Going into last night’s contest, the Philadelphia Flyers were slumping. Having lost four straight games, the Flyers found themselves out of a playoff spot and falling fast. The upcoming schedule looked bleak and Claude Giroux had been relatively quiet in 10 straight games (only 1G and 7A). After Saturday’s terrible loss to the Boston Bruins, the captain had this to say:
It has to be the most embarrassing game I’ve been involved with . . .We knew what to do, we know how to play. We don’t need to say anything we just need to go out there and play, and do the right things out there.
Giroux was clearly dejected in his post game interview and the captain knew what the team needed to do. But on Tuesday night, Giroux went out there and backed up his words with action. The captain had two assists and scored a goal. On top of that, he was all over the ice. He had numerous hits and takeaways while creating an abundance of scoring chances. Giroux is turning into a quality captain and the players are following him.
Take a look at how the team does when Giroux plays well.
When Giroux scores: 12-2-1
When Giroux earns multiple points: 12-2-0
When Giroux earns no points: 6-11-3
Although correlation does not prove causation, I would submit that Giroux truly does have a winning effect on his teammates. Giroux is a catalyst and his teammates follow him. When Giroux plays well, they respond and play well.
There are numerous events that prove Giroux’s effect on his teammates. First among them is their reaction to his first goal. The team went crazy. Steve Mason skated to the bench to congratulate Giroux and it was clearly a turning point in the season. The reaction of the team to Giroux’s first goal is evidence of his leadership and attitude.
Second, the reaction to his Olympic snub. In general, the team did not have nice things to say about the ommission. You can read what a lot of the players had to say here. Obviously, the players love their captain and wanted to see him represent Canada.
There are plenty of other reasons why Giroux has become a good captain. He certainly has faced his share of adversity since being given the ‘C’ at the beginning of last year, but he has handled it well and is the undisputed leader of the Philadelphia Flyers. Both on and off the ice.