Monday, May 7, 2012

Claude Giroux delivers the Best Headshot in the World

By Finesse

If we had to choose between the Flyers losing or world peace, we'd actually have to spend some time thinking about it.  That's how important world peace is to us.

In this spirit, we'd like to take this morning to weigh in on yet another flash point in the twice-daily string of headshot debates, which all follow the same predictable pattern: 1) headshot delivered; 2) immediate Twitter outrage; 3) sarcastic hashtags on Twitter about the TV announcers' reactions to the headshot; 4) watching the hit on Puck Daddy; 5) complaining about Shanahan's inconsistency; 6) next headshot delivered; 7) wash; 8) rinse; 9) repeat.

It's not that we don't care about headshots -- let's just ban them all already to save us the aggravation -- it's the comparative moralizing and faux outrage sparked by each hit that bores us.  James Neal headshots a Flyer? Philly fans call for his head.  Claude Giroux, The Best Player in the World, throws a tantrum on the ice, headshots Dainius Zubrus? He just grazed the head, right?  Pens fans are as guilty of this as anyone, so here's the bottom line: with some minor exceptions, everyone is the same.  Your best player will get hit in the head, and he will hit someone in the head.  Your dirtiest player will do the same.

Instead of recognizing this, many fans feign "objectivity" when analyzing these hits to support what we want to be true, i.e., that our star player is not just more talented than your star player, but also plays the game in a more dignified manner.  Or they get all Jay Bilas-y and overcompensate for their perceived biases by being overly harsh on the team that they are supposedly biased for.

Duke sucks.
Because we have no interest in that charade, and we recognize that all teams have employed, do employ, and will employ guys that deliver illegal checks, we usually sit on the sidelines and watch Against the Odds clips on YouTube (John Steigerwald apparently doesn't age) while others debate whether Raffi Torres deserved a 25-game suspension, how Matt Cooke should be put down, and whether Mario is a hypocrite or the world's worst hypocrite.  Except for today.

Our analysis of the Giroux-Zubrus hit after the jump...

Last night in New Jersey (<-- rarely followed by anything good), Giroux hit Zubrus square in the head well after Zubrus had gotten rid of the puck.  Thankfully, because we're rooting for New Jersey, Zubrus was uninjured.  It wasn't the most vicious headshot we've ever seen, but it's among the most intentional.

You can't analyze the Giroux hit without the context of what was going on before it.  For about 10 seconds leading up to the hit, Giroux was engaged in an embarrassing hissy fit directed at the officials (leadership, not whining, of course).  He was gesticulating wildly and when he didn't get his way, he did what most babies do.  He acted out.  But instead of laying down on the ice, kicking his legs in the air and dirtying his diaper, he hit Zubrus in the head.  Anyone who has ever played hockey can tell you -- hell, anyone who has ever been pissed off can tell you -- that Giroux's headshot was deliberate.

There is too much hockey left to play in this second round.  The series is far from over.  The Devils have outclassed the Flyers over the first 4 games of the series, but we know first-hand how dangerous Philly is.  But we also know they're a little less dangerous if Giroux is out of the lineup, which is why WE ARE SO OUTRAGED BY THIS HIT GET THIS BUM OUT OF THE LEAGUE IF SHANAHAN DOESN'T WE WILL DO IT OURSELVES.

The verdict: a one-game Timeout for the big baby.

Go Devils.


  1. I agree. NHL should ban head shots altogether. This whole thing is getting old fast. They give you a 2 minute penalty for high sticking no matter what the reason. (Even if the victim lifts the offender's stick and gets hit in the head). Head shots should be the same way. I would make the rule like this. Head shot = automatic 3 games unless the victim is injured in which case the offender sits out as long as the the injured player. I think this would end the discussions. Plus Giroux, the greatest player in the world, is jackass.

    1. I'm on board with a head shot ban, but the idea that the perpetrator sit as long as the victim is not even worth discussing: a policy like that is completely impractical and unenforceable.

  2. The prospect of a Phx, LA, NJ, and Wash or NY final four makes me sad. The league would be embarrassed by the shots all over the internet when 50 people show up for a Phoenix cup parade. It makes me throw up in my mouth a little to think of any of the above hoisting the cup: Mike Richards, Jeff Carter, Alex Ovechkin, Mike Green. I don't actually mind this Rangers team, but much like Philly, they must be despised on principle because of their fans. And NJ - I could stomach them more than the others, but much as I love Zach Parise, that team is just so mediocre and uninspiring.

    In short, these playoff suck, both because of the rampant dirty play and sheer mediocrity of the teams remaining (assuming Philly and Nash go down as seems likely). I can't help but think its directly related to the league's steadfast refusal to enforce its rulebook. I was sort of rooting for a NY/Philly East Final, both because I think it would be better hockey and because the further they get this year, the better chance they'll be worn down next year. I could have gotten on board with Nash or St. Louis - but no...

  3. Hahaha I was really hoping you guys will write this post. How weird was it to see Flyers fans became so self-righteous so quickly? And witnessing how difficult it is for them to acknowledge that their valiant stars are no better nor worse than any other player in the league, including That Punk Crosby, makes my heart warm with schadenfreude and other happy feelings.

    @Brandy - I was thinking the same thing. One conference has 3 of our division rivals and the Caps, another has four soccer teams that take pleasure in killing excitement. Worse, could you imagine that in 5 weeks either Max Talbot or Rob Scuderi will have won more Cups than Sidney Crosby? Ugh...

    I wouldn't mind Carter and Richards winning it. Out of sight, out of mind. Plus, just imagine the look on Holmgren's face. But as bad as your scenarios look, it could get even worse - do you guys see a Flyers comeback?

    1. I assume the teams I hate are going to win until at least a week after they are eliminated. So I've come to grips with the fact that the Flyers are going to win the Stanley Cup.

    2. A Flyers cup would be the worst, hands down. Anyone who stops that from happening will get my support. I wouldn't put it past them to come back - but they've looked terrible against a Devils team that (based on what I've seen this season)can't be called anything stronger than decent.

      I want to be on board with the Kings: Sutter's actually made them a relatively engaging team to watch. And guys like Kopitar, Quick, Doughty, haven't done anything to undermine their redeemable qualities as players, as far as I'm concerned. But I just detest Richards and Carter. Most of the time, it's more the orange and black than the player, and I can let it go when they leave Philly. Just not with them.

      In fact, I sort of feel inspired to construct my list of players I'd really want to kick in the shin if I saw them on the street:
      1) Richards
      2) Subban
      3) Carter
      4) Downie
      5) Rinaldo
      6) M. Green (who my friends and I refer to as Bebop, from TMNT)
      7) Dubinsky (probably seems weird, but the little tool just irritates me)
      8) Marchand
      9) Chris Neil
      10) Hartnell (because I feel like the list needs another Flyer. I was really torn between him, Ovie, Matt Martin, and Torres.)

      This list is, of course, unscientific and based entirely on personal whim and homerism, so feel free to critique.

  4. Players I'd like to kick in the shin (and someone held them long enough that I could run) - not as easy for me as I thought it would be! This would make a great off-season post.

    BTW, was the Shanahan video on Giroux fascinating or what? He put so much weight on the whining and frustration leading up to the hit. I wonder if Giroux post-game interview where he was so confident that he wouldn't get anything and so cocky about him not being a dirty player may have had something with him getting a game instead of a fine.