Claude Giroux Suspended One Game
Following a 4-2 loss to the New Jersey Devils in Game 4 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals, not much was going well for the Philadelphia Flyers. On the lesser end of a three games-to-one series, the team is on the brink of being eliminated from the postseason. While it seemed as though things couldn't get much worse, they already have.
On Monday afternoon, the NHL’s Department of Player Safety decided to suspend Flyers superstar forward Claude Giroux for one game for an illegal hit to Dainius Zubrus on Sunday night.
The play occurred at the 19:56 mark of the second period when Giroux administered a late hit to Zubrus and went up high making contact with Zubrus’ head. He was called for a two-minute illegal check to the head penalty.
Giroux maintained that he was merely finishing a check and that Zubrus leaned into it.
Here is the play:
Zubrus returned to the game in the third and played 5:32 taking 11 shifts. It was the most he played in any one period over the course of the game.
Here is Brendan Shanahan's explanation for the suspension:
Shanahan felt that Giroux recklessly targeted the head and that his lack of composure on the entire sequence, dating back to his complaining to the officials, slashing of Zubrus' stick and the late nature of the hit, made this an inexcusable display of anger by Giroux and thus needed to be disciplined.
This will no doubt be controversial with some.
It is now assumed that Zac Rinaldo will be returning to the lineup for Game 5 on Tuesday night. However, with the way head coach Peter Laviolette has changed up his lines so drastically, who knows who will play.
Check back to The Checking Line as more information is made available.
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