Claude Giroux

Flyers make Giroux their new captain


The Philadelphia Flyers named Claude Giroux the team’s 19th captain in franchise history on Tuesday.

“Claude is the undisputed leader of this team,” GM Paul Holmgren said.  “He always exhibits a tremendous work ethic in games and practices. He is a great professional both on and off the ice. Claude has learned a lot over the past few years playing with Mike Richards, Danny Briere, Kimmo Timonen and Chris Pronger, just to name a few. Having played with these athletes has been a huge benefit for Claude.”

The Flyers have been without a captain since Chris Pronger went down to injury in November 2011. Rather than shift the “C” to a different player, Philly was led by a trio of alternates — Giroux, Daniel Briere and Kimmo Timonen — for the remainder of last season and the playoffs.

That said, it’s not surprising Giroux was the one chosen to ascend from alternate status.

The 25-year-old had a breakout campaign in 2011-12, posting a career- and team-high 93 points while setting a Flyers record for most points in a single playoff game (six, versus Pittsburgh.)

Giroux’s stellar postseason play earned him rave reviews vaulted him into star status. Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette called Giroux “the best player in the world” following the series win over Pittsburgh, one in which Giroux upped his personal rivalry with Pens captain Sidney Crosby.

Giroux will join Lou Angotti, Ed Van Impe, Bobby Clarke, Mel Bridgeman, Bill Barber, Dave Poulin, Ron Sutter, Rick Tocchet, Kevin Dineen, Eric Lindros, Eric Desjardins, Keith Primeau, Derian Hatcher, Peter Forsberg, Jason Smith, Mike Richards and Pronger in the history of Philadelphia captains.

Of note, Clarke served both the longest single stint (seven seasons) and most seasons overall (nine) wearing the “C” for the Flyers.


Here’s video reaction to news of Giroux being named captain:


Scary moment: Carlo Colaiacovo hospitalized with ‘dented trachea’

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Buffalo Sabres defenseman Carlo Colaiacovo has experienced plenty of bad injury luck in his winding career, but Saturday presented one of his worst scares.

As you can see from the video above, Colaiacovo received a scary cross-check from Viktor Arvidsson of the Nashville Predators, who received a major penalty and game misconduct.

Sabres head coach Dan Bylsma said that Colaiacovo was hospitalized with a “dented trachea” yet is OK, the Buffalo News’ John Vogl reports.

Frightening stuff from an eventual 4-1 Sabres win.

PHT will keep an eye out for additional updates regarding Colaiacovo’s health (and a possible suspension for Arvidsson).

Comeback Kings: Gaborik pulls L.A. past Kane, Blackhawks

Jake Muzzin, Scott Darling

Patrick Kane set an American scoring record, and added another assist to make it more impressive, but the Los Angeles Kings just wouldn’t be denied.

In the end, Marian Gaborik‘s big night meant more than Kane’s; he scored the tying and then overtime game-winner, both assisted by Anze Kopitar, for a rousing 4-3 overtime Kings win.

Gaborik’s first goal:

And here’s video of the OT-GWG:

Noticing a theme tonight? Yeah, it’s been an evening in which it’s dangerous to assume a lead would stand.

With that, the Kings stick to the No. 1 spot in the Pacific Division, but Chicago shouldn’t feel all bad. The Blackhawks were able to piece together a decent run during their dreaded “circus trip.”

Patrick Kane’s streak hits 19 games, setting a new American record


When it comes to point streaks for U.S.-born NHL players, Patrick Kane now stands alone.

With a power-play goal early in Saturday’s Blackhawks – Kings game, Kane extended his streak to 19 games, breaking a tie with Phil Kessel and Eddie Olczyk (who finished with at least a point in 18 straight).

As of this writing, Kane has 11 goals and 19 assists during this 19-game streak. He also leads the NHL in scoring.

Bobby Hull’s 21-game point streak stands as the Chicago Blackhawks’ overall team record, by the way.

So, how would you protect a lead against the Stars?


You know what they say: it’s easy to bash a strategy in hindsight.

Slam that NFL head coach for going for it on fourth down … or settling for the field goal. Bury that MLB manager because he kept a pitcher in too long. And so on.

“Score effects” settle in during almost any lopsided hockey game, yet the Dallas Stars present quite a conundrum: what’s the best way to put a way a team with this much firepower?

Tonight may have presented the greatest evidence that this team won’t go away easy, as it seemed like the Minnesota Wild had the best of a tired Stars team* when they built a 3-0 lead.

Instead, the Stars scored three third-period goals while Tyler Seguin capped the comeback with an overtime-winner.

It was one of those bend-and-then-break moments for Minnesota. Dallas generated a 44-26 shot advantage, including a ridiculous 35-15 edge in the final two periods.

Does that mean that Mike Yeo may have tried to play too conservatively with a healthy lead? It’s a possibility.

On the other hand, would the Wild be wiser to try to run-and-gun with one of the most dangerous offenses in the NHL?

It sure seems like a pick-your-poison situation. Which way would you lean, though?

* – To be fair to Minnesota, each team was on back-to-backs.