Heart you talk about heart? Well, Claude Giroux is just that for the Flyers. “To be or not to be that is the question,” and Giroux is definitely the “To be,” of that quote. Giroux has been on a tear this season, and is on pace for 109 points, which would break his career high in points of 102 that he set last season.
Giroux was asked to move to Left Wing last season by Head Coach Dave Hakstol. This was in part to strengthen the Wing position that wasn’t really that deep, but in large part it was to save the wear and tear of Giroux playing the Center position. Giroux is not a spring chicken anymore, so saving the toll on his body will keep him healthy for the entire season. Moreover, he also saw limited action on the Penalty Kill to once again save the wear and tear on him. Unfortunately, the Flyers Penalty Killing this season has been atrocious, so Giroux again has to see time on the PK. Now due to the injury to Sean Couturier, Giroux was asked by Hakstol to move back Center this past Saturday against the Buffalo Sabres. Of course, Giroux being the Professional he is this wasn’t a problem. What does this elite player in Giroux do? Well, only pot 1 goal, and 3 assists in the process, to go along with a rating of a plus 5 for the Afternoon.
After reading some tweets, and other people on social media this past Saturday. It’s mind-boggling to find out that Giroux is still fighting for respect throughout the NHL, and being considered a great Flyer. Shoot, some people say that the Flyers should trade Giroux. This left me flabbergasted, I just don’t know what more this man can do. Here is a small sample of some of the tweets from this past weekend:
So you’re good with them not winning a playoff series in 6 years? Let me know the last 3 playoff series Giroux played in. MVP type number lol. Flyer fans are so weak to criticize this team
— JefeV (@liljefe23) December 9, 2018
You’re not biased at all. It’s a useless stat. He has all these points and yet they are one of the worst eastern conference teams. Let me know when Giroux wins a playoff round too..
— JefeV (@liljefe23) December 8, 2018
This just isn’t true. The naysayers as you call them have been calling for his head since the 13-14 playoffs. He had 2 goals in 7 games, we got bounced round 1 & had missed playoffs the year before. It’s been more then half a decade of garbage trade G banter.
— Shelfy (@RealShelfy) December 9, 2018
(Thank you Shelfy a realist)
It’s no secret that Giroux is the engine that runs the Flyers. As Giroux goes, so do the Flyers. He of course wanted to rebound from a down year, and prove to his critics that he is still a quality center in the NHL in 2017-18. Well, Giroux did just that, as he was nothing short of fantastic (Finally 100%). For the season, Giroux registered 34 goals, 68 assists, and was a whopping plus 28. Yes, I said it a crazy plus 28. It shows he did things right on the ice. Giroux is a team first guy, and that was evident with moving to the wing.
Let’s take this a step further. Giroux finished second in the league in scoring with 102 points, but finished fourth in the Hart Trophy Race (MVP). If Giroux wasn’t on the Flyers they probably wouldn’t have finished third in the Division, rather they would have been bottom feeders in the NHL. Moreover, Sean Couturier, Travis Konecny, and Jakub Voracek all had career years thanks in large part to Giroux. Where’s the respect? He should have at least finished in the top three in voting for the Hart Trophy.
With the recent resurgence of the top line that included Giroux, it made the orange and black that much tougher to beat. He is one of the most unselfish players in the locker room, and as Giroux goes so does the Flyers. So even after his career year, while placing the Flyers on his back into the playoffs. Why doesn’t Giroux get the respect the deserves throughout the NHL, and Philly Sports Radio stations? I mean according to Quanthockey.com, the top 10 players in point totals for the past 3 seasons in the NHL are:
1 Connor McDavid 249
2 Nikita Kucherov 229
3 Sidney Crosby 210
4 Evgeni Malkin 203
5 Blake Wheeler 202
6 Brad Marchand 199
7 Patrick Kane 199
8 Claude Giroux 196
9 Nathan MacKinnon 195
10 Phil Kessel 195
The engine in Giroux moves back to Center no problem, moves to Left Wing no problem, plays on the PP1 Unit no problem, and plays on the PK no problem. This guy wears his heart on his sleeve, and with the way he credits his teammates there’s no wonder why they respect the heck out of him. This is what Giroux said about Travis Sanheim last Thursday:
“He’s a very smart player. When he sees an opportunity to go, he joins the rush. For a defenseman, his skills are pretty high. When he plays with confidence, he’s a very dangerous player.”
Some say he’s not clutch in the playoffs. However, Giroux has tallied 24 goals, chipped in 41 assists, and is a plus 3 for his career in the playoffs (65 points in 69 games played). Giroux just wants to win, and it’s not his fault the Flyers haven’t had a Goaltender since President Reagan to do just that. We are blessed to have the greatness of this great player in Giroux in Philadelphia. R-E-S-P-E-C-T the man, he has earned it.
Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports