Claude Giroux is having easily the most frustrating season of his career. His team is in dead last in the Metropolitan division, dead last in goals per game with 1.47.
But one thing is for sure, Giroux is the only player on the Philadelphia Flyers that deserves the “C” on his sweater. There is no one on the team currently that has the right to lead this team into the unknown future than this man.
Yes his stats have gone down since becoming the captain, no doubt about it but I personally believe that it’s not because he his wearing the “C” and he has “unneeded” pressure. It’s through the pressure of his own standards to be the best player in the world, which he isn’t and will not be while Crosby and Ovechkin are playing in the NHL.
Giroux needs to find his swagger back, playing simple hockey, even at this point, getting selfish with the puck. He needs to quit trying to make the cute and unnecessary passes and shoot the puck on net and create chances for himself and his teammates at the same time. It sounds weird I know, but the Flyers have to find some way to get pucks on and in the net, Giroux will be that guy.
Paul Holmgren brought former captains of the Tampa Bay Lightning and New York Islanders, Vinny Lecavalier and Mark Streit in not for the purpose of being fail safe captains but to help Giroux develop his leadership role on HIS team. Claude Giroux is the Philadelphia Flyers, not Lecavalier, not Streit.
Following last nights game against the New Jersey Devils, in which the team suffered another loss, Giroux and the Flyers held a players only meeting. Following the meeting, Giroux refused to speak to the media and the scrutiny he has seen because of this is ridiculous.
Former Flyers captain Chris Pronger loathed the media. He hated talking to them and fueling fire to a Philadelphia media. And yet no one really bashed him for it. He lead his way for the team, despite in being cut short to concussions.
Giroux has taken a page out of Pronger’s leadership ways and done the same thing. Shunning the media and finding a way to lead this team. He’s in his second year in his first stint as a captain of a team. He’s still adapting and he will break out sooner or later. With a team in last place, a captain’s first concern shouldn’t be talking to the media, it should be finding ways to right the ship that is the Flyers.
The entire Philadelphia Flyers organization is a mess right now. They don’t seem to have put the right personal on the ice to win games, but one thing they got right was putting the “C” on Claude Giroux’s sweater. Make no mistake about it.