Giroux Must Step Up for The Flyers
Going into tonight's Game 4 at the Wells Fargo Center, Flyers' all-star and perhaps a Hart Trophy candidate as the league's most valuable player Claude Giroux has yet to put the puck in the net. If the Flyers want to get back in this series and give themselves an opportunity to advance to the next round, this is something that is going to have to change in a hurry.
While the rest of the Flyers' offense has not been great, it is Giroux that makes the team go. For the past few seasons, not only has he been the best player on this hockey club, but he has been one of the best and most consistent players in the league.
After getting off to an extremely slow start this season, Giroux ended up having one of his best seasons in the league. In playing all 82 regular season games, Giroux finished the season with 86 points (28 goals and 58 assists), good for third in the league.
In this year's postseason, however, he has been quiet. Yes, he has two points, which actually has him tied for the team lead in points, but when one is the club's best player and someone who is considered to be an extremely valuable player, that is not enough.
For Giroux to get going, he has to do a few things. For starters, he needs to start shooting the puck more.
In his team's three games this postseason, Giroux has just two shots. For someone who led the team in goals this season, that number is obviously not going to produce anything.
In the regular season, Giroux was second on the team with 223 shots taken. He is someone that has a great shot and for the Flyers to start wining games in this series, Giroux must start throwing more pucks at the net.
Secondly, team head coach Craig Berube needs to find a way to keep Giroux away from Rangers' defensemen Dan Girardi and Ryan McDonagh. This is the Blueshirts top shutdown pair and through their club's first three games, they have done everything they can to render Giroux useless.
Berube must find the match-ups that will give Giroux all the room he needs to make things happen. With the Flyers being at home, they have the last change so Berube should be able to make this happen.
Lastly, Giroux must start producing on the power play. During the regular season, he was a key contributor on the league's eighth best power play with seven power play goals.
Through three games, the Rangers have done a solid job on the penalty kill and have not given Giroux much room to work with. Going forward in this series, Giroux must find open lanes to either put the puck on net or get passes through to help his team on the offensive side of the puck.
There is no doubt that Giroux is one of the most talented players in the NHL. Now, he just needs to play like it with his team down a game at the most important part of the season.