Claude Giroux was one of the best players on the Philadelphia Flyers this season. He didn’t take a step back this season, but the team did. The Flyers had another disappointing season that left Giroux understandably frustrated.
The Flyers missed the playoffs and closed out their season earlier than expected this year. They finished the season with a win on Monday, May 10th, then held their end-of-season media availability on Tuesday.
Alain Vigneault and Chuck Fletcher both spoke about the big picture and larger issues plaguing this Flyers team. After that, the players took to the podium for their exit interviews.
This week, we’ll be going through those exit interviews (alphabetically) with full transcripts and quotes. We’ll dig into any interesting tidbits at the end.
Claude Giroux Exit Interview
On difficulty of training in Canada
It was definitely difficult to find ways to get on the ice or to work out. It’s kind of your job to prepare yourself as a player to compete at the best level you can. It was very difficult. But you just have to find a way.
Was there a lack of preparation on any part of the roster?
It’s a tough question, to be honest. No one’s ever played a schedule like we had this year; nobody’s ever been put in this position. So to prepare yourself to play your best you had to improvise at some point during the season and you kind of had to learn as you go. It was a unique situation this year.
Are you surprised at the dropoff in team defense?
Yeah. I think Nisky played a lot of situations, power play, PK, played against the top lines on the other teams. He had a big role for us. I feel as a team we didn’t react the right way, we didn’t answer the right way. It’s very frustrating being here right now and talking about this, but next year we need to figure it out sooner.
Clarifying “team didn’t react the right way”
It’s not just defense. Your best defense is sometimes your offense. When you’re playing in the o-zone, you don’t have to defend. It’s not just one part of the ice, it’s the whole ice, the whole team, and there’s five guys out there on the ice. We have to do a better job of supporting each other.
Is there an issue that caused the team to finish near the bottom of the league in goals against twice in the last three years?
I do think [the two years are] very different. We have a different team, we don’t play the same way. I think our PK this year obviously wasn’t great. We lost a lot of momentum out of the PK. We just need to answer better. But saying that, even the power play, we didn’t get the goals at times earlier on in the season where we wanted to get a big goal to get a lead. There’s a lot of things we need to work on and to touch here.
Was a lack of practice a problem?
It’s fair for everybody. We’re all in the same boat, every team. I think when you’re maybe a younger team, practice is more important sometimes. The last two months maybe we had one practice. Like I said, it was a unique situation. We weren’t able to figure it out as a team. That’s why there’s a lot of frustration out here.
Is today’s generation of player a little different that it needs practice to resolve issues?
That’s definitely a good question. You might be right, but who really knows. We’ve had some times we’d touch up on video and we’d go out there and get the job done the right way, and sometimes we didn’t. I think sometimes it’s better to go through it on the ice rather than on video. But a good question.
On the compete level of the team
I think we weren’t happy with the way we’re playing. And I feel like when one bad thing happened on the ice, a second one would follow and then a third one. So when that happens, frustration happens. And sometimes you get off your game. And it’s good to stay calm sometimes. So frustration was a big part of our game this year.
How frustrating is it to not be able to string playoff appearances together?
Yeah, I mean last year I think we took a huge step forward and not being able to follow up this year, I think that’s where we can just sense it that guys were frustrated that we weren’t able to follow up what we did last year. I don’t have all the answers but I know that a lot of guys are not happy with this season, and we’re gonna come on strong next year.
On Nolan Patrick
I’m a huge fan of Patty. He’s got the whole skill set, big body, he competes every night. That’s the guy you want to go to battle with. So for me personally with Patty, I’m very excited to see him play and come to camp next year.
How close is this team to being where you want it to be? Not just a playoff contender, but a Cup contender?
Well, I think we showed it last year that we can compete with any team. For me, we have a lot of things to work on, as for sure. But like we’re we have a young team with a lot of talent that when it starts clicking, I think we’re gonna be dangerous.
Does Chuck seek your input on the team?
Oh, we definitely talk about pretty much everything. I say my opinions, I try to be honest about what I think can make this team better. I want to win. I’m pretty pissed off at the position we’re in right now. So we’re going to talk about it. I’ll see what he has to say. I’ll say a few things and we’ll see.
Claude Giroux had a few quotes of note.
Giroux discussing how the team didn’t react the right way and answer the right way sums up the season pretty well. The Flyers came back from their COVID pause and couldn’t stop their downward spiral in March.
“I feel as a team we didn’t react the right way, we didn’t answer the right way. It’s very frustrating being here right now and talking about this, but next year we need to figure it out sooner.”
The Flyers’ defensemen and goalies were under fire this season, but team defense is a five-man effort, as Giroux said.
“It’s not just one part of the ice, it’s the whole ice, the whole team, and there’s five guys out there on the ice. We have to do a better job of supporting each other.”
Giroux’s comments about the team’s compete level and frustration building line up with what most fans and people on the outside would see. The Flyers would go do early in games and either not be able to bounce back, or bounce back too late.
Hopefully, Giroux and the rest of the team are going to come out strong next season like he said.
“I don’t have all the answers but I know that a lot of guys are not happy with this season, and we’re gonna come on strong next year.”
Transcript via Philadelphia Flyers
Flyers Exit Interviews