Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux returned to the ice Thursday and made an instant impact. He rang a shot off the post and also added an assist in an overall impressive return from injury.
The Flyers will go as far as the captain Giroux takes them. He is what makes the engine run for this franchise. After an incredible series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, head coach Peter Laviolette once deemed Giroux “the best player on the planet.” He will need to be that and more for the Flyers to come out of an Eastern Conference that boasts some stiff competition.
The Flyers have added some reinforcements in the offseason to make sure that their season doesn’t end in disappointment two years in a row. Those names include Mark Streit, Vinny Lecavalier, and goaltender Ray Emery. They also have their top defensemen such as Braydon Coburn, Nicklas Grossmann, and Andrej Meszaros back healthy in what should be a huge boost to the blue line.
There is no reason why this Flyers team with a group of promising young forwards like Brayden Schenn, Jakub Voracek, and Sean Couturier shouldn’t once again contend this season with these new additions.
The Flyers boast some of the best young talent in the league. Streit gives them the puck moving defenseman they desperately needed, Lecavalier brings that veteran leadership that the Flyers lost with Danny Briere‘s departure. Finally, and the 25 year old captain Giroux is the man that makes it all come together as the glue of the team.
The Flyers are also counting on a young goalie tandem of Emery and young upstart Steve Mason to produce wins. The Flyers seem to have the right mix of pieces in place to contend in the East. It is now their job to go out, play 60 minutes of hockey each night, and finally bring Lord Stanley’s Cup home to Philly.