Claude Giroux of the Philadelphia Flyers has put up some absurd numbers this season. Through 82 games, he posted 34 goals and 68 assists for a total of 102 points.
Even though he finished 2nd in the league in points and is a huge reason the Flyers are in the playoffs this season, Giroux has not even been considered as a top 3 candidate in the Hart Trophy race.
Nikita Kucherov, Taylor Hall, and Nathan MacKinnon are just a few of the names overshadowing Giroux.
While these players have all been phenomenal and definitely deserve to be in the running, I believe it is unfair to discredit Giroux for the insane season he has had this year.
When it comes to scoring, these players all posted similar numbers. All four players finished top 20 in goal scoring and top 10 in points. They all are within 10 points of each other.
However, while Giroux does lead all of these players in points, he is 3rd in points-per-game ratio. When it comes to raw scoring, you can honestly pick any of these players and move on.
So you may be wondering: “If these players all post similar offensive numbers, how does he separate himself from the pack?” The answer is advanced metrics.
Giroux leads the pack in Corsi and Expected Goals while playing 5v5 hockey. This means he has been the best at making positive plays for himself and his teammates.
When looking at these numbers relative to teammates, Giroux separates himself even more. Even when you remove his teammates’ influence from the equation, Giroux proves that he still brings positive outcomes to the table.
While you could bring up how Couturier has really helped Giroux’s play, you could also bring up Mikko Rantanen, Steven Stamkos, and Nico Hischier for the other three candidates.
Giroux has definitely boosted his play from last season.
He improved his scoring output by 44 points and has been nothing short of clutch this season.
Just recently, he scored a hat-trick in a 5-0 win vs the New York Rangers to secure a spot in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
A week before, he scored an OT winner on national television vs the Boston Bruins.
The goal was an absolute beauty. He faked going between the legs and then roofed a backhand past Anton Khudobin. It was the goal heard around the NHL on Easter Sunday.
In conclusion, he is right there with the rest of the gang. It is a shame that the captain hasn’t been getting the respect he deserves.
He proved that he isn’t just a “powerplay specialist” and that he can perform in big games.
Giroux hopes to bring this high level of play into the Stanley Cup Playoffs. He is set to face the rival Pittsburgh Penguins in a best-of-seven series. The first game of the series is tomorrow at 7pm.
Tune in to support your Philadelphia Flyers and the main factor that helped us secure a playoff berth, Claude Giroux.
Written by Ed Stokes (@Eichel_x_15). All Stats Courtesy of Hockeydb.
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