7:30 a.m., April 24)
Former Cumberland Baron has record breaking performance
in first round of playoffs
By Fred Sherwin
Giroux's assent to NHL stardom began on the
rinks of Cumberland, when he played for the
Cumberland Barons. File photo
a long way from the Ray Friel Centre to the Stanley Cup
playoffs, but Claude Giroux has successfully made that
journey in record-breaking style after leading the Philadelphia
Flyers to a first round victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates.
former Cumberland Baron and one time Cumberland Grad set
Flyers club record by scoring 14 points in the six game
series. The previous record of 13 was held by former Flyer
great Bill Barber
half of Giroux's point total came in Game 2 when he scored
three goals and three assists in an 8-5 win. The six point
performance in a single playoff game is also a team record.
But his performance in the series clinching game is what
has hockey analysts referring to him as one of the best
players in the world.
demanding to put on the ice to start the game, the 24-year-old
Giroux flattend Sidney Crosby and scored his team's first
goal, all in the course of the opening 27 seconds. His
performance earned high praise from Flyers' head coach
the best player in the world comes up to you and says,
'I don't know who you're starting tonight, but I want
that first shift,' that tells you everything you need
to know about Claude Giroux," Laviolette said after
goalie Ilya Bryzgalov echoed Laviolette's comments.
is a very special player," Bryzgalov said. "There's
not very many players like that in the world."
most stories about Giroux mention the fact that he's from
Hearst, Ontario, his rise to NHL stardom began when his
family moved to Orléans in 2002.
was the leading scorer on the Barons Major Bantam AA and
Minor Midget AA teams in 2002-2003 and 2003-2004, before
joining the Cumberland Grads for the 2004-2005 season
as a 16-year-old.
missing several games due to mononucleosis, Giroux managed
to score 40 points in 48 games and was named the CJHL's
Rookie of the Year.
having to deal with mononucleosis is never a good thing,
it would alter Giroux's fate in more ways than even he
could have ever imagined.
limited point production relative to the rest of the league
and his small stature at the time, led to him being overlooked
during the 2005 OHL Priority Selection Draft.
the OHL's loss was the Gatineau Olympiques' gain, when
Olympique's owner Andre Chaput, who also owned the Gloucester
Rangers at the time, invited Giroux for a tryout. The
rest as they say is history.
scored 103 points in his first season and was named the
QMJHL's rookie of the year. His prolific performance drew
the attention of the NHL Scouting Bureau and the Flyers
in particular who drafted him 22nd overall.
scoring 112 points in his sophmore season, Giroux lead
the Olympiques to the QMJHL championships in 2008 and
was named the playoff MVP after setting a franchise record
with 17 goals and 34 assists in 19 games.
off his success in QMJHL playoffs, Giroux had a disappointing
traning camp and was assigned to the Flyers' AHL affiliate
where turned disappintment into success. After being named
AHL player of the month in December, he was called up
to the parent club on Dec. 27, 2008 and has remained with
the Flyers ever since.
came into his own during the 2010 Stanley Cup playoffs
and helped lead the Flyers to the finals where they lost
to the Chicago Blackhawks in six games.
nation is hoping for a better result this time, and although
the finals are a long way off, it's clear they will go
as far as Giroux will take them. Should they win, Giroux
will have a tough time deciding where to bring the Stanley
Cup. Chances are he'll take it to his hometown in Hearst,
but a side trip to Orleans and Gatineau would be nice
as well. Only time will tell.
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