Remember when the Flyers had a 99.9% chance at making the playoffs? That was what, a week or so ago? Now, the Flyers playoff hopes have taken a major blow, losing seven of their last eight games. Those seven losses came against mainly the teams the Flyers are battling for a spot in the playoffs. That doesn’t bode well at all for the Flyers’ own playoff hopes.
During the Flyers most notorious skid of the season, fans everywhere directed their disdain at head coach Dave Hakstol.
I get it, @mbailey010. We were all pretty upset with Hakstol and his questionable lineup decisions at that time. That was also before he decided to move stud rookie Nolan Patrick to the second line center position, and Laughton to the third line center position. It worked, because the Flyers went on to win six straight after losing ten straight.
A few streaks later, and here we are, suffering through the Flyers losing 7 of their last 8, and the Flyers have a new scapegoat.
When the hell the Flyers gonna strip Claude Giroux of the C?
— AC (@CampfireSauce) November 29, 2017
Yes everyone, we are resorting to resting the blame on the shoulders of the man who has carried this team on his back for a majority of the year. Listen, @campfiresauce, I get it pal. I’m upset too. I don’t like watching my favorite hockey team lose after going against all the odds and playing lights out during the majority of the year. However, if your going to blame the man who is in the top 5 of the NHL in scoring, and has scored the third most points in the NHL since 2012, then there’s no easy way to put this, you’re an idiot.
Let me explain.
In case you’ve been living under a rock for the past 6 year, Claude Giroux has more points than everyone in the NHL not named Patrick Kane and Sidney Crosby in that span. He has, including this season so far, 478 points since then. Think of every player that has played in the NHL between then and now. How many could you count, a few thousand? Claude Giroux has more points in the past six years than a few thousand NHL players.
Let’s touch on leadership, because he’s pretty good at that too. Need I remind everyone of his performance against the Penguins in the 2012 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals. In a matter of about a minute, he laid Sidney Crosby flat on his back, got the puck off of a beautiful feed from the legendary Jaromir Jagr, and wristed an absolute rocket of a shot past Marc Andre Fleury, all in a matter of 32 seconds.
Claude Giroux, once again for those of you living under a rock, is the epitome of a captain. He has helped unlock Sean Couturier’s offensive potential this season, all the while taking the move to left wing in stride and putting up potential career-high numbers. He has led countless closed door meetings with players after long winless droughts, many of which aren’t his fault (for those of you who may think they are).
But, let’s go ahead and listen to what Dylan Strom has to say on the matter.
I love Giroux, but I feel that the team needs to strip his captaincy. He lacks leadership, his team has no identity, & is going nowhere fast pic.twitter.com/ycPESKvdGH
— Dylan Strom (@DjSquishms) February 27, 2017
Hey, DjSquishms, I feel that you and I aren’t talking about the same Claude Giroux. The man I’m referring to is the reason Sean Couturier is having the season of his career. The man that got bumped out of his natural position, center, and moved to the left wing, and is in the midst of one of, if not the best, season he has ever had. The man that has opened up the scoring for the Flyers in the last three games. If you think that “he lacks leadership, his team has no identity, & is going nowhere fast,” then you, my friend, actually no. I have no words for this kind of stupidity.
Do you think that the Tampa Bay Lighting would take the C off of Steven Stamkos’ chest? How about the Islanders taking the C off of John Tavares’ chest. No, and definitely not. Do you think the fact that the Islanders haven’t had much luck in the playoffs, when they make it, would lead Doug Weight to removing the captaincy from the chest of Tavares? No, and because he hasn’t there’s no reason to do that to Giroux.
I understand that the majority of the Flyers’ fan base wants “Captain Claude” to remain just that. However, for the select few who want the C on the chest of another Flyer, please stop. God, please, just stop.
You’d be hard pressed to find a harder working captain than Claude Giroux. A true leader who does just that by example. The man that stands at the gate and congratulates each teammate with a firm, business-like handshake at the conclusion of every win. The man that is scoring at a higher than point-per-game pace this season, and almost a point-per-game pace since 2012.
Everyone has an opinion, and that’s great. However, if your opinion is that Claude Giroux should no longer be the captain of the Philadelphia Flyers, your opinion is dumb, and we have no room for that kind of negativity on our bandwagon, so get off, now.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports