Philadelphia Flyers: Just What Exactly Is Wrong With Claude Giroux?

By Randy Holt
Claude Giroux
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

The Philadelphia Flyers are off to an absolutely miserable start this season. There’s no sugarcoating that. They’ve managed to grab just two out of a possible 12 points this season, going 1-5-0 so far in the young 2013-14 campaign. One player taking a great deal of heat for their struggles is none other than captain Claude Giroux.

When the Flyers missed the postseason last year, Giroux caught some flak as well. That criticism came despite the fact that he notched exactly a point per game, going for 48 points in 48 games, including 13 goals and 35 assists, in the lockout shortened campaign. The main criticism there was his lack of pucks in the net. This season, he’s off to a much slower start.

Giroux has posted only one point so far this season, and that single point came in the Flyers’ most recent contest, which was a 5-2 loss on Saturday. He’s still over 50 percent in the faceoff circle, though his other numbers include a minus-3 rating and only 16 shots on the year.

Attempting to discover what exactly is causing Giroux to get off to such a slow start is difficult. Yes, he did sustain an offseason injury in a freak golf cart accident that ended up requiring surgery. He did get some time in the preseason, though, and injury probably isn’t a valid excuse for his woes at this point.

This is a guy who is only one season removed from a 93-point campaign, in which he found the back of the net 28 times and added 65 helpers. All three of those figures represent career highs for the Flyers’ captain. He’s in his final year of his current deal before his contract extension, which will pay him over $8 million a year.

If the Flyers are going to turn it around, it starts with Giroux. We don’t know what exactly is plaguing him. It could be health related, but it could also be a matter of him simply needing to snap out of an early funk. That can turn around with one strong outing. If that’s the case, the Flyers better hope that night comes sooner, rather than later. The longer Giroux struggles, the longer the Flyers could remain in their current tailspin.

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