Flyers Notes: Giroux a finalist for MVP award

Flyers captain Claude Giroux finished third in the NHL in points after a slow start this season.
Flyers captain Claude Giroux finished third in the NHL in points after a slow start this season. (      YONG KIM / Staff)
Posted: May 03, 2014

Claude Giroux was rewarded Thursday for finishing third in the NHL scoring race and engineering the Flyers' turnaround from a 1-7 start.

The 26-year-old center was named a finalist for the Hart Trophy, awarded to the league's MVP.

Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby, who is the heavy favorite, and Anaheim's Ryan Getzlaf also are finalists.

The winner will be announced June 24 in Las Vegas.

Giroux collected 86 points, putting him behind only Crosby (104) and Getzlaf (87). He is the fifth-ever Flyer named a Hart finalist.

"The team was in a tough situation early on, and he led our team out of that hole and went on to have a great year," coach Craig Berube said.

The Flyers captain was slowed by a hand injury early in the season, but he had 79 points in his final 67 games, an average of 1.18 points per contest.

Giroux called it a "great honor" to be nominated.

"I could not have done it without my teammates and coaching staff," he said. "To be able to bounce back after the slow start we had this year, it was obviously a very fun time."

Bobby Clarke and Eric Lindros are the only Flyers to have won the award. Clarke won it in 1973, 1975, and 1976; Lindros was the 1995 winner.

Clarke was second in 1977, and Lindros was second in 1996. Pelle Lindbergh was third in 1985, and Bernie Parent finished second in 1974, the year the Flyers won their first Stanley Cup.

Giroux, who was fourth in the Hart Trophy voting after collecting 93 points in 2011-12, matched a career high with 28 goals, even though he didn't score his first goal until the 16th game. It is his first time as a Hart finalist.

In the seven-game playoff loss to New York, Giroux had six points, tying the Rangers' Martin St. Louis and Brad Richards for the most series points. The MVP voting is based only on the regular season.

Free agency

The Flyers have five players who can become unrestricted free agents: Kimmo Timonen, Ray Emery, Steve Downie, Adam Hall, and Hal Gill. Timonen, 39, said he will take some time before deciding whether he will retire. Gill, 39, also may retire.

Goalie totals

The Flyers' Steve Mason had better numbers than the Rangers' Henrik Lundqvist in the series.

Mason went 2-2 but had a 1.97 goals-against average and a .939 save percentage. Lundqvist was solid - 4-3 with a 2.11 GAA and a .919 save percentage.

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