There’s no doubt that Claude Giroux didn’t have his best season pointwise. But with an improved team around him, he was able to help out in other ways.
Let’s just come out and say it. The numbers were nowhere near what we’ve seen Claude Giroux post for the Flyers before. His assists stand out the most as they saw a hefty decline from last season. Now 32-years-old, is it fair to say Giroux could be heading into a decline in production?
Looking at just his point totals, the answer would be yes. He posted 102 points just two seasons ago, followed by the 85 he posted last season. And with 53 points currently, that is a huge decline in production. But, we aren’t just looking at his point totals.
The team hasn’t needed Giroux to be the go-to guy this season. Especially with the emergence of Travis Konecny. Sean Couturier has also been a top player this season, despite his numbers dropping as well.
Giroux’s Corsi (54.42) and Fenwick (54.15) still show us that the Flyers generate play extremely well when he is on the ice. The team still scores semi-often when he is on the ice, shown by his 54.22 GF% and 53.89 xGF%. And he was still one of the best on the team in the faceoff dot. He collected a 59.03% mark, second to Couturier. That mark was fourth in the entire league.
Those numbers are better than what he posted a season ago. Most aren’t drastically different, but there was still an improvement. His biggest improvement has come when looking at expected-goals. His mark last season, while sixth on the team, was at 49.77. He had an almost five percent increase this season. He is still sixth in that stat, but it was greatly improved.
With a few more years left on his contract, some may worry that Giroux isn’t doing enough to justify the $8.275M against the cap. Especially since he has a no-movement clause and must be protected in next year’s expansion draft. However, he was still top five in goals, assists, and points this season. And the team is still driving play when he is on the ice, at an even better rate.
He is seemingly no longer needed to do everything for the Flyers. And taking that load off of him can only mean good things in other areas of his game. Not forced to be the team’s top producer every season, he can focus on other things to help the team win. And if that means his play-driving ability increases, then there is nothing to worry about.