For Claude Giroux, the 2013 season stretched beyond the bittersweet finale victory in Ottawa. The captain’s next stop? A trip to the IIHF World Championships with native Canada. Joining Giroux were Flyer teammates Luke Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, and Matt Read.
After a disastrous quarterfinal exit, team Canada left Sweeden and Finland with their tails between their legs. However, after notching eight points as the top center for the Canadians, Claude Giroux left the venue with his head held high.
Five assists and three goals portray a strong campaign from Giroux. Leading Canada to victories over powerhouses Norway and Sweden, Giroux proved to skeptics why he captains the Flyers. His strong point production fueled the Canadians through the group stage, culminating in a 4-1 victory over Belarus.
In the twilight of the 2013 season, Giroux reverted to his usual self. The captain tore through the second half of the regular season. According to Flyers insider Anthony SanFilippo, Giroux notched ten goals, 30 assists, and 40 points from Febuary 12th to the end of the year. Increased production from Jak Voracek and the return of Scott Hartnell ignited Giroux’s season. SanFilippo writes:
“As a matter of fact, if you take Giroux’s pace over those 35 games and stretched it out over an entire 82-game season you’d end up with a 23-goal, 70-assist, 93-point season. His 2011-12 numbers: 28-65-93.”
Evidently, Giroux encountered a bumpy start to the shortened season. However, it was only a matter of time before the captain got his feet moving again. With a additions–such as the signing of David Clarkson–the Flyer offense could take to the skies once again. Lines of Giroux, Voracek, Simmonds, paired with Schenn, Hartnell, and Clarkson could well jet the Flyers back into the Eastern Conference playoffs.
Philadelphia sports fans may finally obtain some good fortune, as their beloved captain looks to be on the rise once again.