Frustration mounting for slumping Giroux

Frustration mounting for slumping Giroux
January 15, 2012, 5:04 am
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NASHVILLE -- You can see how frustrated Claude Giroux is these days just by his body language on the ice.

One goal in his last 10 games. Two since coming back from a concussion. Worse, hes minus-6 in his last four games.

Thats not the Giroux who has led or been among the NHL scoring leaders all season.

Its not really about the stats, its knowing that I can play better, Giroux said after the Flyers 4-2 loss to the Preds (see story).
I want to help the team win and the last few games, thats not the case. I think I got to go back and do things simple. Its frustrating knowing you can better and we have guys stepping up every game.

Coots Sean Couturier is playing unbelievable now. When you see your teammate working hard, you want to do the same.

Flyers coach Peter Laviolette said the coaching staff has talked to Giroux about trying to relax through this slump.

Players often shoot more to get out of slumps. Giroux had five shots and logged 25 minutes ice time against Nashville.

I want to play a lot. It kinda gets me in the game, Giroux said. Im trying to work hard and be on the puck more. Its a long season. Im pretty sure everybody gets a slump like that. Good players find a way to battle back and find their game.

Teammate Wayne Simmonds said Giroux is the clubs heart and soul.

He battles for everything even if he is not scoring, Simmonds said. Hes a leader on this team. Hes going to step it up and when he does, goals are going to come in bunches for him.

Giroux's line faced Nashville's top defensive pairing of Shea Weber and Ryan Suter on Saturday.

Streaks
Sean Couturier scored in his fourth consecutive game and now has 9 goals. Hes the second Flyers rookie to do that this season. Matt Read scored in five consecutive games from Nov. 13-21. Couturier, along with Matt Read, will represent Flyer rookies at the All-Star Game skills competition.

Shots
The Flyers had 38 shots on Preds goalie Pekka Rinne. They have had 35 or more shots in six of their last seven games. Prior to this run, the Flyers did not have more than 35 shots in a game since Dec. 2 at Anaheim, when they had 47.

The Loss. This was the Flyers first ever regulation loss in Nashville, as well as their first regulation loss overall to the Predators since Nov. 29, 2006 in Philadelphia.

E-mail Tim Panaccio at tpanotch@comcast.net