At the beginning of the regular season, the MVP hopes for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux seemed dashed. However, consistency throughout the middle and end of the regular season saw him climb the points ladder, and before you knew it, the Hart Memorial Trophy talks began.
Now however, Giroux has gone from potential MVP to MIA.
The man who earned his nickname “Captain Clutch” has suddenly become just another guy on the ice. Don’t get me wrong, Giroux has done a solid job of keeping his team in games in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals, but that’s all he’s really done — just enough. Now, the Flyers need him to go above and beyond and live up to his alias.
In just about 55 minutes of ice time between three games, Giroux has shown good leadership. He’s said the right things, directed lines on the ice, but hasn’t really shown much with his skills. The leadership part is proven with his +3 rating, but he’s only managed to tally two assists in the series so far and remains goalless. However, that’s not even the worst of it. Giroux has only taken two shots the entire series. That’s right, two.
Giroux was clearly Philadelphia’s best offensive threat throughout the regular season, and there is no reason why he shouldn’t be in the playoffs. Heading into this year’s playoff run, Giroux had played in 50 career playoff games. In those 50 games, he totaled 55 points (21 goals, 34 assists). The skill is there, it’s just a matter of him waking up in time to save the Flyers.
Matchups have been a slight issue for the Flyers so far in this series. Craig Berube may want to consider some line changes. If they’re not working right now, he has nothing to lose. Perhaps it’s a different pairing that will help spark Giroux. Either way, he needs to dig deeper and show up big-time in Game 4.