Claude Giroux isn’t just elite, but the most under-appreciated Flyers player of all time

This isn’t a discussion that I thought I would be having, especially after a 102 point campaign during the 2017-18 season. This isn’t a discussion I ever thought would have two sides to it. This is the cause worth fighting for. This is the stand I will take. This is the hill that I will die upon. Claude Giroux is an elite forward in the NHL, and there is absolutely nothing you or anyone can say to change my mind.

Let’s start simple with Giroux’s three best seasons as an NHL player. His first elite level season was the 2011-12 campaign, which saw him put up 93 points (28g, 65a). 39 of those points came on the powerplay, which is 42% of his total points on the season. Giroux averaged 21:33 on ice that season, and as a center, had a 53.7% at the faceoff circle. Giroux finished in fourth place for the Hart Trophy voting that year.

Comparable players include Steven Stamkos, who had 97 points on the season, John Tavares and his 81 points on the season, and Anze Kopitar, who accumulated 76 points on the year.

Fast forward to the 2013-14 season, Giroux posted another stellar point total (28g, 58a, 86pts). 37 (7g, 30a) of those points came on the powerplay, accounting for 43% of his point total for the year. His average time on ice dropped off a little, but stood over the 20 minute mark once again. He was on ice for an average of 20:26 per night. His faceoff percentage dropped a bit as well, but still stood above the 50% mark at 52.9%. Giroux was nominated for the Hart Trophy, and finished third, right behind Ryan Getzlaf and the winner, Sidney Crosby.

Comparable players that season include Ryan Getzlaf, who tallied 87 points on the year, the Great 8 Alex Ovechkin, who put up 79 points that season, and Patrick Kane and his 69 points during the 2013-14 campaign.

Finally, last year. Claude Giroux had the best year of his career, posting 102 points (34g, 68a) on the year and amassing 36 points (9g, 27a) on the powerplay. 35% of his points came on the man advantage that year. Giroux’s career numbers came after being moved from his natural position, center, to the left wing. Moving to the wing not only lead Giroux to his best year in the NHL yet, it helped open up new first line center Sean Couturier’s offensive potential. Couturier had his best year yet, posting 76 points (31g, 45a). His offensive production is a direct result of being moved up to the top line, centering Claude Giroux and a mix of Jake Voracek and Travis Konecny.

Giroux averaged 20:22 on ice that year, almost identical to the 2013-14 campaign. He also had his best year to date at the faceoff dot, winning 58.6% of the battles he was asked to partake in. He also shared the league lead in assists with Blake Wheeler. After his best season as an NHL forward, and after coming in 2nd in the points race, Claude Giroux was snubbed for the Hart Trophy, not even receiving a nomination.

Comparable performances that year include Nikita Kucherov, who tallied 100 points, Evgeni Malkin with 98 points, and your Hart Trophy winner, Taylor Hall, who tallied 9 less points than Giroux, and who’s team performed just as well, if not worse, during the 2017-18 season.

The argument doesn’t stop there.

Over the last three seasons, Quanthockey has tracked the players who have put up the most points over that time span. The obvious leader, Connor McDavid, stands at 260 points. Nikita Kucherov, Sidney Crosby, Blake Wheeler, and Brad Marchand round out the top 5. Then you get to Patrick Kane at 209, Evgeni Malkin at 207, and Nathan MacKinnon at 206. Coming in at the ninth most points over the past three seasons, none other than the orange and black’s very own Claude Giroux, with 202.

Sure, ninth place doesn’t have all the glitz and glam that a top 5 spot would, but when you consider some of the names that are below him on the list, a certain adjective comes to mind. An adjective used to describe a standout performer who consistently produces points and helps his team to victory night in and night out.

Claude Giroux standing at ninth place in points over the last three seasons puts him ahead of names like Nicklas Backstrom of the Washington Capitals. Names like Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Jack Eichel of the Buffalo Sabres. Names like Hart Trophy winning Taylor Hall of the New Jersey Devils and fellow 2018 nominee Anze Kopitar of the Los Angeles Kings. Best yet, Claude Giroux stands taller than Alex Ovechkin and Steven Stamkos. Ovie sits right behind Giroux in 10th place, and Steven Stamkos isn’t even in the top 50.

Over the last 10 seasons, there are only 3 players who have more points than Claude Giroux. Sidney Crosby, Alexander Ovechkin, and Patrick Kane. Think of anyone else who has played consistently over the past 10 years. Phil Kessel, John Tavares, even Geno Malkin. Yup, Claude Giroux has more points than they do over the past 10 seasons.

This year, Giroux is in store for another doozy of a season. G is on pace for 27 goals. and 68 assists, putting him at a potential total of 95 points. His powerplay stats are projected at 2 goals and 21 assists, accounting for 24% of his point total this year. Even amidst having the worst powerplay in the league, Claude Giroux is still expected to put up fairly decent numbers on the man advantage.

A career consisting of 226 goals, 493 assists in 773 games over 12 years. 72 powerplay goals, 211 powerplay assists. 719 points in 773 games. Claude Giroux is the reason the Flyers are consistently a team on the cusp of contending. He has points in 10 of his last 13 games currently, 16 to be exact. At 30 years old, Captain Claude only seems to be getting better with age.

Merriam-Webster defines elite as “superior in quality, rank, skill, etc…” Giroux is the best quality player the Flyers have right now, and is among the best quality players in the league in terms of value to their team (hey Hart Trophy voters…). He consistently ranks in the top 10 in scoring, and is 4th in scoring over the past 10 years. That’s an elite ranking. Skills, well, they speak for themselves…

Check, check, and check. Claude Giroux is an elite performer. He is an elite talent in the NHL. Claude Giroux, in turn, is elite. I rest my case.

 

Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

10 thoughts on “Claude Giroux isn’t just elite, but the most under-appreciated Flyers player of all time

  1. Great article. It’s nice to take a second and appreciate what you have and not waiting until it’s gone. How he hasn’t won the Hart is criminal! This guy plays with HEART every shift, never complains, and never cries(see Crosby). After a major hip injury/surgery, everyone said he was done. He only followed that season, switched positions for the good of the team, and scored the most points of his career. In doing that he brought out the best of other players, see Couturier and Jake. If he got hurt, they wouldn’t win a game again. “FlyersGuy”, I respectfully disagree with your statements. Who cares what Team Canada supposedly said. If you were any kind of a fan, you’d stick up for our guy. Would you feel better if he win a bunch of ‘individual’ awards?
    They’ll never add up to a cup, only a well constructed team will. G plays a little over a third of a game while playing against the oppositions best players. G’s never led the Flyers to anything? They have been to the finals. He willed it to happen. Any success the Flyers have had has been because of him. Don’t get me wrong, The level of success for a market this size and the size of the fan support is disappointing to say the least. I’m disgusted with the Flyers owners/organization for years and gave up my season tix. The Flyers organization (I use that term loosely) has been a joke for years. Bad GM’s, coaches, trades, players, and especially bad goalies. Haven’t had a great goalie since Hextall. (Would’ve been nice to see what would’ve happened if the Flyers got to keep Forsberg when getting Lindros.)
    These aren’t excuses. Just look at who has beaten the Flyers in the playoffs and won the cup over the years. Devils great system and Brodeur. Penguins-all star team and Fleury, great coaching. Chicago-Kane, Toews, great D and coaching, and excellent Goalie. Kings have Quick, Justin Williams, and a couple other ex-Flyers who put them over the top. Nashville-great team, D, goalie, coaching. Caps-Ovy, supporting cast, good D, great Goalie. There are so many better teams out there. Let’s look at last nights game. TB was killing the Flyers. Their goalie is ridiculous. Stamkos, Kucherov, Point, etc. G skated thru their entire team and pants their goalie.
    Side note: TB’s coach Cooper should be f#%^’ing ashamed of himself for asking for an offsides review. He should’ve taken a time out and reamed his players a new orifice for allowing 1 player to make them look silly, instead he tried to get it disallowed? What a twit.
    I love the Flyers. Any guy who puts on that jersey I will support! They aren’t the best. They haven’t one a cup for over 40 years. But, I appreciate guts, effort, and skill that has been honed with years of hard work. G is the man. Appreciate him now Flyers Fans, he won’t always be here.

    1. Bob,

      First of all, I am a real fan. I am not a Stepford fan though. I am not going to say someone is great just because they’re a Flyer when I know the opposite true.

      To answer your question, no they haven’t won anything because of Giroux. When they were in the Finals, in 09-10, it was because they had Pronger not because they had Giroux.

      Yes, I would feel much better if he was good enough to win individual awards but he isn’t so he hasn’t.

      You’re a typical, delusional Flyers fan Bob. Letting your fandom prevent you from honest assessment about your team’s players and making excuses for them rather than tell the truth.

      The difference between us is that I’d rather be honest.

  2. In no way can Giroux be considered elite. He’s never led the Flyers to anything. He’s never won a single individual award.

    Team Canada says Giroux is a healthy 4th line scratch. Him being compared to Crosby, Ovechkin, and Kane is laughable. All three have won Cups and numerous individual awards attesting to their greatness. Giroux has nothing to show for his entire career.

    This is a perfect example of how Flyers fans overrate their own. Please stop with comparing Giroux to the game’s truly elite. It’s an embarrassment.

    1. Giroux hasn’t had a team surrounding him like the three guys you mention did. I forgot that hockey was an individual sport. Judging by your moronic logic, I guess Lindros should’ve single-handedly beaten the Red Wings in ’97.

      1. Playing a team sport doesn’t prevent Giroux from individual accolades and he doesn’t have any of those either.

        The author of this article tried comparing him to Crosby, Ovechkin, and Kane. Three players who were all MVPs of the entire league and who led their teams to Cups.

        Comparing Giroux to them is absurd and you buying into and agreeing with what the author of this article is selling is just as absurd.

        Talk about moronic.

    2. Quite frankly “flyersguy,” I don’t give a damn what Team Canada has to say about Claude Giroux, nor do I give a damn about awards. Claude Giroux doesn’t need any awards to prove what he is. Awards don’t define the player. The man has the 4th most points of any player in the last 10 years. Stamkos, Tavares, Getzlaf, Perry, Pavelski, Thornton, Kopitar, Malkin, Toews, what do they all have in common? They don’t have as many points as Claude Giroux does in the last ten years. He’s elite. End of discussion.

      1. Derrick Bob,

        No he isn’t elite. He’s not close to elite. Your state are false and misleading. For the record here’s the true stats:

        Claude Giroux career points: 721
        Alex Ovechkin: 1167
        Sidney Crosby: 1159
        Patrick Kane: 875

        Additionally, each of those players have won numerous individual awards as well as Stanley Cups.

        You cherry picking stats can’t change the reality that Giroux doesn’t belong in their company.

        1. Flyersguy, let me break this down for you. The man has outscored everyone except for three people over the past 10 seasons. Two of those three have been playing for 2 more years than Giroux. You name anyone other than Crosby, Ovechkin, and Kane, and they scored less than Giroux has over that span.
          As for individual awards, they don’t matter to me. Every other name you consider “elite” has someone else on the cusp of being that good that helps contribute. Ovechkin has Backstrom, Crosby has Malkin, and Kane has Toews. Who does Giroux have? Voracek? Barely plays on the top line with him. Couturier? Only played one year on the same line.
          I get what you’re saying about awards, but i don’t value individual awards as a way of scoring whether someone is elite or not.
          And those stats I cherrypicked can be found anywhere on the web. Have a wonderful night.

          1. I’ll break it down for you. You cherry picked 10 years. You conveniently left out his career stats compared to many of those guys on your list. i.e. real stats.

            The reality is, Giroux hasn’t led the Flyers to anything other than being mediocre.

            They barely make the playoffs or miss them entirely each year since Giroux has been captain.

            He disappears in the playoffs. He wins nothing year in and year out, either for himself or the team, and yet you want us to buy that he’s some elite talent LOL.

            Elite talent is Crosby, Ovechkin, Kane, McDavid, etc. etc. He is not in their company.

            Mark my words, the Flyers will never win ANYTHING as long as this remains a Giroux dependent team.

            Have a great night.

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