March 17, 2022
There's been a lot of reminiscing in the leadup to Claude Giroux's 1,000th game Thursday night, and for good reason.
The Flyers captain has given fans so many memories the past 15 years, and with trade rumors swirling as the March 21 deadline nears, Thursday night could be the last chance to fully celebrate Giroux as an active skater for the orange and black.
From the shootout goal against the Rangers on the last day of the 2010 season, to the OT winner in Game 3 of the Stanley Cup, that famous first shift against Pittsburgh, the falling backhander, the hat trick to clinch a playoff spot in '18, and the Stadium Series winner at the Linc in '19. You can take your pick of your favorite moment. There are plenty of great answers.
Broad Street Hockey compiled a list of Giroux's top-10 plays, Sam Carchidi took a cool look at Giroux's career by the numbers over at PhillyHockeyNow, and Charlie O'Connor recapped Giroux's best goals with the people who witnessed them firsthand for The Athletic. The Flyers themselves, who have been celebrating the captain in any and every way they can this week, even created a special webpage charting his path to 1,000 games.
There is one particular Giroux moment though that I wanted to highlight ahead of Thursday night's game, one that I felt kind of got lost in the shuffle because it wasn't a pretty goal or a slick pass. The end (and desired) result of it was nothing happened, but it speaks volumes of the kind of player Claude Giroux is.
Let's go back to the waning minutes of Game 7 against Boston in 2010. The Flyers are up, 4-3, and the comeback after being down 3-0, both in the game and the series, was in place. But there was just over 2:20 left to play. The Bruins just needed a goal.
Out comes a 22-year old Claude Giroux.
He recovered the puck from behind the net and immediately set up Simon Gagne with another scoring chance that was stopped. Gagne collected the rebound and threw it back to Giroux in the corner.
Then, in a perfect mix of smarts, strength, and endurance, Giroux killed the clock. He fought off three Bruins from behind their own net, shielding the puck with his body the entire way, and robbing Boston of 20 seconds to save itself from total collapse.
"Unbelievable!" Former Flyer and color analyst Bill Clement said on the CSN broadcast that night. "The Claude Giroux show is officially on stage!"
The Flyers held on and made history, becoming the third ever team in the NHL to come back and win a playoff series after being down 3-0. A miracle run to the Stanley Cup Final was in the making.
"I was trying to waste time there and was able to keep it as long as I could," Giroux said after the final horn. "I was pretty tired at at the end, but the guys really wanted this game."
There didn't need to be a pretty goal or a slick pass, just the assurance that the Flyers would hold on.
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