Stop blaming Claude Giroux for Flyers scoring woes

Stop blaming Claude Giroux for Flyers scoring woes

Flyers captain Claude Giroux has taken an abundance of heat lately.

As the captain and most talented attacker, he rightfully wears the responsibility of his 28th ranked offense and 18th ranked power play. He deserves contempt for his lackadaisical play and poor puck decisions.

Yet while much of the condemnation facing Giroux is justified, the most criticized aspect of his game has been his lack of goals. And this is wrong for one simple reason:

Giroux is not a goal scorer.

In 2011-12, when Giroux broke out as an elite player with 93 points, he still only managed 28 goals -- his career high. The season prior he had 25 and he was on pace for 22 goals in the lockout-shortened year. Giroux is a playmaker with some finishing ability and will always be a pass-first player that relies on shooters to build his point totals.

Taking Giroux to task for his inability to finish isn’t unimaginable, however. Despite a team-leading 23 points, he is only on pace for 15 goals this season, a drastic dip from his career average. Yet there’s reason to believe that will improve in the upcoming months.

With a goal against the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday, Giroux’s shooting percentage grew to 6.7%, a step closer to his career average of 12%. This means Giroux, who leads the Flyers in shots with 89, will start finding net more often and the posts less, as long as he keeps capitalizing on shot opportunities.

And this improvement has already begun.

If you subtract the awful 15-game scoreless drought to begin the season, Giroux has all six of his goals over a 17-game span. It’s nearly a 30-goal pace since the start of November and he hasn’t gone on a substantial streak yet.

Giroux’s problems aren’t with finishing but with his control over the game.

Often he's played a passive role on both sides of the puck and gone missing for games at a time. Craig Berube’s suddenly defensive Flyers aren’t deep enough offensively for Giroux to be a secondary player and you don’t need two hands to count the times he’s been the team’s MVP or willed the Flyers to victory.

In other words, “Playoff” Giroux has not been seen.

Through 32 games this season, Giroux has yet to have a three-point game and has just five two-point games. Compare that to the lockout year when he had 14 multi-point efforts in 48 games and it’s easy to see why many expect more from him -- because he’s good for it.

What makes Giroux such a talent is his playmaking vision and ability to upgrade the production of those around him. Not his goal scoring. So if you’re looking for the cure to the Flyers’ scoring woes, don’t point the finger solely at Giroux, but look at his linemates, too.

New Eagle Sidney Jones deletes an old tweet — bashing Tony Romo

New Eagle Sidney Jones deletes an old tweet — bashing Tony Romo

Here’s another NFL draft deleted tweet story, but there’s a twist.

It has become common practice for fans to search deep into the archives of the Internet to see what old tweets they can dig up when a player is recently drafted to their team. A lot of the time, the tweets are regrettable moments from many years ago, but for Sidney Jones, Eagles fans may forgive him for this one.

Moments after Jones was drafted, fans found this tweet from Oct. 2, 2012, one day after the Cowboys lost, 34-18, to the Chicago Bears in a game Tony Romo threw five interceptions.

Eagles fans probably don’t mind this sentiment from their newest cornerback.

After Eagles draft Sidney Jones, former Birds LB rips them

After Eagles draft Sidney Jones, former Birds LB rips them

A couple Eagles expressed their approval over the selection of Sidney Jones in the second round of the NFL draft.

One former Eagles linebacker, however, took the opportunity to rip the team.

Anyway ... current Eagles Carson Wentz and Lane Johnson approved.

As did his former teammate Kevin King, who went to the Packers with the first pick of the second round.

As for Jones, he is recovering from a torn Achilles but expects to be ready to play sometime next season.