Claude Giroux Missing Sochi Olympics Is Good For Philadelphia Flyers

By Steven Smith
Claude Giroux
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

As many know by now, Philadelphia Flyers star captain Claude Giroux was left off of the Canadian roster for the Winter Olympics next month in Sochi, Russia.  An outraged Delaware Valley began to make their anger on the decision very clear in a number of different ways.  While it initially may seem upsetting, Flyers fans should be relieved that Giroux didn’t make the team.

Let’s start with the obvious: Injury.  Sending players to the injury list is something that Philadelphia has had to do more often than not this season, and it’s certainly something they don’t want to encounter with their best player.  There is something about achieving that medal that makes players play harder, faster and ultimately more spontaneously.  With games and practices happening more frequently in a tournament than they would in an NHL season, players don’t have as much time to rest.

Chemistry building with the team is another big aspect to look at.  With five Flyers  gone over the break, some of them veteran leaders, this will give Giroux a great chance to really bond with some players he may not always have a chance to do so with.  Being a captain and a top line priority, Giroux doesn’t always get to blend with the smaller players on the ice.  This will give him a wonderful opportunity to not only build chemistry on the ice with other players but to build stronger relationships with them off it as well.  It may seem like a minor subject to touch on, but nobody wants to play with somebody they don’t get along with.

As ironic as this sounds, Giroux might benefit more if he watches the games.  Think about it this way; all the “best” players in the world are being thrown on the ice at one time.  Various things such as plays, lines, strategies and techniques will be different.  Do you honestly think Canada is going to be playing the same style hockey as the Buffalo Sabres? No.  The Olympics are whole different animal.  By watching the games and studying them, Giroux will have a golden opportunity to build his game by seeing other forms of play from greater competition rather than having to figure it out as he plays.

When you’re an athlete, especially on the professional level, sometimes you need a break from play.  Not going to Sochi means Giroux may get to spend time with family and friends he may not see as often as he’d like.  Perhaps he’ll be able to unwind a bit with a hobby or two.  Anything he can do to relax his body and mind will benefit him.

Steven Smith is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for  Follow him on Twitter and like him on Facebook.

With Giroux being able to rest up it will only make the Flyers stronger when they return from Sochi for a late season and make sure to get your Flyers tickets here.

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