To start the season, many Philadelphia Flyers fans were left looking for more.
Heck, they were often left looking for anything, especially on the offensive end.
Superstar, Claude Giroux performed one of the best disappearing acts of the year, as he was incredibly quite for the first few months of the year. Just six points and a negative seven plus/minus, Giroux was looking to be one of the biggest fantasy busts of the season. But apparently, people forgot two very important things.
It’s early and it’s Claude Giroux.
The Flyers are hot, folks. They have re-asserted themselves as a contender out of the Eastern Conference, and while the goaltending of Steve Mason has been huge for this team, it’s been the rejuvenated offense that has provided the largest spark. Fantasy owners who have invested in some of the orange and black’s pieces have been handsomely rewarded as of late.
Let’s start with the captain, shall we?
Giroux is a star. Even when he’s struggling to get the offense going, you know it’s coming because he is simply far too talented. It happened, as he now has a strong 42 points through 48 games. He had an outstanding month of December, posting 19 points in 14 games. During that month, he rode an impressive 9-game point streak, and really reminded everyone why he is considered a star in this league. He’s gotten his confidence back, but a large contributor to his offensive output has been the Flyers tendency to get on the man advantage. On the season, only the Sharks are seeing more power play opportunities than the Flyers (182). They are also averaging seven shots on goal per power play attempt, which is also the second-most in hockey. Giroux, of course, is the anchor of the man advantage, as he sees plenty of ice time (21:02 per game). He now has 11 multi-point games, which ranks just outside the top-20 in the league, despite his weak start.
But he hasn’t been doing it alone.
I wrote about the commission of the Wayne Train about a week ago, and he continues to dominate on the ice. His versatility continues to warrant fantasy owners attention, as he is one of only five players who have nine or more goals to go along with 65-plus penalty minutes. Yes, in some leagues, you are actually rewarded for trips to the box. However, it’s been his offensive touch that continues to headline fantasy pages. Simmonds has at least one point in all but two games this month, and is coming off of a three-point night on Thursday evening. He’s now on pace for a strong 27 goals, 32 assists, 59 points and 131 penalty minutes. His untapped power play potential continues to be highlighted by the Flyers, as Simmer and Giroux have been a deadly pair on the man advantage, scoring nine power play goals where both players notch a point.
The Flyers offense has come around, and fantasy owners can finally breathe a sigh of relief.
Adam Pfeifer is a featured fantasy sports columnist for Rant Sports.
You can follow him on Twitter @aPfeiferRS.