The past campaign was Claude Giroux’s worst offensive season since his sophomore year, but the 28-year-old says he’s feeling ready for 2016-17.
Claude Giroux is coming off of his worst offensive season since his sophomore year and looking to rebound in 2016-17. That will start with the World Cup of Hockey, and Giroux sounds ready to go, especially as the hip injury that was bothering him has been taken care of.
Following the announcement and introduction of the Flyers’ 50th anniversary jerseys, Giroux told media that he’s fully recovered from off-season surgeries that took care of a hip ailment and an abdominal tear that required surgeries to fix. Giroux said that as the season approaches, he’s feeling 100 percent.
"It's been a long road, but I was in good hands with the trainers in Philly,” Giroux said, according to Philly.com’s Sam Carchidi. “And I also got a lot of help [during rehabilitation] in Ottawa and right now I feel really good.”
A healthy Giroux couldn’t be better news for the Flyers or their faithful, either, because the past season was a tough one for the 28-year-old pivot.
In the five seasons leading up to the 2015-16 campaign, Giroux was the most productive player in the league. He had scored 119 goals and 376 points in 370 games, and he was 10 points clear of the next highest scorer, Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin. And with Giroux is in the prime of his career, Flyers fans didn’t expect his high-scoring ways to end anytime soon.
However, Giroux, who had managed no less than 0.9 points per game in the five campaigns leading up to this past season, posted his worst offensive season since his sophomore year, scoring just 22 goals and 67 points in 78 games. Even though that was the best mark on the team, it was the first time Giroux had failed to crack 70 points since his sophomore season and the second-straight year he fell below the point-per-game mark.
There’s reason to believe Giroux can get back to his scoring ways this coming season. However, that will also require a general uptick in scoring for the Flyers. During Giroux’s highest scoring years, the Flyers were netting anywhere from 2.75 to 3.17 goals per game, but the club has not cracked 2.6 goals per game in either of the past two seasons.
It’s worth noting that even with the injuries, Giroux actually had a better year at 5-on-5 this past season than he did in 2014-15 despite the fact that he saw a six-point decrease in his point total. His shooting percentage and goals and points per 60 minutes increased in 2015-16 despite the dip in overall production.
The Flyers will need Giroux most come the post-season, if the team can manage to earn themselves a berth once again this coming campaign. Giroux managed just one assist in a low-scoring first-round series against the Washington Capitals this past season, and Giroux finding his scoring touch could have made the difference in the series for the Flyers in what was a six-game defeat.
Even with the readymade excuse of fighting through injuries, Giroux wouldn’t say that his ailments were responsible for his offensive struggles this past season, though. All Giroux said, according to Carchidi, was that the injuries were in the past and he was ready to move on. There was one positive about the surgery that Giroux freely admitted, though.
“I don't feel like I have a 60-year-old hip anymore, so that's pretty exciting,” Giroux said.
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