5 Reasons Philadelphia Flyers' Claude Giroux Is More Valuable Than Crosby
Everyone knows by now the panic and turmoil the Flyers were in after their rising superstar had to leave the game against the Lightning after colliding with teammate Wayne Simmonds' knee.
They certainly did not want this concussion to turn into a career-threatening situation, as it is with fellow star Sidney Crosby across the Keystone state.
Now that Giroux is back on the ice, it remains to be seen how the Flyers would deal with Giroux being out for en extended period of time.
Still, two games was enough for me to see him not on the ice. While I am glad that Giroux is back on the ice, it makes you wonder how valuable he really is to this team.
Heck, here's why he's even more valuable than Sidney Crosby.
There's No Offense with No Giroux
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Now while this is a bit of an exaggeration, it is true that the Flyers would just not be consistently scoring as many goals as they are now without their leading scorer.
Even though he is up there on the goal scoring list, I see Giroux as developing into more of a playmaking star, ala Peter Forsberg.
Even in the two games he was out, you could see what Giroux meant to the Flyers as a whole, and especially to his linemates, Jaromir Jagr and Scott Hartnell.
Both seemed lost without Giroux, and Jagr especially was easily overmatched with two or even three defenders eyeing him the entire time he controlled the puck.
The Penguins Have Been Fine Without Crosby
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Losing Crosby has not hurt the Pens too much, at least during the regular season. The team shows his absence in the playoffs, though, when it comes crunch time.
The Flyers on the other hand...how could they handle losing Giroux for 20, 30, 40 games?
While Jaromir Jagr is certainly still a great player, he is not in his prime, and his supporting cast, without Giroux, may struggle without their star for an extended period of time.
Giroux Is the Future Captain
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Sidney Crosby already has been wearing the "C" for some time now.
And it is only a matter of time now with Chris Pronger's future in jeopardy that he will hand off the "C" to Claude Giroux.
Is Giroux the vocal leader that Crosby is on and off the ice? I think he can be, although right now, he's doing pretty much everything he can do on the ice.
The captaincy in Philadelphia is more than a "C" on a sweater. It is a legacy that has been passed down by some of the greatest hockey players in history for one of the most historic franchises.
Giroux is up for the task, up for the pressure, up for the challenge. Pittsburgh is no slouch of a hockey town, but how would he handle the pressure of playing in Philly?
Jaromir Jagr Is Not the Same Player Without Giroux
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As I stated before, the Penguins have Evgeni Malkin to fall back on with Sidney Crosby out.
The Flyers have a good, not great, supporting cast, led by Jaromir Jagr.
Jagr is no Malkin, either. Maybe back in his prime days in Pittsburgh, but at 39 years old, Jagr is well past his hay day.
That being said, Jagr still means a whole lot to this young Flyers team, both on and off the ice.
And without Giroux in the lineup, opposing teams focus on stopping one player. You stop Jagr; you stop the Flyers.
With all eyes on Jagr, will any other Flyers be able to step up and take their game to the next level?
What About Chris Pronger?
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We haven't really said much about the current Flyers captain, who remains on the bench with his own concussion.
The Flyers have been without their captain for most of the season now, and with how they have played through it, I think that says a lot about the leaders in the locker room. The Claude Girouxs, the Kimmo Timonens, the Danny Brieres.
Even though the Flyers have lost their best defensive player, it seems as if the team has yet to lose a beat.
They are still battling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference.
Giorux and the rest of the veterans have took it upon themselves to will this team to wins anyway that they can.
And that is something you cannot teach. That is something valuable.