After two straight season-opening losses, some people might wonder how Philadelphia Flyers‘ new captain Claude Giroux might be singled out for his leadership skills. Well, one man can lead a team, but he can’t play every position on it.
The decision to shift the “C” from Chris Pronger to Giroux was one that began developing last season. It was evident after “Prongs” was sidelined with an eye injury and subsequent concussion issues that “G” was the Flyers’ clear leader. Working in tandem with Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell, Giroux became one of the National Hockey League‘s most dynamic players in 2011-12.
While Hartnell had been a good player since coming over from the Nashville Predators, along with Kimmo Timonen in June 2007, it was the presence of number 68 that helped him to elevate his game. Both he and Giroux made the All-Star team last year and more importantly, they each gained a higher level of confidence in their abilities.
Giroux, entering this season as a two-time All-Star and now widely recognized as one of the elite forwards in the NHL, has humbly accepted the responsibilities of leading the Flyers’ brigade. With nearly 300 regular season games listed on his digital resume and an ever-steady demeanor, this 25-year old has embraced the challenge of fronting one of hockey’s most iconic franchises.
The two goals that number 28 has scored through the team’s first two games didn’t alter the outcome of either contest, but underscored that his offensive game hasn’t been affected by the responsibility that is displayed on the upper-left part of his chest. As the shortened schedule plays out, Giroux only needs to maintain good health in order to remain at the top of his orange and black game.