It is a bit strange that Claude Giroux has yet to score a home goal at even-strength this season. But if this random coincidence is being used to reduce the captain’s effectiveness for the Flyers, the whole story isn’t being accurately considered. What exactly does the 27-year-old forward’s five-on-five numbers say?
With a 17-8-5 home record, 61 percent of Philadelphia’s 65 total points have been collected at home. The Flyers have eight more wins at the Wells Fargo Center than on the road, and have scored 11 more even-strength goals at home there as well.
Philly’s 49.8 percent SAT percentage* at home is 0.2 percent lower than their overall 49.10 percent mark, the difference between a league-wide rank of 23rd and 22nd.
This small collection of statistics confirms what we already know: the Flyers are better at home than they are on the road.
But despite Giroux’s 57 points, which ties him with Anaheim’s Ryan Getzlaf for 13th in the NHL, much of the attention appears to be locked in on the captain’s goose egg at home in the even-strength goal department.
Sure, it’s perplexing. But is it more of an odd occurrence – or lack thereof – than anything else?
The Giroux-Voracek pairing has been together since 2012-13 and was an effective pair, with both sitting among the NHL’s scoring leaders all season.
Yet the two of them have hit the skids — just two even-strength goals since the Christmas break as a tandem. — Tim Panaccio, CSN Philly
While Claude Giroux has yet to find the back of the net at home in five-on-five settings, the captain has arguably been better on Broad Street.
Of the Philadelphia forwards who have skated in 20 games or more, Giroux’s even-strength 54.1 percent home SAT percentage trails only Michael Raffl’s 56.2 percent. Keep in mind that Giroux has not only played nine more games than the Flyers’ young Austrian, but skates against tough competition, trailing only Sean Couturier and Matt Read’s time on ice competition percentage.
Giroux’s SAT percentage on the road, however, dips to 52.4 percent – not a drastic drop off, but a decline nonetheless. Compared to Raffl’s 59.5 percent, and Jakub Voracek’s 54.6 percent five-on-five SAT percentage, it’s evident that Giroux is more aggressive on the offensive side of the ice at home than on in another team’s building.
“We’re not playing bad right now,” said Giroux last week of he and Jake Voracek’s recent struggles. “It’s just not going in.”
That’s where the PDO factor comes into play. Giroux’s even-strength home PDO of 99.6 percent trails eight other forwards in orange and black with 20 or more games, including Scott Laughton, who has a total of two goals and four assists in 31 games.
On the road, however, Giroux’s PDO jumps to 101.1 percent, trailing only Couturier, Voracek, and surprisingly, R.J. Umberger.
This better explains Giroux’s five-on-five goal drought at home, although it remains a bit of an anomaly. Last season, it took the star forward 18 games to net his first goal of the season. And while much of that can be dumped on an offseason injury suffered on the golf course, Giroux’s overall production hasn’t suffered since.
As the Flyers sit six points out of a playoff spot through Feb. 22’s action, the Flyers’ second leading scorer would much rather lead his team to the playoffs than acquire personal accolades anyway.
“Play smart,” Giroux recently said. “Play for each other.”
Aside from leading the NHL in points since his first season as the team’s top line center, Claude Giroux has improved his overall game with each passing year. Currently in his seventh full season, the Hearst, Ontario native has been leaned on more than ever this season as the team he leads fights for a playoff spot.
“I think he leads by example every night on the ice,” said Flyers coach Craig Berube of his star captain. “That’s what captains are supposed to do, and he does it. And he is producing. He’s had a real good year. I think his game is really more rounded than it was last year. He is a better defensive player than he was last year in my opinion.”
Giroux’s 29 power play points leads the league, which has pushed the Flyers’ power play to their third ranked 23.6 percent power play percentage. So while number 28 hasn’t lit the lamp at home at five-on-five this season, seven of his 17 goals scored through Feb. 22 have been potted at home via the man advantage.
Over the past three seasons, no player in the NHL has more power-play points than Giroux, who has piled up a whopping 120 points with the man advantage in that span. Washington Capitals’ Alexander Ovechkin, who is next on this list, trails Giroux by 14 points. It’s not even close. — Brady Trettenero, Flyers Nation
While those numbers are not updated through Feb. 22’s action, the main point remains – Giroux is dominant on the power play. Impressive as it is by itself, Giroux’s value doesn’t dry up there.
Giroux doesn't get the same treatment as other superstars but make no mistake, he's a superstar. He does it all, battles his ass off. Leader
— PuckSauce (@FlyersPuckSauce) December 22, 2014
Used in all situations, Giroux is Philadelphia’s true work horse. The right handed stick handler sees an average increase of 4:20 to his five-on-five average ice time per 60 minutes thanks to his special teams deployment, while his 20:49 of total time on ice trails only Mark Streit and Michael Del Zotto for the team lead in average playing time.
Because of his skill to score, defend, and win faceoffs, the face of the Flyers organization has also racked up a proportionate amount of offensive and defensive zone starts. Through Feb. 22, Giroux has seen 645 offensive zone starts, 362 neutral zone starts, and 489 defensive starts, while leading the NHL with 772 faceoff wins.
With 434 points in 474 NHL regular season games, Giroux’s home goalless drought at even-strength shouldn’t be an issue. Especially with his 61 points in 57 career playoff games added to the equation. Six of those points, of course, came in setting a franchise record in Game 2 of the 2012 Conference Quarterfinal against the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Based on his complete past body of work, Claude Giroux doesn’t have to score a single five-on-five home goal to be validated. Then again, based on what he’s accomplished, that’s what makes this scenario so strange.
Perhaps that is why this is being discussed in the first place.
*SAT percentage can be found on NHL.com under the new “enhanced” setting under statistics. SAT stands for “shot attempts for,” otherwise known as “Corsi for.” Further information can be found here.
*Home/Away and PDO statistics gathered from War-on-Ice.
11 thoughts on “The True Even-Strength Story of Claude Giroux”
I got your email, and appreciate the response but how can you say you( meaning me) are entitled to your opinion ( that Giroux is overrated) and then blast that opinion calling it absurd? Then I see that all the comments on your article from yesterday have magically disappeared ( who mostly had similar posts, though I took the time to prove what I said). So you censure all alternate opinions? Pretty petty and childish if you can’t leave your posts up. Then again living in this city sometimes I am embarrassed by the media and how much they try to shove crap down your throat and are not t man enough to listen to other opinions.
From Admin: The comments have not been removed. We have upgraded our system this morning and the old comments are being Imported. They should all return later today.
then I apologize to all of you and would like you to remove the above comment. sorry
I’ll remove them – and this one, just sending it as an FYI. You should see the old comments back by this afternoon.
then I’d hate to see what that team would be.
let’s look at the teams around the league and see where Claude would fit on them….
Giroux would be a #3 center on Pitts. behind Crosby ( who leads the point total for past-3 yrs, Giroux is 5th) and Malkin. A #3 on Detroit behind Datsuyk and Zetterberg, # 2 on Chicago behind Toews( at least you got that right), a # 2 behind Stamkos on Tampa. a 2ND center on the Bruins behind Bergeron ( 2 time selke award, underated offensively) @nd on LA behind Kopitar ( see a trend here…great centers with defensive responsibility, also on teams of last 5 Stanley cup teams). #2 behind Getzlaf on the Ducks. And lastly, #2 behind John Tavares on the islanders..
underrated? Can’t even crack top ten at his position.
Playing for a team with deficiencies? What the hell has Tavares been doing? ( exception of this year) and still has a higher PPG than Giroux. Hell, Okposo goes down, and what does Tavares do, Wilt under the pressure of extra defensive pressure? Nope, just puts the team on his back and goes on a tear and leap frogs Giroux in the scoring race. Oh and he has scored 5 on 5 at home this year.
Not a Giroux hater, great player but he has a long list of better players ahead of him. And Way Overrated!
I appreciate you reading, as well as your feedback. And while you are most certainly entitled to your opinion, I find calling Claude Giroux “overrated” flat out absurd.
If I was starting a team right now, the only player I’d take over Giroux would be Toews. NO ONE else has as complete of a game in the same sphere as Giroux. Stamkos, Crosby, Getzlaf, Nash, Begeron-all very good players, but not Giroux level. There is a reason he’s scored more points over the last 4 years than EVERYONE ELSE in the NHL…all while playing on a team with very serious deficiencies. Underrated.
Make that “ANYONE else”…
state all the stats you want but it only proves that he is only the best player on the ice when the other teams have one less player on the ice. true elite superstars find ways or work harder to create that separation 5 on 5. he’s very good but not elite. Actually over-rated.
maybe it takes him longer to sober up at home.
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