Ask any hockey player, and they will say that team success will trump any sort of individual accomplishments. But the day after the Philadelphia Flyers were dispatched from the playoffs by the New York Rangers, Claude Giroux got some good news. He was named a Hart Trophy finalist.
Here's why Giroux should win:
When the MVP is taken literally, there is no more valuable player to his team than Giroux. Simply, the Flyers are not in the playoffs if Giroux is not on the team and playing at the level he did. After starting 1-7 and seeing their then-head coach Peter Laviolette being fired, Giroux got his act together and he was the main propeller behind the Flyers resurgence this season. He finished third in the league with 86 points, which is more than a point-per-game average, and in the last four years, he has the most points of any player in the world. He's finally getting the much-deserved recognition that comes along with being one of the best players in the world. The Flyers' roster is not nearly as good as the Penguins or the Ducks, but the Flyers finished third in the Metropolitan Division, including winning four out of five games against their cross-state rival.
Here's why Giroux won't win:
The first month of the season will cost Giroux dearly, and it is more than likely that Crosby will take home the Hart Trophy. Crosby had 17 more points than Getzlaf and 16 more points than Giroux. While the Penguins a better team than the Flyers, Crosby led them to the Metro Division crown and second overall in the Eastern Conference despite suffering a rash of injuries to the majority of their big-name players. Brooks Orpik, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang all missed considerable time, but yet the Penguins remained at the top of the conference. That's a testament to how good Crosby was this year.Claude Giroux, Hart Trophy, Hockey, Metropolitan D, New York Rangers, NHL, Philadelphia, Philadelphia Flyers, Ryan Getzlaf, Sidney Crosby