NAME: Claude Giroux
POSITION: Right Wing
Regular Season Statistics: 82 Games Played – 16 Goals, 31 Assists, 47 Points. -9.
Analysis: Much like the situation with Scott Hartnell, Claude Giroux was expected to produce a lot more this season given the fact that the Flyers had lost two of their top scorers (Joffrey Lupul, Mike Knuble) in the off-season. While he didn’t have as poor a regular season as Hartnell did, I think Giroux definitely left a lot to be desired with his regular season performance this past year. There certainly were games when Giroux’s presence on the ice was, for all extensive purposes, invisible, and it frustrated the fans beyond belief. For a guy who was the team’s best forward in their first round playoff series against Pittsburgh in the previous season, Giroux certainly didn’t live up to the lofty goals set for him in the regular season. He had his moments, that’s for sure, but there weren’t nearly enough of them. As a result, he once again became subject to trade rumors at the deadline, with many teams knowing the Flyers’ need for a goaltender may be enough to pry Giroux off their hands. However, Giroux stayed with the Flyers at the deadline, and steadied the course so much so that he wound up having a pretty solid second half of the season (post-Olympic Break) in Orange and Black.
Postseason Statistics: 23 Games Played – 10 Goals, 11 Assists, 21 Points. +7.
Analysis: What we saw from Claude Giroux in the playoffs is what we knew we had the capability of seeing in the regular season. The speed and skill of the slick winger came to the forefront as the Orange and Black came within two wins of hoisting their first Stanley Cup in 35 years. Still, Giroux wasn’t at fault for the end result. In fact, without him, the argument can certainly be made that the Flyers would never have been in the position in the first place. He finished with 6 points in the 5-game Devils series, 5 points in the 7-game Bruins series, and 4 points in the 6-game Blackhawks series, capped off by winning Game Three in overtime on a redirection that brought the series from 2-0 to 2-1 in favor of Chicago.
FINAL GRADE: B+
Reasoning: Once again, we’ll head into this season with high expectations for Giroux. We’ve seen now in spurts over the past two years how he has the ability to become the best player on the ice and take over a game. However, will we have the Giroux we saw this past regular season appear again this coming year? Or will it be a different Giroux, one that knows his contract is up and will want to be paid like a 70-80 point guy, not a 40-50. He’s a great player and he can be a great player consistently in this league. I don’t question the size of his heart or his desire to win. I know he’s all about the W at the end of the day. I just hope that he can bring the consistency of a terrific effort night in and night out to the Flyers on a daily basis next season. If he does, they most certainly are capable of accomplishing some very impressive feats, and perhaps, take the next step to glory.