 shy of Pittsburgh’s Evgeni Malkin. Laviolette also insinuated on Thursday that Scott Hartnell could be an All-Star candidate. Imagine the Flyers’ entire top unit going to the All-Star Game.

“Whatever happens, happens,” sad Jagr. “If I would go, I’d go. If I don’t go, I will practice and I’m gonna get better. Either way it’s fine with me. If I go, I’m gonna have fun. If I don’t go I’m gonna stay here and work hard and I’m gonna get ready for the playoffs.”

Flyers’ Lead Collapses As Rangers Take Winter Classic

2 Jan

CITIZENS BANK PARK — Everybody showed up. Even Mother Nature. But the Flyers left early and let the Rangers take the lead from them and eventually win the Winter Classic 3-2 at Citizens Bank Park.

When the game began, there was a lot of hesitation and understandably so with the unique surroundings. The Flyers had trouble with the Rangers so far this season, losing both of the first two games of the season. But after the first 20 minutes, the Flyers finally got the better of the Rangers thanks to disciplined play and strong forechecking. After outshooting the Rangers 12-8 in the first period, the nerves appeared to calm in the second stanza and finally the Flyers took the first lead of the year over New York.

With Brayden Schenn already playing a strong game, starting in the faceoff dot, his time finally came. He has dealt with three injuries already this season and finally his hard work paid off. He scored his first NHL goal at 12:26 of the second period.

Schenn won the faceoff back to Matt Carle. Trying to avoid the puck leaving the zone, Carle blindly threw the puck on net. It gave Henrik Lundqvist trouble and he gave up an uncharacteristically big rebound, which Schenn found for an easy tally.

“It’s a positive step, definitely,” said Schenn. “It seemed that every time I’d get a break, it wouldn’t go in. This one landed right on my stick and I was fortunate to get it in. I think I can use it as a positive step.”

It was the second time a Flyer had scored his first NHL goal in a Winter Classic. Danny Syvret accomplished the same feat at Fenway Park in the 2010 Winter Classic.

Two minutes later, the Flyers doubled their lead. Max Talbot found a streaking Claude Giroux. He had two defenders draped on him, but it didn’t matter. He deked around them, and Lundqvist, and went top shelf on the Rangers’ goalie.

At one point, it even started to snow. The stars looked aligned for the Flyers.

“Yeah, it was pretty cool,” said Giroux. “Obviously you want it to snow a little bit in the Winter Classic. It kind of reminds you of when you were a kid and it didn’t snow very much, but it did a little bit.”

“We felt great,” said Braydon Coburn. “We just wanted to keep applying pressure and get another one. We could feel like we had a little bit of momentum there and we just wanted to keep rolling.”

Instead, it backfired. The Flyers lost their lead. Less than a minute after Giroux’s goal, the first wheel came off. Mike Rupp found himself with the puck in the high slot and used Andrej Meszaros as a screen to beat Sergei Bobrovsky low glove side for his second goal of the season.

While the score looked good after two periods, the Flyers were without Jaromir Jagr. A left leg injury kept him from returning after his second shift of the second period. He returned only to take a seat at the end of the forwards’ section of the bench. Although he returned with the team for the third period, he didn’t play another second.

The meltdown continued in the third perod. Rupp scored again 2:41 into the third when he came in along the left wing and beat Bobrovsky on a puck that squeezed between the goalie and the post.

“We didn’t want to get behind and we did,” said Rupp. “I think it was another example of [why] I like our room. We don’t give up, we don’t hang our heads and we just kept working at it and chipping away.

“I think you could see at the end there, it became pretty difficult. The ice started to wear a little bit and we were just trying to flip pucks in and make it hard on them.”

The Rangers took the lead three minutes later when Giroux left his man, Brad Richards, and the Ranger forward put a rebound past an already beaten Bobrovsky to give the Rangers the lead. It was a familiar spot for the Flyers to be down to the Rangers and their comeback attempt wasn’t successful one.

Even though Ryan McDonagh gave the Flyers a chance by covering up the puck inside the crease for a penalty shot, the Flyers couldn’t convert with 19.6 seconds left. Rangers coach John Tortorella said the penalty shot call was “disgusting,” but it didn’t matter since Danny Briere couldn’t convert. He tried to go five-hole on Lundqvist and missed.

“He’s pretty good at breakaways and shootouts,” said Giroux. “He’s been doing it his whole career and at the same time, Lundqvist is pretty good too. He’s pretty big in his net. We can’t put ourselves in that situation, being down 3-2 with 20 seconds left. We’ve just gotta put it behind us now and learn from it.”

Despite Dominating Shots, Flyers Downed By Tampa

27 Dec

The game has been dangerous for the Flyers this season: good news, bad news. Most of the time, all the news has been on the injury front, but on Tuesday night they got two players healthy, but lost 5-1 to the Tampa Bay Lightning despite outplaying them for most of the contest.

Danny Briere returned from a hand injury and Brayden Schenn returned from a concussion, but neither made a difference.

For the first time all season, the Flyers were given back-to-back road losses, but they probably didn’t deserve it. In the first period, they outshot the Lightning 17-4, but were tied at one on the scoreboard.

Bruno Gervais scored on a shot that seemed to bounce off a maze of objects, last hitting Schenn before going behind Ilya Bryzgalov. Claude Giroux had an answer, though.

Giroux intentionally shot the puck to the corner and got to it first, passed it to Scott Hartnell who had a lot of net to shoot at and buried it.

In the second period, though, the wheels came off and the Flyers were battling not only funny bounces, but percentages too. The Lightning scored three goals on only eight shots. But it wasn’t all bad luck, the Flyers dug their own grave by leaving Steven Stamkos alone by himself.

First Stamkos cashed in on a rebound from a Brett Clark shot that hit Bryzgalov in the left leg. There were no defensemen there to clear the porch.

Then former Flyer Steve Downie scored after a slappass from a defenseman hit off his teammate’s skate, off the back boards and gave him an empty net to work with.

Stamkos then tied Marian Gaborik for the league lead in goals with 22 when he tallied on a power play. Downie fed him at the left post where he was unattended and had the whole net to shoot at.

The Flyers went back to dominating in shots in the third, but at that point their fate was cemented. They were unable to solve Mathieu Garon in the final stanza despite numerous opportunities. The Lightning weren’t shy about sitting on the lead. They iced the puck 11 times in the game, seven in the third period and Vincent Lecavalier put even more icing on the cake with a goal in the final minute. It was the fifth goal on 16 shots for Tampa.

Aside from the returning players, there wasn’t much good news stemming from the Tampa game. So what’s the next piece of good news? The Flyers are one of three teams in the NHL that haven’t lost three straight on the road. Next up, the Pittsburgh Penguins on Thursday night.

Giroux Steals The Show In Return To Lineup

21 Dec

Jaromir Jagr couldn’t have been happier. When he learned that Claude Giroux was returning to the lineup, it was inevitable that he and his line would get back on track. Indeed, Santa Claude came back and had gifts for everyone. OK, well three people.

Giroux had a goal and three assists in a 4-1 win over the Dallas Stars, shedding any doubt that the center wasn’t going to push himself after missing four games with a concussion.

The Flyers found themselves in a 1-0 hole only 56 seconds into the game, when Michael Ryder used a screen to beat Sergei Bobrovsky up high. But then, Giroux took over.

First he helped himself, scoring on a rebound of a Jagr shot against Richard Bachman to tie the score. It also gave him sole possession of first place in the NHL scoring race. Even after missing four games, he was tied for the league lead.

Then he gave himself some breathing room.

He assisted Wayne Simmonds on a power play goal when Vernon Fiddler was in the box for spraying Bobrovsky with a snow shower. The goal keeps Simmonds hot. He’s now had five goals in his last seven games.

Dallas tried to stop Giroux, but had trouble. Giroux got hit by Trevor Daley and fell to the ice, but he got back up and was OK. Then Steve Ott hit him too. Giroux got some help in an interesting form. Instead of Tom Sestito or Zac Rinaldo stepping up to Ott, Peter Laviolette gave the Star a shove on his way to the locker room.

According to a report from TSN, the league will review the situation, but it likely won’t garner even a fine.

In the second period, the Giroux show was back on. Jagr got involved on a dazzling play with Giroux. The center played give-and-go, seemingly paying no mind to the Dallas defense who had no shot at stopping the crisp passes. Jagr deposited the puck behind Bachman for his 11th goal of the year.

The goal moves Jagr into sole possession of 11th on the NHL all-time goal scoring list, passing Brendan Shanahan. He is 11 away from tying Luc Robitaille (668).

In the third period, Giroux led Andrej Meszaros for a breakaway in which he tallied to make the score 4-1.

The victory broke a two-game losing streak for the Flyers. Not only did the team get two points, but its offensive leader got four. It was his most prolific game of the season, a feat he’s accomplished twice already this year, on Dec. 7 and Oct. 29. The performance put to rest any apprehension that Giroux might not be himself. It is clear that the NHL scoring leader is alive and well.

Optimism Surrounds Giroux As Flyers Deal With Dallas

21 Dec

In a game against the Stars, the Flyers could be getting one of their own back. Claude Giroux practiced for the third consecutive day on Tuesday, sparking hope that he can play Wednesday night against Dallas.

Giroux reportedly skated with his normal line, centering Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr, in Tuesday’s practice. General manager Paul Holmgren said on Tuesday that Giroux was cleared “for all activity” on Saturday, even though he wore a non-contact jersey on Sunday. He is officially listed as day-to-day, but the hope is that he can suit up against the suddenly streaking Dallas Stars.

Dallas has won four of its last five and went 3-2 on a road trip before returning home for a come-from-behind win over Anaheim on Monday. The team has also picked up at least a point in nine of 13 since dropping five straight in mid-November.

Like the Flyers, the Stars are also banged up. Adam Burish had a broken hand, but could return against the Flyers. Tomas Vincour might miss the rest of the month with a knee injury and blueliner Philip Larsen has a quad injury.

Goalie Kari Lehtonen is on the injured list with a groin injury, leaving 24-year-old Richard Bachman to tend the pipes. He has started the Stars’ last five games and won four of them.

Bachman is an NHL veteran of all of seven games so he’s new to the Flyers—Stars history. Looking back, the Flyers have won five in a row against the Stars and haven’t lost in Dallas since Mar. 13, 2007. But this year’s version is a Stars team that has surprised many people in the NHL. Mostly projected to be at the bottom of the Western Conference, the Stars and rookie head coach Glen Gulutzan sit atop the Pacific Division.

Jamie Benn leads the Stars in scoring with eight goals and 20 assists. They have only three players in double digits in goals. They have gotten to the top of the division because of their defense.

That defense will be tested by the Flyers, who still have the league’s most potent offense. Even though he’s missed the last four games, Giroux is still tied for tops the league in individual scoring. But that could change on Wednesday night. With Phil Kessel and the Toronto Maple Leafs idle until Thursday night, Giroux has the floor to himself.