TORONTO - That fact that Claude Giroux has helped pull the Flyers out of a recent funk comes as little surprise to Philadelphia head coach Peter Laviolette.
Giroux contributed a goal and an assist to the Flyers’3-2 win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Thursday night, elevating his team-high point total to 63. Philadelphia won back-to-back games for the first time in three weeks and Giroux has four points in the two wins.
“He’s been probably one of our top, most consistent forwards all year,”Laviolette said of the 23-year-old centre.
According to Giroux, much of his development as a third-year NHLer he attributes to the quality players he’s surrounded by on a first-rate club.
“Any time you’re on a team like this it’s always good,”he said.“There’s a lot of veterans and you’re just learning every day.”
Giroux, who plays both centre and wing, skated up the middle between Jeff Carter and James van Riemsdyk on Thursday. The trio has been central to Philly getting back on the winning track and van Riemsdyk praised his fellow young Flyer for the wide array of threats he posses.
“He brings a little bit of everything,”van Riemsdyk said.“He’s a really complete player, he’s probably one of the most skilled guys, if not the most skilled guy in the whole league. He does a lot of great things out there.”
Though not a particularly big player at five-foot-11 and 172 pounds, Giroux isn’t short on spirit, something Flyers goalie Brian Boucher has definitely taken note of.
“For his size, pound for pound he’s very physical, he lays the body out there,”Boucher said.“The one thing you know you’re going to get from him is a compete level that’s high every night.”
As for the team getting back to where it needs to be, Boucher believes there is still work to be done. However, he felt Thursday’s game was the most complete effort Philadelphia has registered in a while.
“Guys made good plays with the puck, we blocked shots, we had good communication back there,”he said.“I thought we were poised at the end, especially when it was a one-goal game. We made some good plays and we battled.”