The Legend of Claude Giroux Grows
Yesterday, Claude Giroux, who will soon find out if he won the voting to be on the cover of NHL 13, received the Wanamaker Award, (basically) given to the best team or athlete in Philly sports. This year, that may be like being the tallest midget in the circus, but it’s an honor nonetheless. Giroux was given the award for his play on the ice, though I’d argue his beer pong dominance with casts on both wrists was equally as impressive.
Peter Laviolette gave a speech to honor his star player, and in doing so Lavs added a little more color to Giroux’s Game 6 performance against the Penguins, which included demolishing Sidney Crosby and a goal, both during the first shift. We knew that G requested the first shift, but Lavs provided more detail: [NHL.com]
On Tuesday, Laviolette compared it to a baseball player who "called his shot."
"What was special about that moment and really paints a picture of Claude, not only is he counted on on the ice, but his competitiveness and character that we get to see from the inside on a daily basis and what truly makes him deserving of this award, is somebody really called his shot," Laviolette said. "Probably 12 years since I've been coaching, no athlete has every come up and said that they want to do something, that he had to do it, had to have that first shift. … Before the game, Claude had come up to me and said, 'I don't know where you're going with that first shift, but I really want that first shift.' We're in our building, there's 20,000 fans in the Wells Fargo Center and here's a young athlete who's growing every day with his stardom in the League. And what I found out afterward is right before he went out for the faceoff, he took his last sip of water by the bench and he told two of his teammates, 'Wait until you see this.'
"He set the tone for the day and got us through the series. To me, that exemplifies the person who should win this award."
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go watch this compilation of Lavs from 24/7 and sob into a pile of pain as I prepare to watch Mike Richards and Jeff Carter and Simon Gagne and Justin Williams and the rest of Flyers West hoist the Stanley Cup tonight.