I don't think we need to rank them, and does anybody even call Richie's play in that game "The Shift?" If the name's an issue, let's call this one "The Opening Shift" or "The Shift Where G Put Crosby On His ***."
Some points, though. The dirtiness of Richie's goal is part of what makes that shift so special. Had he scored on a dazzling move, it would've been impressive, but not as fitting or memorable.
Did anyone not think "This man is going to bring us the Cup," when they saw the look on Giroux's face after his goal? Man... "Watch the first shift." That's almost scary.
And I agree, it's that sprawling, diving finish that made Richie's goal so special, but the rest of the shift is all hustle. A play is broken up in the offensive zone and he hustles back into the defensive zone to disrupt the play, creating the turnover that lead to his long-distance outlet pass, all ending with that goal. Awesome.
I ALSO agree that the look on Giroux's face was beyond intense when he scored in the game on Sunday.
Man, I want a cup so badly.
The fact that it came against Crosby and was a clean hit after all the dirty cheap shots we took at the hands of Sid and Malkin in that series makes it even more special. Theres nothing like seeing Sidney cry to put a play over the top.
I have to give a slight edge to G and this is why.......Richards goal was beyond memorable, but wasn't something they need badly. They were flat out dominating that series and even though they were down at that point most people knew they were still going to win that game. I don't think I spoke with one person then that thought Montreal really had a chance to come back and win that series.
The G play was when this team didn't have as much momentum. They just lost two games and Pittsburgh was a team that could easily come back and win the series. An early goal by Pittsburgh could of sent the people in the stands into a slight panic and given Pittsburgh more confidence to win the game and maybe the series. The hit and goal alone gave the fans and the team the momentum shift right back in their favor. It set the tone for the game when everyone in that building desperately needed it.
I'm not saying they would of lost the game or even the series if he didn't score that goal but it just felt like everyone calmed down a little bit and played more relaxed after that shift.
Too me the Giroux shift was like the Flyers were on the edge of letting the Pens back into the series and this was Giroux's way of saying "HEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLL NO!!!!!!!!!"