Giroux Hoping to Jump-Start Even Strength Production
PHILADELPHIA — Ask Claude Giroux about his personal play and the answer starts with “we” instead of “I.”
It’s not so much him deflecting the question as it is his care for the team game is greater than an individual effort.
“We’re here to win, right?” he said. “I don’t do it on purpose.”
The reason that the captain’s play has come to be questioned is basically his play at even strength. Eleven of his 19 points heading into Tuesday’s action have come on the power play. He’s had multiple left wingers and right wingers this season and it hasn’t had a huge effect on his performance.
“I know I can play better,” Giroux said. “You just try to do the best you can to help the team win. Whatever it is, whether it’s playing defense or playing offense, whatever the situation might be, you just have to make sure you’re ready to go.”
The big expectation this season was for Giroux’s line to take a huge piece of the scoring responsibilities and it’s mainly happened on the man advantage and not at even strength. It’s been exacerbated by the fact that the Flyers’ bottom two lines haven’t provided much offense and the second line hasn’t exactly had the scoring threat that most other NHL teams have.
So what is the biggest indicator to Giroux about how well he’s playing?
“You just know after a game you made the little plays that people may not see. The plus-minus, I think, is pretty key,” Giroux said. “When you’re on the ice, obviously sometimes they score and you’re on the ice and it’s not your fault, but most of the time you’re part of the play so I think it’s important that your plus-minus is good. It’s not where I want it to be right now, but as a team we’re improving, going in the right direction and I think we’re going to be good.”
His coach seems to think there’s improvement also.