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Giroux Fails to Lead By Example In Loss

The Flyers have gone into full disappearing mode, and the epidemic has spread to the team's leader.

Before the season started, Claude Giroux was slated to be ready to lead the Flyers, getting endorsements from half the veterans on the team. But in the third game of a young but short season, the captain was completely absent from the game, leaving people wondering what happened to Giroux.

In the Flyers 3-0 loss to New Jersey on Tuesday, Giroux's poor play rubbed off on the rest of the team, including two of the Flyers' young, budding forwards Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier.

Schenn and Couturier played the entire AHL season leading into the January 19 opening date against Pittsburgh. Both should not look lost out on the ice, but both skated their way aimlessly throughout the game. 

In 34 minutes, the two sophomores combined for 34 minutes, a minus-1 and three shots. Schenn did fight Steve Bernier in the final minute of the game, but it was little way too late.

The only thing Schenn did well was lead the team in hits with four.

Going back to Giroux, the captain failed to provide any semblence of a spark. Twice Giroux missed the net, never getting a shot on Devils goaltender Martin Broduer.

The rest of Giroux's line combined for out shots (Scott Hartnell 5, Jakub Voracek 3).

Giroux also racked up a pair of terrible penalties, including a two-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalty for mouthing off at the referees.

In the second period, Giroux and his line found themselves in a 3-on-2 situation after a turnover. After a clean pass from Hartnell, Giroux tried to rip a one-time from the left side and missed the net badly, falling as a result of the follow-through of his shot.

It were those two incidents that summed up Giroux's play. The frustration mounted on Giroux's shoulders during a rough 3-0 defecit and it showed throughout the game.

Fortunately for Giroux, it's still a young season and an extremely young tenure as the captain of the Flyers.

He's had these mental lapses in the past, and will probably have them again in the future. But Giroux will still also let his brilliance show, and that's the side of Giroux the Flyers will need if they look to end their early three-game skid.