Lunch Break: Hail to the chief
Claude Giroux is second on the team with 10 shots but has no goals to show for it. (AP)
Claude Giroux was quoting Bernie Parent.
“It’s a beautiful game,” he reminded reporters Tuesday. “You need to enjoy it. It feels like I’m not enjoying it right now. You go back to the basics. Start playing a little more physical. I don’t know. I’m sure I will figure it out.”
There are numerous reasons why the Flyers have just one victory through four games so far. There are many reasons why Craig Berube replaced Peter Laviolette.
Among the most obvious is that the club’s best forwards aren’t scoring. Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek, Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds …
And the Flyers’ No. 1, franchise player -- Giroux, the team captain -- has zero points, as well.
It’s not like he’s out of shape or dogging it, either. Giroux has 10 shots, tied for second-most on the club.
The prevailing thought is that his right hand, which required surgery in August to repair severed tendons from a golfing accident, is still bothering him.
His faceoff percentage is below 50 percent (48.8) and Giroux doesn’t seem to have a lot of power on his shots. However, he says he’s fine.
“The confidence is not there,” Giroux said. “I don’t think it’s the hand -- the confidence is just not there. I will be fine. A few bad games, you always have a stretch like that during the season. Going day by day. We have a new system today and guys did a good job working it. It’s an ugly win, but we’ll take it.”
Berube says his entire team is pressing -- squeezing the stick, as they say -- for goals, and Giroux is foremost among them.
“I think he’s fine, he’s healthy,” Berube said. “I think G is trying a little bit too hard, personally. I think he gives everything he’s got out there. Sometimes it is too much. You try too hard and can’t accomplish the things you want to accomplish.”
Giroux had one shot in Tuesday’s 2-1 win over the Florida Panthers. He said teammates were emotional about playing their first game for Berube.
“Guys were excited,” Giroux said. “We’re trying not to think too much out there. Just play the game. We learned some details about the new system this morning.
“It’s going to be good. We have three days left to kind of regroup and be on the same page for Friday.”
It’s fairly obvious the entire team right now is pressing and needs to relax. The Flyers have five goals scored this season. Only Buffalo and Dallas have scored fewer, and they don’t have the kind of offensive players the Flyers do.
“The goals will come,” Giroux said emphatically. “When you play good defense, that’s your best offense. Our lines have to be better defensively. I have to be better defensively. And when you do that, you’re going to have more chances.”
Asked about invoking Parent’s famous quip, he replied, “It is a beautiful game, though. I don’t know if you think that sometimes.”
This was an ugly win, but you’ll take it?
“Exactly,” Giroux said with a smile.