It’s no secret to anyone who follows the Philadelphia Flyers on a regular basis, that Claude Giroux is a vital part to the team’s overall success. As Giroux goes so does the orange and black. Giroux is the engine that runs the team. For the past few seasons, the Captain has not performed to the standards we all know he can perform.
Of course he will tell you he has to be better. Giroux wears his heart on his sleeve, and is always a team first guy. With the youth infusion injecting life into some veterans in the locker room, one can only hope that Giroux has a rebound year. At Training Camp, Giroux seemed ready and willing to achieve just that, carrying a belief in himself and an infusion of youth around him.
Giroux was born January 12, 1988, in Hearst, Ontario. At a young age like most Canadians, he developed a love for the sport of hockey. Giroux eventually found himself playing for Gatineau Olympiques in the QMJHL, and he registered 39 goals, and 64 assists for a total of a career high 103 points in the 2005-06 season. This really solidified his status for the upcoming NHL Draft.
At the ripe age of 18, Giroux was drafted 22nd overall by the Flyers in 2006. His hard-work and dedication finally paid off in a big way, as it was always his dream to play in the NHL.
“As a kid your dream was always to be in the NHL. I never thought I’d be where I’m at right now. I just played. I didn’t have plans. I just focused on that, and enjoyed life. Things just happened. Kids keep playing for the fun of it.”
Giroux was able to join the Flyers roster full-time midway through the 2008-09 season. He showcased his skills when his dream of playing in the NHL came true. Giroux razzled and dazzled opponents as he proved to the Flyers top brass that he belonged in the NHL. At times his moves were slick, but it was his puck handling skills that took him over the top. Giroux led the Flyers to a first round playoff loss against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins. He finished the season with 9 goals, and 18 assists for a total of 27 points in 42 games played.
It wasn’t until the 2009-10 season, that a star in Giroux was forming between our eyes. He had a lethal shot, and that was indicated in his stats for the season. Giroux finished the season with 16 goals, and 31 assists for a total of 47 points in 82 games played. Maybe his focus away from the game helped him at the task in hand.
“I’m a pretty competitive guy. I play games like ping pong it’s part of the game (Laughing). As weird as it sounds it kind of relaxes me. I like warming up and drinking my coffee. Black. (Laughing).”
At age 23, Giroux enjoyed a career year with 93 points in 2011-12, thanks in large part to being paired with the “Ageless Wonder,” Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell. For his accomplishments, Giroux finished third in the league in point scoring.
Since then Giroux’s numbers have slowly dipped each season. For the 2015-16 season Giroux produced 67 points in 78 games played. Moreover, for the 2016-17 season Giroux produced 58 points in 82 games played, while only managing to score a measly 14 goals. Here’s a chart of Giroux’s stats. Games played are the first number indicated on the chart, followed by goals, assists, and then points.
There are a few ways Giroux can get his numbers back on track. The youth infusion has not only been embraced by him, but as he states it has injected life into the club.
“I think the youth have brought an element to the team. I think so. I think our guys…it’s a competitive camp right now, a lot of young legs. But, you know what were improving as a team everyday.”
Giroux continues, “You know your first goal is always to make the playoffs, and go from there. Our division is tough, but at the same time were molding as a team. Pretty quick here with those young guys, were going to be a dangerous team.”
This past offseason was tough for Giroux. Not only was he faced with his team under performing from the prior season, but his friend Brayden Schenn was traded to the St. Louis Blues. Schenn was an intrical part to the top power play unit. As Giroux states, Schenn’s role was vital to the team’s overall success on the power play.
“Schenn was a big part of our power play. He was able to read off me, Jake, Ghost, and Simmer. Kind of find those pucks around the net. You know at the start of the power play it took him a little to find his role on the power play, but when he got his role he was one of the most important pieces.”
The former Gatineau product continues, “He would get those big goals for us. It’s important whoever jumps in that role, to develop chemistry as fast as we can.”
Make no mistake about it, Giroux can rebound this season. Consistency will be the key for him. However, he has the goods and the will to be a very good player for the Flyers this season. If Giroux does in fact have a rebound season watch out NHL. The orange and black could be a lethal team this year. Giroux leaves the fans with this message:
“Just keep doing what you’re doing. The team is getting better.”
Mandatory Credit: Aaron Doster-USA TODAY Sports