Frustrated With Refs, Giroux Goes High on Zubrus

Frustrated With Refs, Giroux Goes High on Zubrus

Marginalized for much of the series after gaining the world stage against the Penguins, Claude Giroux was clearly agitated and playing with an edge in game 4 against the Devils. Unfortunately, it wasn't always the helpful brand of agitation.

Although G scored on a shorthanded opportunity in the first period, he was upset over the lack of a slashing call on the play, and rightfully so. Marek Zidlicky made contact several times with Giroux's gloves/midsection, yet the arm didn't go up. We'll take the goal, but considering the Flyers were killing a penalty, getting a call back would have been key.

With the Devils power play still alive, Zidlicky scored the tying goal.
In the second period, G lost his cool in a big way, taking out his frustrations on another missed call. After he felt Martin Brodeur played the puck outside of the trapezoid, G called for a penalty but didn't get one. Seemingly incensed, he skated up the ice and zeroed in on the next possible target. After Dainius Zubrus pushed the puck forward in the Flyers' zone, Giroux hit him hard, with contact to the head. 
Despite Zubrus having a clear size advantage (listed at 6'5 to Giroux's 5'11) and Giroux not leaving the ice with his skates, meaning Zubrus' head was lowered considerably, G's shoulder did meet Zubrus' head. 

Accordingly, he was assessed a 2-minute penalty for contact to the head.

Almost as immediate, the discussion as to whether Giroux could or would be suspended began. We say no. He'll have his clear anger working against him though.

Your assessment?

Not that it would or should be a factor, but Zubrus also happens to wear a modified welder's shield. 

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

Noel joins Sixers in New Orleans, may play Sunday in Detroit

NEW ORLEANS -- Nerlens Noel made another step toward his return from arthroscopic left knee surgery by joining the Sixers in New Orleans for their game against the Pelicans.

Noel arrived on Wednesday with Robert Covington, who is slated to start after missing the last three games with a left knee sprain. Noel is not cleared to play, but Brown doesn’t think it will be long until he suits up. 

“I don’t think far away,” Brown said of Noel’s regular season debut after shootaround.

When asked about the possibility of Noel playing this weekend when the Sixers face the Pistons on Sunday in Detroit, Brown replied, “Maybe.” 

Noel has missed the entire regular season recovering from elective surgery for an inflamed plica in October. He completed the first phase of his rehab in Birmingham, Ala. and has been continuing his work with the Sixers. This trip to New Orleans is the first time he has been with the Sixers on the road. 

“[He is] integrating with the team, studying a lot of tape, scripting with his teammates with the understanding that we have a chance to see him soon,” Brown said. “All that trying to ramp it up where he can go to an NBA court more comfortably.”

Noel spoke out about his displeasure with the Sixers crowded frontcourt at the start of the preseason. He recently stuck with his stance, saying, “I don’t think the roster’s changed.”

Brown is working to keep the team moving forward as a unit while still being aware of and recognizing Noel’s perspective. 

“It does,” Brown said when asked if Noel’s open frustration concerns him as it pertains to team cohesiveness. “But I feel like it’s so much a part of what we try do around here that it’s not like you’re going to blink and you’ve forgotten something that equals camaraderie, that equals team, that equals trying to keep this together, and you’ve left it for a week … 

“It’s a day-to-day focus for me and it’s a very candid conversation with me and the player. The team hears it, the individual hears it, we all understand it … We need to co-exist and we need to understand the reality of it all, too. There’s a human side you understand. It’s also pride, it’s competitiveness, it’s do your job, it’s nothing is given, you’ve got to take stuff, draw your own line in the sand, competitors rule the day.”

Last season Noel averaged 11.1 points and a team-high 8.1 rebounds per game. The Sixers will look forward to having him back on the court in that once-crowded frontcourt that is now shorthanded. Jahlil Okafor remained in Philadelphia with gastroenteritis. Ben Simmons still is rehabbing from a right Jones fracture. 

"Soon you’re going to see Ben Simmons coming to a team bench where he doesn’t come out with boots and have to push him in some type of wheely apparatus," Brown said. "We’ve dealt with so many injuries trying to find that balance of dealing with their health and so on, and then trying to integrate them back into a team is part of growing a program."

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

Flyers fans send amazing postcards to their beat writers

I like to give Flyers fans a bit of a hard time on occasion, but that's only because I love them.

One beautiful Flyers fan today reminded me of why I love them.

They took the time to send a postcard to CSNPhilly.com's Flyers Insider -- and hater of the woo -- Tim Panaccio with one single word written on it.

"Woo."

Panotch says "Someone wasted a stamp and post card on this," but I say we just generated at least 50 cents in ad revenue from those of you that are reading this right now.

Money and time well spent.

Now, if you're not up on your wooing, Panotch penned a piece on how some fans wooing at games started annoying some of the players. Panotch hates the woo. BUT... and this is an important but... the Flyers are 6-0 since this all started. 

Woo.