I am in no way defending Claude Giroux, because his play this series has left a lot to be desired. I credit the Rangers for much of that – their defense is superb – but still, great players find a way, and Giroux hasn’t found a way. There’s a fine line between passionate play and reckless play. Giroux is at his best when he’s playing impassioned… he’s at his worst when he’s reckless. His free-swinging one-timers are born from confidence when he’s going good… they look ill-advised when he’s struggling.
But whatever your thoughts on G and his play against the Rangers, I think we can all agree that this is just about the worst hockey column imaginable. Mr. Marcus Hayes:
Claude Giroux got off his first shot on goal at Madison Square Garden in four games.
He scored his first goal at MSG in more than 3 years, and his first goal of the playoffs.
Clearly, the Flyers’ captain must have played very well.
Certainly, he led his team to a playoff win.
The Flyers lost Game 5, 4-2.
Somehow, despite logging a game-high six shots and finally scoring a goal that Osama bin Laden, Muammar Gaddafi and Kim Jong-il weren’t alive to see, Giroux seemed to be even less a factor than in the first two games at MSG.
If you got whiplash from craning your neck at that terrorist-evil dictator line, you’re not alone. I think Marcus was referring to the fact that G hasn’t scored in New York in three years. But… yikes. And where’s the love for Paul Walker and Whitney Houston? They would’ve liked to have seen G light the lamp!
Plus the hackiness is strong with this one. Hayes uses his one-sentence paragraph shtick (which I sometimes like to refer to as laziness) to hammer on Giroux’s struggles in the most melodramatic way possible. Look at this:
Later in the first, Brian Boyle thumped him into the side boards and Derick Brassard tried to trip him. After that, Giroux seemed to disappear.
He lost his speed. He became anonymous.
He declined to shoot twice, once in front, once from the left.
He nearly whiffed on a shot midway through the second period, the Flyers up a skater during a delayed penalty call.
He nearly whiffed trying to check Girardi on the resulting power play.
By then, the extra attention from the Rangers had essentially evaporated.
By then, with a little maneuvering, he was allowed time and space.
“You need to be able to adjust and create your own room out there,” he said.
Even so . . .
In the end, he scored.
This reads like a poorly written fable. I’m just surprised that Hayes didn’t give the face-off circle a voice in this prose. The Ginger beast beset my paint, for it was he who was relegated to the off-angle one-timer.
You talk about trying to create a narrative. I suppose “the Rangers play really stingy defense and Giroux, who is not as big and fast as other stars, struggles to create his own shot” isn’t as interesting.
In other news, Sam Carchidi would like to remind you that Game 6 is a must-win:
Flyers will have an optional practice in Voorhees today at 11:30. They need to win Game 6 on Tues. or their season is over.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 28, 2014