The Resurgence of Flyers Captain Claude Giroux

It’s amazing how far The Captain has come in such a short time. Earlier in the season, Claude Giroux couldn’t find the back of the net to save his life; this slump plus a complete team slump cost Peter Laviolette his job and got the Flyers off to a miserable 1-7-0 start to the season. His frustration showed itself most notably when he broke his stick in half on the bench on November 9th against the Edmonton Oilers. Ironically, that very game he would score his 1st goal of the season. Since then, Giroux has scored 22 more goals for a total of 23 which is only 5 below his career high of 28 scored during the 2011-2012 season.

Giroux celebrates against the Caps (via CSNPhilly)

What is the difference in Giroux’s play now as opposed to just four months ago? The simple answer: Giroux is shooting the puck. I recall whenever I watched a Flyers game earlier in the season I found myself shouting SHOOT at the top of my lungs whenever Giroux was in a perfect spot to score and he elected to pass to someone.

Now it seems Berube has hammered the “shoot the puck” message firmly into Giroux’s head he has taken the most shots (173) since his 28 goal, 93 point 11-12 season when he had 242. This new mentality has led to a heightening of Giroux’s game in a short time. It seems every time we watch a Flyers game on TV, someone mentions Giroux’s 40 some points in 36 games since December despite not having a goal in his first 15 games and even further spanning to last season. Giroux is now in 6th place in the NHL in points (64), tied with Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and only 6 points behind Phil Kessel of the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Giroux’s recent play against the Caps (4 goals, 2 assists in two games) has certainly opened some eyes certainly and it’s giving the fans of Philadelphia something to get excited about heading into the playoff race. What is very interesting is that most of his goals are in the third period when most teams need their best players to step up. A good example of this is the tying goal scored against the Washington Capitals in Washington when he deflected his shot past Brayden Holtby to tie the game at 4. Lecavalier won the game in Overtime. Another example is Giroux’s amazing goal on Wednesday to open the scoring when he deked Holtby to the ice. With the Captain heating up, the chances that the Flyers make the playoffs in a race where most teams are separated by only a point or two go up significantly.


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Categories: Editorial, Flyers

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