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With Danny Briere, Claude Giroux has been the best of the Philadelphia Flyers this spring, playing the frantic, feisty game he plays in between the scoring and assisting and winning all those face-offs he does. But if the Flyers fall out of the playoffs tonight — they’re down three games to one in their eastern semi-final against New Jersey — they’ll do it without Giroux. He’s been suspended for a game for nudging, last game, the head of the Devils’ Dainius Zubrus.

I looked to Twitter today to see whether Giroux might have something succinct to say on the subject but no, it’s been all quiet over at @28CGiroux since the end of the first-round series against Pittsburgh in April. Which is maybe not so surprising. None of the hockey players seems to have much to say, Twitterwise. For the readers in the crowd, what we’d been hoping for, I think — if I can speak for the group — was a flash or two of insight, a shred of inside colour, a telling phrase, something wise or funny that Maxime Talbot might have observed in an unguarded moment.

It hasn’t happened. Hockey’s Twitterists have gone silent. Either they’ve been shut down by management (Rangers’ coach John Tortorella is supposed to have banned his players from social media for the duration of the playoffs) or else they’ve self-suspended. Too — busy? tired? Maybe so.

What seems more likely is that the hockey players have determined — and are, in their silence, tacitly admitting — a hard truth: you can’t write and play high-level hockey both at the same time. Eddie Shore used to say the same thing about sex with your wife. Not that you couldn’t write and have sex; it was the sex and the hockey that didn’t mix. But. Anyway. What we’re learning this year, I think, as the weeks go on is that as a player you have to decide where you’re going to channel your focus and your intensity: playoff hockey or meaningful comment on social media? Continue reading