Flyers rookie Giroux eager to play in first NHL playoffs
This has been a season of firsts for Claude Giroux. He made an NHL team, scored his first goal, is recognized as one of the up-and-coming rookies in the game and now he is looking forward to his first NHL playoff series.
This has been a season of firsts for Claude Giroux.
He made an NHL team, scored his first goal, is recognized as one of the up-and-coming rookies in the game and now he is looking forward to his first NHL playoff series.
"I'm very excited," Giroux said. "I've been watching playoffs since I was a little kid. It was my favorite hobby. I wouldn't miss a game, even the late games on CBC. I would never miss them. It's just exciting hockey and I can't wait to get my first crack at it."
If Giroux's first playoff experience goes as well as his first NHL regular season, he should be more than just a kid in his first postseason. Giroux is playing on a line with Danny Briere, a line that will be expected to contribute points. In 39 games with the Flyers, Giroux has eight goals and 18 assists, and his comfort level at the pro level is increasing with every game.
"I'm just trying to be smart on the ice,'' he said. "I know more what to expect. It's very different than at junior. When you get the puck at juniors, guys would come on you and pressure you right away.
"In pro hockey, guys are always in position and try to intercept passes. It's just a different style of hockey and I think you just need a couple of games to adapt yourself."
Giroux's first postseason in junior hockey came in 2006, with the Gatineau Olympiques. In 17 games, he scored five goals and contributed 15 assists. The following season, when Gatineau went down in five games, he scored two goals with five assists. Last season, in 19 games, Giroux scored 17 goals and added 34 assists for an amazing 51 points as the Olympiques won the league championship.
"I played 3 years in the playoffs and had one really bad year," he said, referring to 2007. "I learned from that year for last year. I just tried to do too much and changed my game and realized that I've just got to play my game and just have fun with it.
"I tried to be more physical and I didn't have to, and tried to do stuff I didn't have to. In my mind I had to do it because it was playoffs, but I didn't have to.
"It's the same game. You've just got to be ready and have fun with it. You've got to just play the same way you play during the regular season.
"But I'm excited, probably more excited than nervous. I've talked to a couple of the veteran guys about what it's like here and they said the fans were really intense and that they all dress in orange. I can't wait."
Riley Cote, who dislocated his right ring finger during a fight against the Islanders on March 28, had surgery to repair the damage and will miss the rest of the season. The surgery was performed by Dr. Tom Graham at Union Memorial Hospital in Baltimore. Cote spent the night there and was scheduled to return to Philadelphia today.
The Flyers announced their team awards last night.
Mike Richards was awarded the Bobby Clarke Trophy as team MVP. Daniel Briere received the Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award as the player who displays dignity and respect on and off the ice. The Barry Ashbee Award as the best defenseman was won by Kimmo Timonen. Scott Hartnell was selected for the Gene Hart Memorial Award as the player with the most heart as voted by the Flyers Fan Club. Darroll Powe was voted the Most Improved Player and received the Pelle Lindbergh Memorial Trophy. Jeff Carter won the Toyota Cup for accumulating the most star of the game points. *