Flyers Captain Claude Giroux played in his 400th NHL game today. For Captain Claude, the more important number was two; the two points that the Flyers earned in the second half of a home and home with the Flyers cross state rival Pittsburgh Penguins. In the first half of the weekend series, the Flyers smoked the Penguins 4-0 in Philadelphia. The second game, in Pittsburgh, was a little closer with a final score of 4-3, but Claude and his Flyers team mates will take the win.
Giroux, who was drafted by the Philadelphia Flyers as the twenty second pick n the 2006 NHL Entry Draft immediately made an impression, as Flyer’s General Manager Bobby Clarke forgot his name at the podium. Giroux has been flying just a little under the radar ever since. Giroux was signed to an entry level contract by the Flyers in July of 2007, but was quickly sent back down to the minors. Giroux helped his team, the Gatineau Olympiques win the QMJHL Playoffs, and was named the MVP, setting a franchise record with 17 goals and 34 assists in 19 playoff games.
Giroux had an unremarkable season in 2008-2009, scoring nine goals in 42 games. The 2009-2010 playoffs were Claude Giroux’s coming out party. While the Flyers fell to the Chicago Blackhawks in the Stanley Cup Finals, Claude made his mark in the NHL in Game 3, with a goal in Overtime that nearly blew the roof of the Wells Fargo Center.
Claude Giroux had arrived. The Flyers smartly resigned Giroux to a three year contract in 2010. Giroux would notch 25 goals and 51 assists, and was, deservedly, named to the 2011 NHL All Star team. Giroux solidified his spot as a true NHL force in the 2012 playoff series versus the Pittsburgh Penguins He scored his first NHL hat trick in game two of the series, but it was game six that made the entire NHL stand up and take note of Claude Giroux. During his first shift, he hit Penguins Star Sidney Crosby, who is public enemy number one in Philadelphia. The only thing that could have made the Philadelphia crowd happier was a goal. Giroux delivered that a few seconds later.
The NHL was indeed taking note of Claude Giroux. He graced the cover of EA Sports NHL 2013, beating out the likes of Sidney Crosby and Evgeni Malkin. Giroux, who had become a force in the Flyers locker room, was named the 18th Captan in Flyers history on January 15, 2013. He has since dazzled the league with his soft hands, amazing skating, all while never shying away from the physical play that has long been the hallmark of the Philadelphia Flyers. Yes, Claude Giroux is one of the best players to grace the ice of the NHL. So, you don’t know who Claude Giroux is? Stick around….Captain Claude and his team just swept the Penguins, and are poised to make a deep run in the NHL playoffs.