Frustrations for Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux hit a season high this week, which is saying something considering the season he’s had.
Giroux started the season without a goal in his first 15 games, as the Flyers stumbled out to a 4-wins-in-15-games start that cost coach Peter Laviolette his job. This week, he left the media hanging after the Flyers’ 3-0 loss to the New Jersey Devils, drawing the ire of critics. (He’d face the scribes the next day after practice.)
The Flyer faced the Edmonton Oilers on Saturday afternoon and maybe, just maybe, the worst is behind Giroux. Because he luck changed a bit in their 4-2 victory.
First there was this “head shot” from Anton Belov that earned him a match penalty for targeting the noggin:
Remember, the revamped Rule 48 stats that “a hit resulting in contact with an opponent's head where the head was the main point of contact and such contact to the head was avoidable” will earn a match penalty.
But unless Giroux is some circus freak with his head growing out of his shoulder, it wasn’t the main point contact. Expect that match penalty to be rescinded.
The penalty helped lead to Giroux finally scoring a goal this season, during a 4-on-4 session following a Wayne Simmonds cross-checking penalty:
So there you go: Giroux finally ties Mike Smith and Cam Janssen in the race for the Rocket Richard.
And the Flyers, despite all of this, move to within four points of the No. 4 seed in the Metropolitan Division. The Southeast didn’t leave the NHL, it just changed its name.