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Giroux long shot to win scoring title, will try anyways

Claude Giroux

Philadelphia Flyers’ Claude Giroux (28) carries the puck in the third period of an NHL hockey game against the Pittsburgh Penguins in Pittsburgh, Thursday, Dec. 29, 2011. The Flyers won 4-2. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)


No one is betting on Claude Giroux to win the 2011-12 Art Ross Trophy. As good as he’s been, closing the 11-point gap separating him and the NHL-leading Evgeni Malkin in just seven games seems, to put it politely, unlikely. Which is fine, this has been a fantastic season for Giroux. He proved his 2010-11 breakout campaign was not a fluke and has already set new career-highs in goals and assists with time to spare.

“There’s no way I would have guessed I would have been up there,” Giroux said. “It’s pretty cool….I feel lucky to be up there. It’s not just about me. It’s about my linemates, too.”

Giroux said the teams focus is making “sure everybody is ready and healthy going into the playoffs.”

That’s where it should be, but finishing strong as a team is part of that and Giroux generating points certainly helps.

“Obviously I’ll try to catch him (Malkin), but it’s not my main focus right now,” he said. Giroux will face off against Steven Stamkos, who currently holds second place in the race for the Art Ross Trophy and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday.