In the end, Claude Giroux couldn’t lead the Philadelphia Flyers past the New York Rangers. A poor playoff series for Giroux that was punctuated by the gut-wrenching image of the captain missing the net when he had Henrik Lundqvist dead to rights will sting for awhile.
The fact is the orange and black don’t make it this far were it not for No. 28’s contributions. The NHL recognized Giroux’s tremendous season, as he was named one of the three finalists for the Hart Trophy, the league’s Most Valuable Player award.
Could they have picked worse timing to announce this thing? Oh well.
Giroux definitely has to be considered the darkhorse candidate being lumped in with Anaheim Ducks center Ryan Getzlaf and Pittsburgh Penguins golden boy Sidney Crosby. Crosby finished first in the NHL in points with 104, Getzlaf second with 87, then Giroux with 86.
Giroux’s season was about more than statistics. While Crosby and Getzlaf thrived on two of the strongest clubs in the league, G was instrumental in one of this season’s biggest turnarounds. He guaranteed the Flyers would make the playoffs after a 1-7 start, and backed up his talk with strong play on the ice.
Obviously, there’s a bad taste in everybody’s mouth the day after the season comes to an end, but this is a great, deserving honor for Giroux to be named a finalist all the same. It's just not much of a consolation prize right now.
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It's still unclear whether or not the Eagles will have Ronald Darby for Monday night's game, but at least they'll have their linebackers.
Both Jordan Hicks (calf) and Mychal Kendricks (hamstring) will be OK to play against Washington on Monday night, head coach Doug Pederson said.
"Both of them will practice today," Pederson said on Saturday morning. "They're both doing well. Just to get a couple extra days of rest. And Mychal has actually practiced all week. Jordan's been the one we've kept out. Both of them will go today and we'll get a better understanding of where they're at but they'll be fine for the game."
Hicks, Kendricks and Darby were the only three Eagles who were limited in Friday's practice.
Darby (ankle) will be listed as questionable for the game, but earlier in the week Pederson said "stars have to align" for the cornerback to play this week. The 49ers game on Oct. 29 is probably more likely.
Darby, who dislocated his right ankle in Week 1, returned to practice for the first time this week.
"[Darby has] looked well. It's just day by day with him," Pederson said. "We'll get through today's practice with him. Obviously, have limited his reps during practice. He is doing well and we'll get through today and tomorrow to make a decision for [the game]."
The Eagles will practice on Saturday at 11:45 a.m. and the injury report will come out later in the afternoon.