After his spectacular play all regular season long, Flyers captain, leading scorer and emotional spark plug Claude Giroux has been honored by being named a finalist for the Hart Memorial Trophy, given each year to the player deemed as most valuable to his team.
Giroux joins two other finalists,Pittsburgh’s Sidney Crosby and Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf.
Giroux, 26, tied a career high with 28 goals and also added 58 assists for 86 points. He finished third in the NHL in scoring behind Crosby and Getzlaf.
Giroux didn’t catch fire until late, scoring 79 of his 86 points and all 28 of his goals in the final 67 games of the season. If he doesn’t win the award, that could be cited as a main reason.
The savvy center would clearly trade any hardware for a date with the Penguins in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, but the fact that the Flyers were able to contend for a playoff spot and push the Rangers to the brink in seven games is a testament to his leadership.
“On our bench we were positive that we were going to tie it up,” Giroux said after the 2-1 loss, citing the latter half of the third period when the Flyers were seeking a tying goal. “We did get our chances, but it just didn’t go in.”
Giroux is just the the fifth Flyer to be named a finalist for the Hart Trophy. Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros are the only two Flyers ever to win the award, with Clarke receiving it three times (1973, 1975, 1976) and Lindros once (1995)
Clarke finished second in voting in 1977 and Lindros finished second in 1996.
The two other finalists were Pelle Lindbergh, who finished third in 1985and Bernie Parent who got second place in 1974.