Welcome to the Official Site of the Philadelphia Flyers
  • RSS


His finger healed, Claude Giroux returned to Flyers lineup and didn't miss a beat

Wednesday, 09.25.2013 / 8:05 AM ET / News
By Anthony SanFilippo  - Philadelphia Flyers Inside Reporter
Share with your Friends


PHILADELPHIA – To see what Flyers captain Claude Giroux is truly made of, one need only to watch 40 minutes of a preseason hockey game against New Jersey that on the whole has about as much excitement as… well… a regular season hockey game against New Jersey.

Final outcomes irrelevant (2-1 Devils for those inclined to ingest such useless information), the game was all about Giroux and if he could play the game at his typically elite level a little more than a month after an unfortunate golfing incident that resulted in a shattered shaft and finger surgery.

The first 20 of those 40 minutes was simply a process of regaining familiarity for Giroux.

There was a lot to smile about Tuesday night as Claude Giroux was able to play his first game of the preseason for the Flyers.

Having not played a competitive NHL game in nearly five months, there was definitely a bit of rust-shaking to accomplish.

Not that it was all that noticeable. Timing just off on a pass here, a wrist shot with a little too much wrist, going wide there, but nothing that would show any cause for real concern.

Then came the second 20 minutes, and all notion of finger surgery, finding his game, getting re-acquainted with the ice and his teammates went out the window.

For there was Giroux, playing at the level everyone is accustomed to watching – a fierce competitor going hard in the corners, playing physical, creating chances, even ringing a shot off the post in the waning seconds of the second period.

It was vintage Giroux – all that was missing was an actual goal, but considering it was a preseason game, one in which guys like Giroux, who are secure with their position on the team, participate with he sole intent of not injuring themselves before the schedule says that games count, it was a sight for sore eyes.

And you didn’t need to watch the third period either. Not that it wasn’t good hockey for an exhibition game. Not that once he pushed it for 20 minutes Giroux pulled back on the reins.

No, because just the opposite. Because you knew, regardless of the time of year. Regardless of the meaning of the outcome. Regardless of the energy-level in the arena (hey, it’s preseason for the fans too) Giroux is going to play with his same elite competitive drive to help his team win.

“He is always good,” said Kimmo Timonen. “He’s in good shape and he is one of the guys who can miss a few months and he’s still good. He just has that natural skill and is a natural player like that. He is going to get even better.”

Oh, and it should be pointed out that for a guy who really couldn’t do anything with his hand for the past five weeks, Giroux won nine of 11 faceoffs.

Not that he wanted credit for that or anything…

“I owe that to my wingers,” he said. “About 75 percent of the time, a faceoff is 50/50. The wingers coming into the circle to win the puck determines if you win the draw or not, so that’smore a credit to them than me.”

So, his captain-speak is in midseason form as well.

In the faceoff circle Giroux won nine of 11 draws... in his first game after finger surgery.

“I didn’t see any issues with him shooting or puck battles or faceoffs, nothing like that,” coach Peter Laviolette said. “It’s more his speed of reading line mates, not just him, but new players and getting into a system and getting comfortable with what we do and how we do it.”

Which would hint that the more action for Giroux the better then, right? Especially with the season opener now a week away.

But, as Laviolette pointed out, with a player like Giroux, game action, while always beneficial, is not always the driving force behind preparedness for a new season.

“When we were up in Lake Placid he started to gear himself up,” Laviolette said. “He got out there, was able to move pucks, pass pucks, shoot pucks, and then come back and get cleared for the battles and the contact. He feels great. I think the more he continues to play the more comfortable he’ll get, but like I said, coming back for a first game after not being able to do much of anything for the first part of camp, the puck sure was with him a lot tonight.”

As it will be most nights, because as the captain goes, so go the Flyers. And for the organization, it’s a good thing all is right with him after only 40 minutes.

To contact Anthony SanFilippo email asanfilippo@comcast-spectacor.com or follow him on Twitter @AnthonySan37




1 p - NYR 82 53 22 7 248 187 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 214 184 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 259 206 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 237 199 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 245 224 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 231 211 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 232 208 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 217 204 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 209 201 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 198 213 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 227 248 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 212 223 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 176 209 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 183 219 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 206 257 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 153 269 54


J. Voracek 82 22 59 1 81
C. Giroux 81 25 48 -3 73
M. Streit 81 9 43 -8 52
W. Simmonds 75 28 22 -5 50
B. Schenn 82 18 29 -5 47
S. Couturier 82 15 22 4 37
M. Del Zotto 64 10 22 -5 32
M. Read 80 8 22 -4 30
M. Raffl 67 21 7 6 28
V. Lecavalier 57 8 12 -7 20
S. Mason 18 18 11 .928 2.25
R. Emery 10 11 7 .894 3.06
Privacy Policy | AdChoices | California Privacy Rights | Contact Us | Advertise Employment | NHL.com Terms of Use

Philadelphiaflyers.com is the official Web site of the Philadelphia Flyers. Philadelphia Flyers and philadelphiaflyers.com are trademarks of Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. NHL, the NHL Shield, the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup and NHL Conference logos are registered trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P. Copyright © 1999-2015 Philadelphia Flyers, L.P. and the National Hockey League. All Rights Reserved.