Does Claude Giroux Deserve A Suspension? There were only four seconds remaining in the second period of Game 4, in which the Flyers were being dominated by the New Jersey Devils. Yet despite the lopsided nature of the game to that point, the Flyers only trailed 3-2. It was then that Claude Giroux, considered one of the top players in the entire NHL, was penalized for a hit to the head of Dainius Zubrus, who had just put the Devils in the lead. Giroux was visibly upset about a play that Devils goalie Martin Brodeur had just made that G thought should have been a penalty.
“I was just trying to finish my hit and he kind of leaned in and kind of tried to chip the puck in,” Giroux told CSNPhilly’s Sarah Baicker after the Game 4 loss. “I didn’t see the replay, so I don’t know. Obviously I’m not a dirty player. I don’t want to hit guys on the head. I was just trying to finish my hit there.”
Zubrus was not seriously injured (he even returned to the game and scored the empty net goal to make it 4-2 Devils). And Giroux is correct in that he really isn’t a dirty player. But Devils coach Peter DeBoer thinks the hit may well be suspension-worthy (Peter Laviolette disagrees).
“For me it looks textbook, like the hits they’re trying to get out of the game,” DeBoer said. “But I understand (NHL commissioner) Gary Bettman and (deputy commissioner) Bill Daly were here, and I’m sure they’ll look at that.”
Giroux is scheduled to meet with the league at 11 a.m. Monday to discuss a potential suspension. For what it’s worth, TSN’s Bob McKenzie says Giroux’s hit was a textbook Rule 48 violation. We’ll keep you updated on Giroux’s status for Game 5 as soon as we learn about it.
Weigh in: does Giroux deserve to be suspended for this hit?
UPDATED (3:05 p.m., Monday, May 7): Giroux was suspended for one game by the NHL for his hit to Zubrus and will miss Game 5 on Tuesday night in Philadelphia.
[CSNPhilly, ESPNNewYork, ProHockeyTalk]
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