Claude Giroux: “Know I Gotta Step It Up”
Claude Giroux knew the Flyers had to be better in Game 3 after a sluggish performance in Game 2 resulted in a 4-1 loss versus New Jersey.
It didn't happen, not he knows he needs to be the guy to step up if the Flyers want to advance to the Eastern Conference Finals.
More seriously speaking, while we commend Claude for owning his baggage here, I’m pretty sure the free, Flyers Nation would much rather have seen the guy own the Devils in the team’s 4-3 OT loss last night — or at any point in the series.
Said Giroux: “Yeah I know I gotta step it up. I gotta be a better player. I’m aware of that. Just gotta find a way.”
Again, which is great.
But for a guy who’s basically been tapped as The Next Coming Of Clarke to throw only eight — EIGHT!!! — pucks on net all series and champion a 2-for-16 power play effort (even if they’re doing it against the squad that set the all-time mark for whiting out penalties in the regular season) is woefully subpar. Especially when they went 12-for-23, like, 14 seconds ago (in the Eastern Conference Quarters against the Penguins).
Last night wasn’t an exception. Giroux had only two shots (none on power plays) on 37 shifts and 27 minutes, 26 seconds of ice time. He went 10-for-22 on face-offs, for a dreadful 45.5 percent.
(Cuing Mike Singletary here…) Can’t do it. Can’t coach with ‘em. Can’t win with ‘em.
Which isn’t to say that Giroux isn’t coachable. (Or the knucklehead that Vernon Davis was.)
But effort? Save for Lavy’s between-play pontification — which, for record, didn’t help on the team’s 30-second timeout in overtime that was, basically, 30 seconds before their first (of two) power play o-fers — you can’t coach that up. That’s gotta come from an inner drive — and having a gas tank that’s not cleaning itself out looking for something to burn.
No doubt the Flyers have the will. Just don’t they have the fuel. They’re dried up.
Though, and I guess you gotta give the guy props for this, Giroux thinks otherwise:
“Well I guess we’re down 2-to-1. I guess pressure’s on us, you’re right.
“There’s no guy on this team that’s gonna quit, and there’s gonna be a wake-up call that we have a good series now. They’re a good team, they can score goals, they can play good defensively.
“I think we need to wake it up a little bit.”
Or a lotta bit.
(This article was written by Matt Hammond, you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org)