Philadelphia Flyers: Giroux is the glue in the gel

(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
(Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images) /

After many questioning Claude Giroux’s abilities, he’s proved everyone wrong and has been the glue that has gelled the Philadelphia Flyers together.

In fairly convincing fashion the Philadelphia Flyers have rattled off three wins at home in the past four days, with their lone road apple being the Pens game where three goals against in less than four minutes knocked them off the tracks and they never recovered.

Most disheartening but the way they rebounded was a breath of fresh air.

When the Flyers lose to their arch rivals, no matter the standings, it’s painful, but they took the loss hard and banded back together with a commitment to details and strong starts in their next two games with the team in New York and the one from St. Louis.

Their third win, however, was against a rested Buffalo team who’ve given the Flyers fits over the past few seasons, including a loss before the Christmas break.

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The Sabres were playing their third in four nights but had Saturday off.  They came to play Sunday afternoon and carried the play for the most part of the first period and the Flyers were lucky to get out of the period in a tie.  The second saw the Flyers picking up their play and getting their second wind.  They started winning more battles, foot races, face-offs and outshooting the Sabres 18-11.

A power-play goal by Sean Couturier from Jakub Voracek and Claude Giroux was a beauty, they had to dig down deep to hold on in the third, however, but they showed character and picked up two empty netters to put an end to the Sabres rally.

Philadelphia Flyers
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Giroux and Couturier are starting to gel for the Philadelphia Flyers.

The duo of Coots and Claude have been the real story behind the wins when they come and the two have really pulled the group together.

Of course, this has been with the help of Voracek and the reappearance of Wayne Simmonds but more of team effort in the wins these last three games.

With Brian Elliott playing well and Michal Neuvirth’s  return between the pipes on Sunday, it seems this team has finally arrived on the same page. The addition of Travis Konecny on the first line contributing and looking more comfortable, as well as the outstanding play of Shayne Gostisbehere and Ivan Provorov, is building the foundation of a good group.  A group that has finally started to gel.

This, when combined with the team’s mentality of sticking together and working their tails off, has put the Flyers right back in the mix for the NHL playoff race.

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The Captain has been superb and playing with that chip on his shoulder that we all love.  Never shall his greatness be questioned again.

He’s brought the best out of this team, with Couturier being the biggest benefactor and within two seasons of maturity and riddance of bad contracts, he will still be playing great hockey and be back in contention for that Holy Grail. Under G’s tutelage, Coots will eventually become the next captain of this team.  We’ll say five seasons from now, after the Cup win….ok maybe six.

And by then Provorov will have earned his second Norris trophy, right after consecutive wins by the Ghost, a first in NHL history, but it all begins with Giroux’s Hart trophy win this year. This, I firmly believe, can happen if Giroux can remain healthy and the team continues to ride on his coattails as they’ve done for the last four seasons.

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For a team in the midsts of an on the run rebuild making the playoffs is a must, and will go along way to keeping the team’s core together.  And if said core can remain healthy, look for Voracek, Simmer, Ghost, Weals, TK and Giroux to turn it up a notch and put the Flyers right back in the playoffs.