Throughout these playoffs, Claude Giroux has been a big bright spot for the entire league, taking his elite game to a national stage and getting some real recognition for it.
With just seconds remaining in the second period of Game 4, Giroux took his shoulder to the head of Dainius Zubrus. Zubrus dumped the puck into the offensive zone and Giroux skated in front of him, thrusting his shoulder up into Zubrus’ dome. Giroux was only given a minor penalty for the hit.
In a postseason that has been filled with hits like this, Giroux is one of the last people I’d expect to lay a hit like that. Screening Zubrus to slow him down is one thing, but thrusting his shoulder up into the head of Zubrus took it over the line.
Giroux isn’t a dirty player, and he’ll likely say that there was no intent, but it was a play that didn’t need to happen. The big question will be whether or not he’s hit with a suspension for that hit.
We’ve already seen one of the game’s biggest stars, in Shea Weber, avoid a suspension after one of the uglier plays of the NHL season. Not giving Giroux any sort of suspension could set an even more dangerous precedent than what Brendan Shanahan has already set when he didn’t suspend Weber.
You can see the video of Giroux’s hit on Zubrus below.