Among other narratives this season, the one that sticks out like a sore thumb is the lack of production from Claude Giroux. Fans have become accustom to point-per-game seasons from the Flyers’ captain. This season, he’s been underwhelming. While 35 points (13g, 22a) isn’t a terrible stat line, it isn’t the ideal stat line for the team captain.
With 29 games remaining on the season, Claude Giroux has the opportunity to turn things around. The remaining opponents present a solid chance at returning to form for the 13 year NHL veteran.
The Flyers schedule isn’t easy, but Claude Giroux has performed well against the remaining foe. With multiple games remaining against New Jersey, Washington, Florida, New York Islanders & Rangers, Tampa Bay, Columbus, Buffalo, and Nashville, Giroux sees teams he’s performed very well against multiple times.
Without beating around the bush anymore, let’s get down to business. Let’s break down the remaining opponents and see if Giroux will be able to get back on track following a sub-par first 53 games.
Western Conference Opponents
A division that the Flyers see each opponent only twice per year, the pacific division only takes up two games of the remaining 29 on the Flyers schedule. The first opponent the Flyers see from the Pacific division is San Jose. In their first meeting, the Flyers dropped a tough one during a gruesome west-coast road-trip. While enduring a 6-1 drubbing at the hands of the Sharks, Giroux managed to assist on the Flyers’ lone goal.
In his career against San Jose, Giroux has eight goals, seven assists, for a total of 15 points in 18 games. That’s a .83 points-per-game pace. Giroux is good for about four points every five games against San Jose.
The last game they play against a Pacific Division opponent comes against the Edmonton Oilers. In 16 career games against Edmonton, Giroux has seven goals and 14 assists, good for 21 points and 1.31 points per game. In mid-October’s contest against the Oilers, Giroux registered two assists in a losing effort. Expect Giroux to add to that point total when Edmonton comes to town in March.
The Flyers play six of their remaining 29 games against Central division foe. They take on Winnipeg, Minnesota, St. Louis, Dallas, and Nashville twice. Giroux has been decent against these opponents, accumulating 81 points in 98 games against the aforementioned squads.
Giroux has had the least amount of success against the Minnesota Wild and the St. Louis Blues. In his lone game against Minnesota this year, Giroux was kept off the score sheet. He did manage one assist against the Blues a few weeks back. Giroux has 10 points (4g, 6a) in 16 career games against the Wild, and 13 career points (4g, 9a) against the Blues.
Captain Claude experiences a bit more success when facing Winnipeg, Nashville, and Dallas. In 30 career games against the Jets, Giroux has 27 points (8g, 19a). He has 15 points (7g, 8a) in 17 career games against the Predators, and 16 points (3g, 13a) in 18 games against the Dallas Stars.
Eastern Conference Opponents
The Flyers have eight games remaining against Atlantic division opponents. They take on Boston and Detroit once apiece, and Florida, Tampa Bay, and Buffalo twice apiece.
Giroux has struggled a bit against the Florida Panthers. He’s faced Florida 38 times in his career, putting up nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points. That puts him at .63 points-per-game. He’s a little better against Boston, where he’s accumulated 10 goals and 19 assists for 29 points in 38 career games, good for a .76 point-per-game pace.
Against Tampa Bay, Buffalo, and Detroit, Giroux is at-or-over a point-per-game pace. He has 36 points (5g, 31a) in as many games against Tampa Bay, 37 points (8g, 29a) in as many games against Buffalo, and 26 points (7g, 19a) in 25 games against the Red Wings.
Of his eight career goals against the Sabres, five of them are game-winning goals. Half of the goals Giroux has scored against the Bruins (5) have come on the man advantage.
The Flyers take on a Metro division team 13 times out of their remaining 29 games. Two games apiece against New Jersey, Washington, the New York Islanders, and Columbus Blue Jackets, while facing Carolina and Pittsburgh once apiece, and the New York Rangers three times.
Giroux has had the most success against Metro teams, typically due to the frequency of games against these teams. G has 49 career points (10g 39a) in 54 games against the Rangers, good for .91 points-per-game. Slightly ahead of that pace, Giroux has 46 points (11g, 35a) against the New Jersey Devils, a .92 point-per-game pace. Continuing with that trend, Giroux is a .95 point-per-game player against the Washington Capitals (41 points in 43 games), and a .97 point-per-game player against the Columbus Blue Jackets (30 points in 31 games).
Giroux is at a point-per-game or better against the remaining three Metro-division opponents. Captain Claude has 51 points in as many games against the Pittsburgh Penguins, 44 points in 43 games against the Carolina Hurricanes, and 54 points in 51 career games against the New York Islanders. That’s 1 point-per-game against Pittsburgh, 1.02 points-per-game against Carolina, and 1.06 points per game against the Isles.
Summing It All Up
Overall, Claude Giroux has played in 629 games against all these opponents combined. He has 179 career goals, 405 career assists, adding up to 584 career points in those games. That puts him at a .93 point-per-game pace against the remaining teams on the Flyers’ slate.
In talking point totals, nine of the remaining 29 games come against teams in the top-5 of points scored against a single team for Giroux. Those teams are the Islanders (54), Penguins (51), Rangers (49), Devils (46), and Hurricanes (44). Rounding out the top-10 are the Capitals (41), Sabres (37), Lightning (36), Maple Leafs (36), and Blue Jackets (30).
All in all, 17 of the final 29 games come against teams on Giroux’s top-10 list mentioned above. While the first 53 games of the season were underwhelming by Giroux’s standards, the last 29 could be the catalyst to get him going, and maybe carry that production into the playoffs.
Mandatory Credit – © David Berding-USA TODAY Sports