From the Daily News’ own Frank Seravalli, here’s the back page of today’s paper:
In case you haven’t heard the story behind that hit, here’s CSN Philadelphia’s John Gonzalez:
Before Game 6, before the Flyers went out and stomped the Penguins to advance to the semifinals, Giroux went up to Peter Laviolette. What the player said to the coach was closer to a directive than a request. That was more than fine with Laviolette – it was welcomed. According to Laviolette, Giroux went up to him and said, “I don’t know who you’re planning on starting tonight, but I want that first shift.”
“He was so adamant about wanting that first shift,” Laviolette continued. “Line matchups didn’t matter at that point. He wanted to get out on the ice. He wanted to make a statement. I think it speaks to Claude. You see the skill, but sometimes you don’t know that, you don’t hear that, you don’t get that feel for him. Or maybe you do. But we do and I do. For him to come up and say that before the game, I think it speaks volumes about him – as who he is, not only as a player and his skill, but who he is as a person.”
Laviolette said Giroux made a statement with that first shift. Indeed he did. Giroux hit Crosby, made room for himself, and then deposited the puck into the net just 32 seconds into the contest. The Penguins never had a chance after that.