Saluting the Captain: Claude Giroux’s 10 Best Moments with the Flyers
Claude Giroux played in his 1,000th NHL game on Thursday night. It turned out to be his last with the Flyers, as the captain was traded on Saturday to the Florida Panthers.
It’s been quite the ride. 1,000 games. 900 points. 15 years of memories. We look back at the 10 best, and a few more as well.
1. “The Shift”
Game 6 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Giroux wanted the first shift of the game against the Pittsburgh Penguins. After opening up a 3-0 series lead, the Penguins had won the previous two games to force the series back to Philadelphia.
In just 32 seconds, Giroux put his stamp on the game. Right off the opening face-off, Giroux raced for a loose puck and knocked Sidney Crosby off his feet, much to the pleasure of the Philly crowd. After a stoppage, the Flyers started to move the other way and Giroux got the puck off a weak clearing attempt by the Penguins. He made a move, cut to the slot, and fired a shot that caught iron and went in, taking the roof off Wells Fargo Center. The Flyers went on to win the game, 5-1, and claim the series.
2. Stadium Series Hero
Things were looking bleak for the Flyers in the 2019 Stadium Series against the Penguins at Lincoln Financial Field. Down 3-1 with under four minutes to play in the third, the Flyers got a power play and cut the lead to one. With just 19 seconds remaining, Jake Voracek scored off a face-off to force overtime.
In the overtime, Giroux played hero, dashing up the ice through the rain and making a cutting move to the slot. His shot stayed along the ice and leaked through Matt Murray, giving the Flyers a dramatic win.
3. Stanley Cup Final, Game 3, OT
In the 2010 Stanley Cup Final, the Flyers magical run was starting to come crashing down. The team lost the first two games of the series in Chicago and were locked in overtime in Game 3. They had already faced one 3-0 series deficit in that year’s playoffs.
That’s when Giroux emerged with the biggest goal of his career. The 22-year-old deflected the set-up pass from Matt Carle and got it past Antti Niemi, breaking into an emotional celebration.
4. Playoff Clinching Hat Trick
Giroux had already reached 99 points and 31 goals, both already career-high marks, when the New York Rangers came to town for the final game of the season. The Rangers were already out of the playoff picture and the Flyers simply needed a win to clinch a playoff spot.
Giroux took matters into his own hands. He scored the second goal of the game on the power play to reach 100 points, then added two more goals in the third period to seal a 5-0 win.
5. The Shootout Winner
Before the Game 3 overtime winner in the Stanley Cup Final, before the historical comeback against the Bruins in the Eastern Conference Semifinals, the Flyers still had to clinch their spot on the final day of the regular season. Locked in a shootout with the Rangers, the Flyers got the opening goal from Danny Briere, only to have P.A. Parenteau answer with a goal in the second round to tie things up.
The Flyers turned to Giroux in the third round of the shootout. There was no fancy move that took the goalie out of position. Giroux simply moved in with speed to start, then put on the brakes as he approached the front of the net. Giroux fired a shot that beat Henrik Lundqvist through the five-hole.
Brian Boucher made the save on Olli Jokinen at the other end of Round 3 and the Flyers were headed to the playoffs.
6. No-Look for No. 100
In Giroux’s second season as captain, the Flyers were trailing the Columbus Blue Jackets, 4-2, in the third period on Dec. 19, 2013. A goal by Erik Gustafsson cut the lead to one with 4:39 remaining.
Less than one minute later, a Voracek pass attempt went all the way through multiple players and hit the post. Giroux alertly was on the scene to slam in the rebound to tie the game with 3:46 to play.
But Giroux wasn’t done. With 1:38 to play, a shot by Mark Streit went wide and came back to Giroux. With his back turned to the net, Giroux was starting to fall down when he elevated a shot up and over Curtis McElhinney. It was the game-winning goal in the 5-4 victory and Giroux’s 100th career goal.
7. Silky Smooth in the Shootout
Giroux certainly brought a set of skills to the Flyers as a young player. As he emerged as the leader and captain of the team, he would frequently remind of the skill set he possesses.
On March 18, 2012, Giroux showed off those skills with a sick goal in the shootout against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Giroux pulled off a sweet toe-drag move and roofed his shot over Jonas Gustavsson for the only goal of the night in a 1-0 Flyers win.
8. Setting the Power-Play Points Record
On Dec. 10, 2021, Giroux moved into a special place in the Flyers history books. An assist on a power-play goal for Sean Couturier, setting the Flyers all-time record for power play points with 334.
Giroux ultimately finished his career with 339 power-play points with the Flyers, six ahead of Flyers legend Bobby Clarke.
9. “Oh, He Can Dazzle”
On Jan. 28, 2010, Giroux showed off his skills with a slick move. Facing the Atlanta Thrashers, Giroux got the puck off a turnover and got goalie Johan Hedberg down with some fancy stickwork.
Jim Jackson’s call still can be heard on highlight reels. “Oh, he can dazzle!” Indeed, he did, many times in his 15 years with the Flyers.
10. The 1,000-Game Club
The last memory on this Top 10 list is the final memory. Though he did not score or record a point in his 1,000th NHL game, Giroux got the sendoff he deserved.
Following a comeback 5-4 win over the Nashville Predators, Giroux was front and center for a victory lap and curtain call in front of the Wells Fargo Center crowd.
- “Whoops, I Forget!” - Giroux’s introduction to Philadelphia lives on forever, beings that GM Bobby Clarke forget the name of the player the team was picking.
- A 6-Point Playoff Performance - In Game 2 of the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Giroux posted a six-point game, including a hat trick as the Flyers defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins, 8-5.
- Longest Captain - Giroux was named the 19th captain in Flyers history on Jan. 15, 2013. On Jan. 27, 2021, Giroux suited up for his 611th game as captain, becoming the franchise’s longest tenured captain.
- The First Goal - Jan. 27, 2009 was the date as Claude Giroux scored his first NHL goal. Ironically, it came in his new home. The Flyers took a 3-2 loss against the Florida Panthers in Sunrise, FL, that night.
- All-Star Game MVP - Giroux was named to his seventh All-Star Game this season, and on Feb. 5, Giroux scored three goals in the 3-on-3 tournament to lead the Metro Division to victory. Giroux was named All-Star Game MVP.