Better With Popcorn

Giroux Has to Be Better and the Fans Know It

It is always tough to be captain in a big sports town. Fans expect a lot from them.

That is not more evident in many other sports towns than it is in Philadelphia. Philadelphia fans want to see heart, determination, commitment and performance in their captain. When he is not showing all of those things, fans will be unhappy. 

It is not unreasonable either. When the playoffs roll around, your best players have to be your best players, and your leaders have to step up even more. 

And while the defense of the New York Rangers has been absolutely outstanding at clogging up any inch of open ice and has been blocking shot after shot, the offense for the Philadelphia Flyers needs to be much better. 

With the Flyers down 2-1 in their series with the New York Rangers and coming off a dreadful 4-1 loss at home, fans want their number one guy to step up. That guy of course is captain Claude Giroux. 

Giroux currently has two shots in three games. The only Flyer with less is defensive defenseman Nicklas Grossmann. Giroux also has no goals and two assists. Although, it is important to note that both assists are secondary. 

Among all the captains for teams currently leading their series (or assistant captains for the Rangers), every single forward has more points than Giroux with the exception of David Backes, who has played one less game and even a little less due to his injury in Game 2 against Chicago.

Even the captains of losing teams all have more points than Giroux. This includes the Lightning who have been eliminated. The only teams not included are the Red Wings since Henrik Zetterberg is out and the Blue Jackets since they have four players wearing A’s. 

This is why fans want Giroux to step up. It does not mean that he is the only Flyer who has been struggling, but he is as important as any captain is to his team. 

When you look across the league, captains are often the best player on each team. It is not the old fashioned gritty leader anymore.

Look at Pittsburgh, Chicago and Colorado. Those three players are not the most vocal. They are not expected to give speeches or have a ton to say to the media. They are players who are expected to lead out on the ice. That is what being a captain is about for the most part today. 

Giroux is undoubtedly the best player the Flyers have. And that is why everyone is so frustrated. It is not a captain controversy or having unrealistic expectations just because of the C. It is all about expecting your best player to be your best player. 

As of right now, no Flyer has stood out as the best offensive performer through three games. Is it Jake Voracek for his team leading two points? Is it Streit, MacDonald, and Schenn for being the three defensemen with goals? No one has been stellar. No one has more than one goal. 

The problem as a whole is that the Flyers are struggling to score and not a single forward has taken the reigns. Right now it is understandable that many are hoping Giroux will step up and do just that.

Since he is the best player on the Flyers, the expectations for Giroux are natural. 

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Alicia Sprenkle
Staff Writer
Twitter: @Activestick_44@TCLFlyers