In the end, Claude Giroux couldn’t lead the Philadelphia Flyers past the New York Rangers. A poor playoff series for Giroux that was punctuated by the gut-wrenching image of the captain missing the net when he had Henrik Lundqvist dead to rights will sting for awhile.
The fact is the orange and black don’t make it this far were it not for No. 28’s contributions. The NHL recognized Giroux’s tremendous season, as he was named one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Could they have picked worse timing to announce this thing? Oh well.
Giroux definitely has to be considered the darkhorse candidate being lumped in with Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf and Pittsburgh Penguins golden boy Sidney Crosby. Crosby finished first in the NHL in points with 104, Getzlaf second with 87, then Giroux with 86.
Giroux’s season was about more than statistics. While Crosby and Getzlaf thrived on two of the strongest clubs in the league, G was instrumental in one of this season’s biggest turnarounds. He guaranteed the Flyers would make the playoffs after a 1-7 start, and backed up his talk with strong play on the ice.
Obviously, there’s a bad taste in everybody’s mouth the day after the season comes to an end, but this is a great, deserving honor for Giroux to be named a finalist all the same. It's just not much of a consolation prize right now.