February 21, 2020
Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux’s beef was painful, brief, and a showcase of hockey’s best rivalry

Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux’s beef was painful, brief, and a showcase of hockey’s best rivalry


– Sidney Crosby, Claude Giroux. Their teams don’t get along, so they didn’t get along, and, sometimes that’s all it takes. (dramatic symphonic music) Let’s start with someone
that everybody knows, Sidney Crosby. That’s not a dig at Giroux,
it’s just that even people who don’t follow hockey know Crosby. That’s in part because
he’s very, very good, but it’s also because the
NHL, arguably not great at marketing players, decided to shine the spotlight on Crosby from day one. Before he was even drafted in 2005, he was anointed “The Next
One” by Wayne Gretzky. His skills have been
noteworthy since he was seven. He was so good that growing
up, opposing parents threatened him from the stands as their kids tried the same on the ice. He was just great, and when
the Penguins drafted him first overall, they,
along with the league, didn’t waste the
opportunity in immediately making him a household name. That also meant that he’d
immediately have a target on his back anytime
Pittsburgh shared the ice with Philadelphia, and
Crosby’s first visit to Philly made it clear what his
future had in store. That came in 2005, and Derian Hatcher played the part of welcoming committee. Hatcher found Crosby often, and caught him above the
shoulders multiple times, eventually leaving the rookie on the ice looking for a few teeth. No penalty was called
and Crosby was mad enough that he ripped off the
microphone he had been wearing for the broadcast and went after Hatcher. Naturally, the Philadelphia
crowd loved this. What they didn’t love quite as much was Crosby going on to score
the game winner in overtime. Between being very good
and showing his emotions, Crosby had quickly become a vessel that Philly could funnel their hate into. See, the Flyers and Penguins, they’ve been linked since day one. They entered the league
together in the 1967 expansion. They faced off in each team’s
first ever exhibition game. When Philly opened the Spectrum,
the Penguins were there, but as both teams got
settled into the league, the Flyers pulled away pretty quickly. In 1974, they became the
first of the Next Six teams to win the Stanley Cup, and
did it again a year later. Meanwhile in Pittsburgh,
in between those cups, the Penguins had to file for bankruptcy as hockey’s future in the
Steel City looked uncertain. Spoiler, things worked out. It was just a tale of two starts. And, when it came to the
battle of Pennsylvania, the Flyers owned it early, including a nearly 15-year stretch where the Penguins were winless in Philly. Once that streak was
snapped, a lot went down. They met in the postseason
for the first time in 1989, and enjoyed it so much,
they dragged game five out, filling the final 30 seconds with brawls that only delayed the
Penguin’s 10-7 victory. But that first postseason meeting would eventually be won by the Flyers. A few years later, Mario
Lemieux swung things the Penguins’ way and brought Pittsburgh their first two Cups in 91 and 92. Eric Lindros showed up in Philly to balance things out for a bit, and helped lead them to
postseason wins over the Pens in 97 and 2000. The second of those included
a game that set the record for longest game played in the modern era because of course! These guys just can’t
get enough of each other. And, all along the way, they fought, and fought. And, when realignment
threatened to split them up, they even fought together to make sure they would be able to keep
fighting in the same division. So, given the history, it’s
been hard for even generational talents to avoid getting
caught up in the rivalry. And, although getting under Crosby’s skin became more of a consolation
prize considering the success he and the Penguins found, a few years after The Kid came along, it looked like Philly had found a prize of their own. Claude Giroux’s road to the NHL was far less paved than Crosby’s. He had been avoided in
junior league drafts, had to walk on just to play
junior hockey in Ottawa, but, as Giroux put the work in, he began to transform as a player. He made the CHL All-Rookie Team, and went from unwanted
to the 22nd overall pick in the 2006 NHL draft. By the 08-09 season, he was
getting meaningful playing time and impressed enough to be a
full-time player a year later. And that year, he scored the
Flyer’s most important goal of the season, beating Henrik
Lundqvist for the deciding shootout score on the final
day of the regular season, which sent the Flyers to the postseason. He kept it up from there and helped Philly make it to the Stanley Cup final, where they fell short against Chicago. His level of play even made
it possible for the Flyers to trade Jeff Carter and Mike Richards, which helped signal Giroux
as the future of this team. As Claude approached superstar status, Crosby faced some tough years. The Pens captain had to miss extended time with long-lasting concussion symptoms, including the bulk of
the 2011-2012 season. With a little more of the
Pennsylvania spotlight shining on Giroux, he
had his best season yet. He led the league in point
scoring for most of the season, and was a favorite for the Hart Trophy, alongside new linemates Scott
Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr, Giroux had the Flyers set up
for another postseason run, and, conveniently enough,
Crosby was cleared to play the final 22 games, as
the Penguins jockeyed with the Flyers in the standings. So, on April 1st, 2012,
when these teams met with just four games remaining
in the regular season, there was a lot to play for, potentially, home ice advantage in a first round series
between these two teams. They matched each other
through the first two periods, but the Flyers opened it up in the third, and Giroux made it 5-2
with under seven to play. After the Pens closed the gap, Philadelphia scored an empty
netter to seal the win, and a moment later, shit popped off. Joe Vitale caught Daniel
Briere on open ice, and the teams met at the center logo. As those on the ice paired up, the main show came from the bench. Pittsburgh Assistant Coach Tony Granato and Philly’s Head Coach Peter Laviolette got in a shouting match as Pierre McGuire narrated from below. As Simmonds and Engelland stepped up, Giroux inched his way towards the fray. Whether he was blocking his coach from climbing into the Penguins’ bench, or egging on anyone he could, he, at least, looked
to be enjoying himself. 40 penalty minutes later, the heat had been cranked up just a bit. So, that happened. Then, a few days later,
the postseason was set, and they’d be playing each other again. It’s a beef! Crosby was quick to admit
what this series could bring, but was a bit more diplomatic
than some of the Flyers. Specifically, Hartnell, who would actually make
a really good promoter. Game one proved Crosby right. Pittsburgh gained a 3-0
advantage in the first, but the visiting Flyers
climbed out of the hole to force overtime, where Voracek found the back of the net
in less than three minutes. For Pittsburgh, it marked
the third multi-goal lead they’d blown in the last
four games against Philly. They’d do it again in game two, as the Flyers managed to net
eight goals on the night, a ludicrous number that they’d
actually match in game three. And, that third game also saw the teams erupt in the ways of old. And, by old, I mean like two weeks ago. In the first period, the big spark came when the teams met behind
Philadelphia’s net. A scrum followed, and
players tried to pair up, including Crosby and
Giroux along the glass, who used the chance to have a chat. Crosby followed Giroux and
they continued their talk, but things started to die down. That’s when Voracek went to get his glove, Crosby played keep-away, and
the teams got back into it, which gave Giroux a
chance to return to Sid. The refs did all they
could to keep them from landing anything serious,
and took the pair quickly to the ice. If nothing else, they
served as a distraction for Letang to take his turn with Timonen. G and The Kid were sent to the box, where they continued their conversation, and it became clear Crosby
had a lot on his mind. The teams settled down
a little in the second, but in the third, after
Giroux made it 7-4 Flyers, they got back to shenanigans. It started when Neal left his
skates to hit Couturier high. The teams came together
as he lay on the ice, but once play resumed,
with Neal still out there, it got a bit out of hand. He again went high, this time on Giroux, who had trouble finding his balance. And, seconds later, a
slow change gave an excuse to mix it up in front of the benches. Everybody paired up,
including Crosby and Schenn, and as the referees attempted
to sort this one out and get the boys back in the boxes, more scrums broke out. Just like in 1989, these teams
never wanted the fun to end. After 60 minutes were finally finished, the two sides had combined for 132 minutes in penalties and minimal goaltending. The Flyers came away with an 8-4 win, and went up three games
to none on the series. Afterward, Crosby spat
his now-famous feelings about Philadelphia. – I don’t like ’em. – [Reporter] Why don’t you like ’em? – ‘Cause I don’t like ’em. – Did he do something, I mean,
– I don’t like – to harm–
– any guy on their team, so. – Giroux seemed to take
pride in the rival’s words or the fact he had gotten
a reaction from Crosby that no other Flyer had. This was the first time
the Penguins captain had fought anyone from Philadelphia, and just the sixth time in his pro career that he’d gotten in to a proper fight. Shoutout to hockeyfights.com, a site that everyone should
go to and just waste time on, because it’s the greatest
database ever made, and, if you disagree, then fight me. Maybe they’ll make a post out of it. Pittsburgh responded by
absolutely pouring it on in game four, then won a much closer game five. By game six, though, Giroux
looked to end it early. Five seconds in, he met
Crosby with a massive open-ice hit at the blue line. Then, less than half a minute later, intercepted a Penguins’ attempt to clear, and put a shot stick-side
past Fleury to make 1-0 just 32 seconds into the game. (horn blaring)
– [Announcer] Claude Giroux (crowd cheering)
just 32 seconds in! – They took the series with a 5-1 win, shook hands, and had to wait
to heat the beef back up. But, that didn’t take too long. After the Flyers were
bounced in the next round, Giroux needed to have
surgery on both wrists. The cause? Well, according to Claude, Crosby gave him enough
whacks on face-offs, that he was left with a
fracture, plus torn cartilage. When Sid was notified about this, he denied the attempt, but made it clear if he caught a wrist,
he couldn’t care less. If anything, he found it funny. He felt like that was
something the Flyers did. So, any complaints fell on deaf ears. Although Giroux didn’t get an apology, he was on the receiving
end of a few better things. First, he was voted by
fans onto the cover of EA Sports NHL 13, further proof of his
elevated status in the sport. Then, the Flyers cemented his importance by naming him captain. The January announcement came just before the season began, a belated start thanks to
an owners-initiated lockout, which did do one good thing. It allowed our Pennsylvania boys to open the season against each other. But, despite Giroux netting
one in his debut as captain, and the Philly crowd welcoming Crosby in the only way they know, the Penguins took the game, which set the tone for
that shortened season. Pittsburgh finished with
the best record in the east, and Philadelphia missed the playoffs, as they fell under 500. It was an uneventful stretch, after how the previous season ended, and, while the team rivalry remained with consistently tough battles
during the regular season, the captains managed to
stay out of the headlines for anything other than their play. That doesn’t completely add up, though. Becoming captain wouldn’t have
changed Giroux’s feelings, and Crosby had never let success
get in the way of a grudge, so how did this go from
petty and hard-hitting to kinda nothing in a year? Well, Giroux’s own coach
may have had a hand in that, albeit, a well-meaning one. After the game six clincher, Peter Laviolette showered
Giroux in praise, calling him the best player in the world. Regardless of intent, what those words wound up doing was they cranked up the spotlight. If your coach launches you
into the same conversation as Crosby or Ovechkin,
the bar gets raised, either in what everyone expects from you, or what you expect from yourself. And, just a year after being anointed, a year where the Flyers and
their captain struggled, Giroux admitted that he
hadn’t quite been feeling it, and needed to find his confidence. It would make sense, then, that the beef, for him, at least, would take a backseat. But, then, things kinda got weird. So, these teams were in
slightly different places. The Flyers made the postseason just twice in the five years after the 2012 slugfest, while the Penguins won
back-to-back cups in 2016 and 17. But, in the midst of all that,
came a new layer to this. For the 2015 IIHF World Championship, Crosby and Giroux found
themselves on the same team. Giroux had recently called their
relationship “interesting,” while discussing the rivalry, but their allegiance to Team Canada was strong enough for
the captains to look past whatever history they had. That wouldn’t prevent it
from feeling extremely wrong when Giroux found Crosby in
close, who buried the puck, and then the pair actually
celebrated together. But, I mean, even they’d probably admit neither looks over the moon, here. When talking about it, though, they said, “Eventually, things
didn’t feel too bizarre.” Once they put on the same jersey, everyone had the same goal, and it worked just fine,
as Crosby pointed out, who also was tasked with
playing the captain on a ship rostering multiple Flyers. But, he did it well. Team Canada dominated the tournament, and the beefmates turned
teammates took home the gold. A year later, they’d do it again
at the World Cup of Hockey, and it came even easier. Giroux said they hadn’t really
known each other off the ice before the World
Championship, and as we know, they didn’t like each other. But, now, he had an easy
time admitting Crosby was a great guy off the ice. As for Sid, he even went as far as saying it was fun to play together. It probably helped that
they went undefeated in both tournaments, but I digress. While the individual beef seemed to spoil, thankfully, nothing could let the Battle of Pennsylvania go bad. And, when they met in the 2018 playoffs, the captains again jostled. Crosby even called out Giroux
for a questionable hit, but after the Penguins took
the series in five games, it was clear things
between the individual pair had peaked long ago. These players have brought
the best out of each other, whether playing for opposing
teams, or on the same side. While they’ve both found
individual success, only one has gotten his name on the cup, doing so enough times that
it helped the feud fade. But, regardless of who’s
good, bad, winning, losing, there will always be enough
fuel for the teams’ rivalry. And, for as long as they’ve got the C stitched on their jersey, there will always be a
little extra spotlight shining on Crosby and Giroux.

100 thoughts on “Sidney Crosby and Claude Giroux’s beef was painful, brief, and a showcase of hockey’s best rivalry

  1. I know, it took us a long time to make this. So as a bonus I started compiling the big moments from the team rivalry and will update those here – https://www.sbnation.com/2019/11/11/20955990/flyers-penguins-rivalry-history-explained-sidney-crosby-claude-giroux-nhl-beef
    If you spot something, let me know.

    Also, if you're a Penguins fan then you'll love www.pensburgh.com or if you're with the Flyers, then check out www.broadstreethockey.com please and thank you

  2. he played for Gatineau.. not ottawa , i know its just across the river but its 2 very different provinces , let alone 2 different leagues..

  3. You missed one highlight from the WC where they were actually smirking at each other after Sid fed Giroux for a goal. Clearly they were over it at that point

  4. Went to : JASON WINSLOW channel to see Giroux goal : " Flyers vs Rangers shootout – 4-11-10 – For a Playoff Berth" Thanks to both channels GO FLYERS

  5. I got Claude Giroux's stick from that game winner against the Rangers, handed it to me on his walk to the locker room after his post-game interview

  6. Don't think it'll ever happen because Beaver Stadium doesn't sell booze but a winter classic with the pens and Flyers at Beaver Stadium would be absolutley electric

  7. You should do a recap video on the 2011 game between Pittsburgh and the Islanders where just about every player in the game got ejected

  8. Is it really a coincidence that twice when Pittsburgh were on the verge of folding they got a generational talent draft pick? I know in 84 there wasn't a lottery but still.

  9. Clearly Neal was put on the ice to be the enforcer… totally old school nhl play. But of course they were fine when they played for team canada lol in hockey you play for the name on the front of your jersey…and yeh that’s a cheesy line from miracle… but it’s true. We love our game and rivalries brew from passion and just how much you want that win… in all for the beef!!!

  10. lets see….. squidney has more than one cup…. giroux has less than one
    great rivalry though… yankees red sox… bears packers dodgers giants

  11. Dude your videos are amazing. I hope people appreciate the research and editing work that I’m sure goes into them! The Avs Wings and Avery Marty ones were incredibly well done

  12. Trading Richards and carter: very questionable move at the time from a club who’s made tons of questionable moves, but that one actually worked out well

  13. Canadians can put aside differences and go to war better than any other country. We invented hockey to remind us of that, in case we forget about the world wars, and keep us ready for the next one.

  14. Hockey is so awesome, overtook the NFL for me many years ago. Capitals finally hoisting the cup has helped cement hockey as my #1.

  15. I'm from philly and a hockey fan. And i gotta say it feels good whenever we beat pittsburg and gets me angry when we don't.

  16. I still remember Crosby crying after we beat them in the playoffs in 2009/10. It’s my only solace after the flyboys not winning a chip in 40 years lol

  17. Great video, well done; and I'm not a huge hockey fan.(fight me) It happened when I randomly landed on that 5OT game..and watched the whole thing with my mouth agape; my eyes glued to this intense, every single second matters, battle of wills..and since then, I'll catch a shift or three once in a while. Earned a sub, thanks✌

  18. From Philly, hate Crosby. Richard and Carter trade were dumb though.

    Ranger, Devil's they all hated Claude Giroux I think there's a mic'd up where you can actually hear the Rangers before the game saying they are going to him. 😂 He took a pade from Bobby Clarke's book, he does it well.

  19. Say what you want about his skill, but him showing no remorse, even laughing about breaking Giroux's wrists combined with chopping off Methot's finger make it pretty clear he's a human piece of waste.

  20. It isn't really hard to understand their actions once they played for Team Canada. In Hockey, you can hate a guy all you want…until he's wearing the same sweater as you. Once that happens, all is well because wins don't come easy and you need all hands on deck.
    That's Hockey for you.

  21. Title should be: No video highlight, Boring Commentary about how Sidney Crosby's and Claude Giroux’s beef was painful, brief, and a showcase of hockey’s best rivalry

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