Ever since Claude Giroux got the “C” on his jersey, his production seems to have gone down, making fans across the NHL question his Elite status.
In 2011-2012, Claude Giroux blossomed into a phenomal forward, scoring 28 goals and 93 points to finish 3rd in NHL scoring behind Pittsburgh Penguins’ Evgeni Malkin and Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos. He played with NHL legend Jaromir Jagr and now ex-Flyer Scott Hartnell, turning Hartnell into a 30 goal scorer and learning from the great Jagr.
Later on that season, he and the Philadelphia Flyers went into the playoffs as massive underdogs against long time rivals, the Pittsburgh Penguins. Giroux displayed dominance throughout the series and accumulated 14 points in only 6 games. Even though they were eliminated by the New-Jersey Devils next round, the Flyers handed Giroux the captaincy.
In 2012-2013, the season was shortened due to a lockout and Giroux finished with a stellar 48 points in 48 games. Note that he injured his wrist playing golf during the offseason.
The next season, it took Giroux 16 games to score his first goal. He was in a slump but quickly came out of it and lead the Flyers to the playoffs after stepping up his game and chalking up 86 points in 82 games. Perhaps getting extra motivation from being left off Team Canada’s Olympic squad.
Last year, it was all about Jake Voracek. The man they call the “Snake” was leading the Flyers, with Giroux finishing 2nd in team scoring with a slim 73 points. Giroux failed to achieve a point-per-game ratio for the first time in three seasons.
Now this season, Giroux seems to have returned to his old form. He currently has 28 points in 30 games, but is contributing much more defensively by playing a lot more on the penalty kill (Where he has 1 goal) and is still a great producer on the man advantage (13 powerplay points). He is also one the best to take faceoffs (58.6 FO percentage).
Are we going to see Giroux lead this team into the playoffs once again?
Brandon Murphy – @2murphy8