Philadelphia Flyers: 3 Reasons Claude Giroux Will Be This Year's MVP
Last season was Giroux's first to break the 20-goal mark—making it seem a leap of faith that he could fill the shoes left by Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.
As the center on the Flyers' top line with Scott Hartnell and Jaromir Jagr, Giroux is one point out of the league lead in scoring behind Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin.
On a team dressing over half a dozen rookies on a given night, Giroux is leaned on to carry the offensive burden—especially since Danny Briere and James Van Riemsdyk are shelved with injuries.
Of course, there are other players capable of lighting the lamp for the Flyers. However, without Giroux it is unlikely this team will get very far.
Giroux is a nightmare to opposing teams, and without him, teams would be able to focus more on the less experienced scorers the Flyers have.
Take Giroux out of the equation and the Flyers become a much different team. Due to Giroux's tremendous impact, it is my belief he will be selected for the Hart Memorial Trophy this summer.
Allow me to present why.
At any given moment, Claude Giroux can take the puck on his stick and put it in the net. This isn't just about being able to score, it dictates the other team's approach.
When a player has this effect alone on the opposition, it gives his team more than a point on the board. Giroux's explosiveness forces opponents to play with more caution and at times—scared.
If you can get into your opponent's head it makes your team's job easier.
Aside from the highlight-reel plays, Claude Giroux does a lot of the little things an MVP needs to do in order for his team to win.
He not only spearheads the Flyers power play, but he also serves time on the penalty kill.
Of all Flyer forwards, Giroux is third in blocked shots at 30.
In face-off percentage, Giroux is behind only Zac Rinaldo with a 53 percent rating. However, Rinaldo only has seven taken to Claude's 1,014.
Makes Players Around Him Better
Scott Hartnell went from third line scapegoat to top-line fan-favorite in a matter of two weeks. The difference is equally attributable to Hartnell's own play as it is joining the Giroux line.
Giroux is unlikely to lead the league in goals scored. However, his ability to skate with the puck and buy time while linemates Jagr and Hartnell get in position is uncanny.
With the plethora of youth on the team, Claude Giroux still makes the team a legitimate contender.
Take Giroux away and the Flyers are a totally different team. That makes him an MVP.
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