There’s a lot that comes to mind when you think of the Flyers season so far. Among those things are the lack of scoring, the holes on defense, and maybe even the lack of energy.
But through all of those problems one thing is for sure, the captain is leading the way once again.
Claude Giroux has been stepping up to the plate and leading this team in so many ways it’s hard to keep track. In case you were wondering, the captain has already had three multi-point games in December, which leaves him one point behind Shea Weber for the most points in the month of December (Giroux has played one less game than Weber).
The better part for the Flyers is that Giroux has thrived in the face of adversity.
If anyone has missed out this season, the scoring of Jakub Voracek has been nearly non-existent. And incase you forgot, Voracek was Giroux’s linemate for the majority of last season.
Although Voracek has found himself on the score sheet via assists, he hasn’t gotten himself a goal since November 14th, and has been largely quiet for the Flyers this season. Those struggles led Voracek to be demoted to a fourth line role and also led the Flyers to look for a new first line winger to skate alongside Giroux.
It’s hard to forget that just a year ago Voracek and Giroux were one of the top duo’s in the NHL. The former 81 point winger has failed to discover the same success this season, and despite finding himself around the net night in and night out, he still can’t find a way to hit the back of the net. This quote from Philly.com:
“I was laughing,” he said before Tuesday’s game against the Islanders. “That’s all you can do. I mean, even in my first year in the NHL, I’ve never been through such a long stretch with only one goal.”
Voracek also only has one even strength goal in his last 59 games. That’s a very disheartening statistic to a guy who found himself at the top of the scoring charts last season. The lesson from all of this is that Giroux is finding success without the help of Voracek, and while that’s bad news for Voracek, that good news for the Flyers and Claude Giroux.
The goal shown above was just one of the many examples of how Giroux can do it all by himself. The Flyers may not be in a good state right now, but their captain is clicking on all cylinders.
Giroux could be paired with a duo of fourth liners, and the likelihood is, he would still be able to produce and be the Flyers most effective player.
The best part comes when you look deeper into his stats.
Through 29 games, Giroux leads the team in goals (11), assists (16), and points (27). In fact, Giroux has been such a large part of the Flyers recent success, that he has had a hand in 8 of the last 16 Flyer goals. Insane for a guy that has flown under the radar almost all season.
This team can take down some of the best talent in the NHL, yet they have problems taking down some of the least talented teams. Claude Giroux is single handedly leading the charge for this team to make a push for the playoffs. Through 29 games, Giroux has 27 points on one of the lowest scoring teams in the NHL. He is also 11 points ahead of the team’s second leading scorer, Wayne Simmonds. That is largest margin between first and second point getters among teammates in the NHL.
Through a largely disappointing season, Giroux has been the one bright spot for the Philadelphia Flyers. Quite frankly, he is the only reason the Flyers still has a shot at making the playoffs this season. He’s stepping up to the plate, taking the team by the horns, and pointing the team in the right direction.
Matt is a contributor for the Philadelphia Flyers at The Hockey Writers. He has previously covered the Flyers for GrandstandU. He enjoys playing hockey and making music in his spare time.