Zubrus is low-key on Giroux hit

Posted: May 09, 2012

New Jersey Devils winger Dainius Zubrus won't be providing the Flyers any bulletin board material about the hit he took from Claude Giroux, who is suspended for tonight's Game 5 of their Eastern Conference semifinal at the Wells Fargo Center.

The Flyers face elimination, trailing this best-of-seven series 3-1.

Giroux was suspended after a high hit on Zubrus late during the second period of Game 4's 4-2 loss to the Devils.

NHL vice president of player safety Brendan Shanahan said in an online video explanation that Giroux "delivered an illegal check to the head."

Shanahan had termed the play reckless.

Zubrus, a former Flyer, was less demonstrative in assessing his opinion on the one-game suspension.

"I saw it online - how Shanahan explained it - and Brendan did a pretty good job of explaining his thought process, how he is looking at things," Zubrus said following the Devils morning skate at the Wells Fargo Center. "I think it is what it is. It is his decision what the punishment is. He called it, what he saw."

When asked if it were satisfying, Zubrus basically said no.

"It doesn't change anything, really. If there was no suspension, it would not have changed my or our team's approach to this game at all," Zubrus said. "[Giroux] is their big offensive guy, but we expect them to rally, and if they lose, it's the last game for them. So we expect them to come with their best game."

Zubrus said he is feeling fine physically and is ready to go. He returned to the game after being shaken up on the play.

Devils coach Peter DeBoer was a little more forward in his opinion on the suspension.

"You don't like to see anybody get suspended. I know Claude Giroux and he's a great player and not a dirty player," DeBoer said. "But it was a dangerous hit and we're fortunate it wasn't a serious injury."

In other news, DeBoer says that forward Ryan Carter, who missed Game 4 due to illness, would return to the lineup.

A big theme is whether the Flyers would rally around not having Giroux, who leads all NHL playoff scorers with 17 points (8 goals, 9 assists).

DeBoer feels that the Flyers will view not having Giroux the way the Devils did when they missed Ilya Kolvachuk with a lower body injury in Game 2. The Devils won that game, 4-1.

"It's a great rallying point when you create that type of adversity," DeBoer said. "If you have character, you usually respond, and we are expecting them to respond with their best game of the series."


Contact Marc Narducci at 856-779-3225, mnarducci@phillynews.com or @sjnard on Twitter.

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