The hockey world is full of people who process and assess the game differently. Some people rely more on what they see with their eyes, while others lean on numbers. Some people feel a team should stay patient and allow prospects to develop, while others want to see their team constantly contend through making trades and signing free agents. We are no different here at Pod Street Bullies. We all have our own opinions and view the Philadelphia Flyers in different ways.
Eamon Smith and I certainly have different approaches to analyzing the Flyers and hockey in general. We have a lot of great discussions sharing our thoughts and giving each other different viewpoints. Now, we are taking those conversations to email and sharing them with you, the reader. Enjoy
Talkin’ Claude Giroux
John: I felt like this week was a good time to dive into an individual player. Whenever the Flyers struggle, I feel like a natural reaction is to single out Claude Giroux and assess his role in the team’s failures. I am totally guilty of it. I look at this team struggling with some of the same things that plagued them in the postseason last year, and I automatically want to blame the captain. It’s become such a natural reaction of mine I don’t even know if it’s justified. What are your thoughts on Giroux and his performance thus far?
Eamon: I won’t lie, as a big Giroux defender, I’ve not been incredibly pleased with his performance so far. He’s had a few games where he looked good, especially when playing with Hayes and Farabee, but he’s never
looked all that dominant or game-changing aside from that one snipe the other night against the Bruins. I love G, but I think we’re starting to see him settle into his late-career role as a second-line forward who can do a little bit of everything, rather than being a star. He’s still great on the powerplay and has his moments, but for
people expecting him to score more, I don’t know if relief is coming.
John: I totally agree with you. On the ice, he is not the same player he used to be. Honestly, that really should not come as much of a shock to people. It happens as a player’s prime becomes a thing of the past. There seems to be this incorrect notion that being the captain of the team, he is supposed to fix everything through his leadership example. People are getting fed up with continued struggles of this team under this core. I understand it; however, at the same time, I am not really sure what Claude Giroux can do specifically.
Eamon: Hockey is a sport that relies upon the execution of a team, not a single player. How anyone can watch a Flyers game and tell me that Claude Giroux isn’t/hasn’t been leading by example his entire career
is beyond me; despite having some flaws in his career, G has always been a guy who gives incredible effort to go along with his skill. If the team isn’t responding to that, I think that says more about the players around the captain than whether he’s doing his job as a leader; there’s a reason that Giroux has the longest tenure of any
player while wearing the C, and if he were truly the reason for the failures that we’ve seen in the recent past something would have been done about that.
John: People also seem to misunderstand the role of a captain. They see the “C” on a sweater and automatically jump to this notion that he is the best player on the ice. Although that can sometimes be the case, it is not always true. Not every top talent in the NHL has the leadership qualities to assume the role of captain. Now, at one point, Claude Giroux was the best player on the Flyers. However, that really isn’t the case anymore. That certainly doesn’t mean that he is not a valuable contributor to the team. People need to alter their expectations with him creeping into the later years of his career.