Giroux learns focus from elder statesmen

Claude Giroux is too focused on his
current tasks to think about what lies ahead or what has already happened in
the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Giroux knows that he and his
Philadelphia Flyers teammates are just a few wins from the Stanley Cup against
the Chicago Blackhawks. He also knows that being a Stanley Cup champion would
fulfil a goal he had since his childhood in Quebec.

He knows that at just 22, in just
his first full season in the NHL, he has been presented with the rarest of
opportunities to achieve instant success.

“Before Game 4 (of the Montreal
series), (Ian) Laperriere came back and he made sure to tell me that he had
been here for 16 years and never made it to the Final, so you are pretty lucky
that you are 22 and (James) van Riemsdyk is 21,” Giroux said. “Obviously you
guys are pretty lucky and hopefully you can enjoy the moment and just don’t
take it for granted.”

Giroux has no plans to take his
good fortune for granted. He knows he can’t put his name on the Cup with mere
thoughts. He must earn it, just as all the champions who have come before him
did in the crucible of the Final.

“I told myself not to really think
about (the Stanley Cup),” Giroux said. “(We) just got to go game-by-game. I
think that’s one of the reasons why we’re here. Now we just focus on the game
we have in front of us and we’re not looking at the big picture. I think if we
keep doing that just put all of our energy in that next game, I think it’s
huge. I think we should keep thinking like that.”

Giroux has enjoyed a stellar
postseason, a true coming-out party to all but the most die-hard hockey fans.
On a team loaded with big names and high-end talent, Giroux sits third on the
team in points (17) this postseason and second in goals, one behind the
team-leading nine of Danny Briere. He has had a dominant game in each round of
the postseason.

Those performances, as well as his
game-in, game-out consistency, have earned him headlines as well as the praise
of his teammates. Giroux is consciously oblivious to all that he has
accomplished.

“I try not to think about it,”
Giroux said. “This isn’t the time for that. But right now it is going well for
me and hopefully I can keep it going.”

While Giroux is not thinking about
what he has done, others like Briere can’t stop talking about it.

“I’m very impressed with him with
the way he is playing and the way he is stepping up his game,” Briere said. “If
you ask any of the guys in the room, everybody knows about his skill level, his
hands and his vision. The thing that has impressed me about him is how he has
shown up to play and step up his game. He’s not a big guy, but he’s strong on
the puck and he’s not afraid. He’s one of the big reasons we are still playing
today.”