The trio of Giroux, Jagr and Harnell has combined nearly 40 percent of the Flyers team goals, have a combined rating of plus 33, average ice time of over eighteen minutes and an amazing collective tally of 91 points. I’m extremely surprised at all of the people who claim that Jagr and Harnell only play well because of the ability of Giroux. I don’t think taking one man out of the equation is going to harm this team too much. Yes they might have difficulty scoring that many goals but to say that the whole offensive line will collapse it totally absurd.
All this talk about Couturier only being 19 years old; I think the kid has shown incredible talent and under the wing of the veteran Jagr, he will only get better. You obviously are well aware of the fact that Jagr has had a big hand in transforming Giroux into a superstar and he will do the same with Couturier. The kid can boast having the experience of playing with one of NHL’s all-time bests at just the tender age of 19.
And I don’t think there is any better way to test a young guy than to throw him into the deep end. If he can deliver clutch performances during this crucial period in the absence of one of their best then he can deliver anywhere. Nothing can better a Baptism by fire. The way Couturier has been performing when given a chance has helped a long way into me forming a positive opinion of him. The Flyers surely have their future secured.
In addition to this the Flyers have always taken great pride in their squad depth. They have 15-20 goal scorers every season so this talk about the Flyers being a one man offense is totally laughable. People who do realize that we have different scorers attribute it to Giroux and his vast array of weapons. I love Giroux a lot and admit to the fullest extent what an amazing player he is but saying that he is the only reason the goals are coming does not sit down well with me.
Giroux’s absence means that the teams might gamble on allocating their better resources elsewhere and the Flyers can capitalize on it and take everyone by surprise. Opponents will get minimal time to adjust and this is where the Flyers can take the game to the opposition.
The Flyers have the right mix of experience and youthfulness. The Flyers can boast having the creative energy as well as the experienced solidity. I’m sure Jagr will be instructed to take more time on the puck and take more shots. The Flyers do get the edge here again as teams will have to re-strategize against Jagr and the Flyers can use it to their fullest advantage.
All in all, I believe the Flyers have enough in their barrel to keep at pace at the top of the Atlantic Division and even clinch it without Giroux. Although his return will be a welcome return, the Flyers can almost certainly continue at the same level without him.