Another day, another Flyer bypassed in the voting for an NHL award.

Center Claude Giroux was not named one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP.

After kidding that he didn't know what the Hart Trophy represented, Giroux said. "At the end of the day, that's not the trophy I want."

The finalists: Pittsburgh's Evgeni Malkin, Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, and the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist.

The voting was conducted by members of the Professional Hockey Writers Association. The Flyers have had had two MVPs in their history - Bobby Clarke (a three-time winner in the 1970s) and Eric Lindros (1994-95).

Giroux finished third in the NHL scoring race with 93 points, behind Malkin (109) and Stamkos (97).

Lundqvist (1.97 goals-against average, fourth in the NHL) is also a finalist for the Vezina Trophy, awarded to the league's top goalie.

In other votes that narrowed it down to three finalists, the Flyers' Matt Read (Calder), Jaromir Jagr (Masterton), and Paul Holmgren (general manager of the year) were bypassed.

Defensive pairs

Based on the way the defense was set up during Friday's practice, it appears the Flyers will use the following defensive pairings Sunday in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference semifinals against visiting New Jersey: Braydon Coburn and Nick Grossmann; Kimmo Timonen and Matt Carle; and Erik Gustafsson and Andreas Lilja.

The fourth duo had Andrej Meszaros, who is making a comeback from back surgery, paired with Pavel Kubina.

Numbers department

The Flyers and Devils each won three games against each other in the regular season, and the teams' top scorers were Giroux (seven points, including four goals) and New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk (eight points, including six assists). The Flyers outscored the Devils, 18-15.


Flyers winger Jaromir Jagr on Devils goalie Martin Brodeur, each of whom was selected in the first round of the 1990 draft: "I would appreciate the greatness if I didn't have to face him."

Jagr, 40, was selected fifth overall in the '90 draft. Brodeur, who will turn 40 on May 6, was chosen 20th overall that year.

Rookie vs. top line

Flyers rookie Sean Couturier, who did a great defensive job against Malkin in the first round, figures to spend a lot of time trying to disrupt the Devils' top unit of Zach Parise, Travis Zajac, and Kovalchuk.