Since the Philadelphia Flyers dealt long-time captain Claude Giroux to Florida, the 34-year-old forward has scored at better than a point-per-game clip and has willingly accepted any role thrown his way.
He played a few games on the top line, then spent most of his time on the second unit. In Florida’s last playoff gamer, a 5-1 win over Washington that evened the series at 1-1, Giroux was used a a third-line right winger.
Florida coach Andrew Brunette said Giroux has fit in seamlessly. He said his players are unselfish and “welcoming.”
“They treat everyone the same,” Burnett told Florida Hockey Now. “We don’t have any big egos And that comes from our captain (Aleksander “Sasha” Barkov). We are a very comfortable team to come into. And I think G is an unassuming guy . He is a superstar, but he’s like a little kid who who loves to play hockey, loves to compete.”
In the regular season, Giroux had 23 points (three goals, 20 assists) in 18 games after the Flyers dealt him to Florida in a package that included right winger Owen Tippett and first- (2024) and third-round (2023) draft picks.
He has a goal and an assist over the first two playoff games against Washington. Game 3 is at 1 p.m. Saturday (ESPN) in D.C.
Mike Yeo was told he wouldn’t be returning. It seems inevitable that Doc Rivers and Joe Girardi will soon be canned. With the way things started, who would have though Nick Sirianni would be the safest Philly coach to keep his job? #Eagles #Flyers #Phillies #76ers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) May 6, 2022
Brunette said Giroux was “just himself with the coaching staff and everyone in the organization. That’s easy to get synergy with a group.”
Giroux, a prospective UFA this summer, is like “another coach” when he’s on the ice, Brunette said.
“He’s seen it all, played in all these different moments,” he said. “His IQ and how he sees the game is off the charts.”
It helps, of course, that unlike when he played with the Philadelphia Flyers, Giroux has an outstanding supporting cast, one that enabled Florida to collect a league-high 122 points – double the Flyers’ total of 61 — in the regular season.
“He has that leadership ability where guys listen to him and he is vocal on a team that doesn’t have a lot of vocal guys,” Brunette said. “He rallies the group.”