Skip to content

Flyers coach thinks Giroux was ‘terrific’ as captain

May 2, 2013, 12:18 AM EDT

claudegirouxcgetty Getty Images

Fair or not, many will place some of the blame for the Philadelphia Flyers’ failed 2013 season on Claude Giroux‘s shoulders (when they’re not putting most of it on Ilya Bryzgalov).

Even-more-embattled Flyers head coach Peter Laviolette provided effusive praise of the 25-year-old’s first season as the team’s captain to, however.

“I think he did a terrific job as the captain of the team,” Laviolette said. “It was a tough year for a first-year captain, and I think he did a really good job. He has terrific leadership qualities. He’s driven. He is an excellent teammate.

“I think sometimes when you’re not successful — or not as successful as you’d like to be — you really get to, whether you want to or not, use and try that leadership, and it becomes more in the forefront.”

GM Paul Holmgren agrees.

“Claude’s a young captain put into a situation where [there was] a 48-game schedule coming out of the lockout,” Holmgren said. “I think he performed admirably under those circumstances.”

So far, it seems like the organization is happy with Giroux, who generated exactly one point per game in 48 contests this season. With Philly’s expectations, that honeymoon might not last much longer, though.

  1. xavier46 - May 2, 2013 at 12:27 AM

    Wow, Peter is delusional. Not that it is all Giroux’s fault – but how can your
    Captain be “terrific” and you miss the playoffs – keep in mind you are a perennial playoff power.

    Playoff power may overstate it as it’s not the 70’s, but they usually make it.

    • DonkeyStick - May 2, 2013 at 10:56 AM

      Wow, Mario Lemieux was named captain in 1987, scored 107 points and Pittsburgh did not make the playoffs. “but how can your Captain be “terrific” and you miss the playoffs?”

      • xavier46 - May 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM

        So Claude met your expectations so much so that you would say he was terrific. My point wasn’t a knock on Giroux, as you seem to imply by bringing Mario into it; my point was a knock on the coach. Philly had very high expectations coming into the season and didn’t pan out. No need to slam the captain (a lot of people contributed to the failures), but equally no need to heap praise on him.

        In the future, please refrain from comparing Giroux to Mario – it makes you look silly at this point.

    • DonkeyStick - May 2, 2013 at 3:41 PM

      My point was pretty much making you look foolish for saying “but how can your Captain be terrific and you miss the playoffs?” I’m never compared him to Lemieux, never said he was terrific, never said he met my expectations. I’m not a Giroux fan or a Lemieux fan, simply making your post look silly.

      • xavier46 - May 2, 2013 at 6:33 PM

        Well then, allow me to make your post look silly.

        You state Mario Lemieux was named captain in 1987 – which is true – but you then list his stats from the 1986-1987 season, during which he wasn’t a captain.

        In 1987, a season in which Mario was captain along with Dan Frawley, he scored 168 points, not 107.

        In 1988, the first season in which Mario was the only captain, he scored 199 points and the Pens lost to the Flyers in the division finals.

        By now, you’ve likely also realized it’s silly to compare point totals from 1987 to points in 2013. So let’s compare something more transparent, say +/-. 1988, Mario’s first season being the only captain, his p/m was +41. Hell, in the season that you brought up he was +23. Giroux’s 2013 +/- was -7. +23 is a tad more “terrific” than -7.

        Thanks for playing.

      • DonkeyStick - May 4, 2013 at 11:36 AM

        What does any of your rambling on about stats have to do with what I said? Everything I said was correct. His first year as captain they DID NOT MAKE PLAYOFFS. I already stated I’m not a fan of Giroux or Lemieux but you said “how can you be teriffic and your team doesn’t make playoffs.” Way to avoid my entire point

  2. crosberries - May 2, 2013 at 12:34 AM

    Ahhhhahahahaha who is he again???

    • sportsfreak13 - May 2, 2013 at 12:41 AM

      You know that guy who won the cover of nhl13. I think he also shot T-shirts out of a cannon on stage for nickelback once.

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 8:57 AM

      He wears the “C” on the team in orange and black…..highly skilled….personally escorted Sid and his merrymen from the playoffs last year….first shift remember??….Knocked your boy on his ASS and cruised through your def. and ripped a the first goal in all of about 30 seconds…..remember???…it was all over the highlite reels…..come on berries……be nice.

      You gloat too much……had a big win last night….try some humility with your cornflakes.

      • sportsfreak13 - May 2, 2013 at 9:13 AM

        I gloat haha? I’m not the one who summed up my teams captain career highlights in a paragraph. Trust me because if I had it would of involved the words Stanley cup, gold medal, and countless real NHL awards. Pens won one game and it means nothing now. Time for game 2, trust me I am not taking anything for granted.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 10:06 AM

        Hey man, if you could not see that was one hell of a shift than you truely are a blind zealot that has no appriciation for the game other than his own team and all other suck eggs……ignorance is bliss huh??

        But I digress, Claude was a first year captain on a team that is lacking in several areas (this has been well documented by the way).

        “My guy has this… guy has that…….my dad will beat up your dad….” get a grip my friend…….

      • crosberries - May 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM

        Oh yeah that’s right he’s the guy who ONCE had a nice hit and goal and that his one and only claim to fame. You guys hold on to that memory which will be easy. I couldn’t begin to list sid’s list of accomplishments instead of one instance.

      • abizzle03 - May 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM

        hahaha, typical flyers fan… you and the rest of the fan base are still chubbed up over a first round playoff victory last year. who cares that the devils wiped the floor with your sorry team the next round? at least you beat the pens! did you get a chance to raise a banner for that victory in wells fargo? the goal is championships, not a single series victory over a rival.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 11:54 AM

        Come on Berry…..My only issue with Sid (younger Sid with exception to playoff melt down last year) was his whining. I have seen alot of growth and maturity in his game, so please give me a break.

        Hey be thankful for what your team lucked into…..getting a once in a generation type player.

      • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM

        Pens fans are desperate to erase the memory of last years exit and the “1st shift” final nail in the coffin. I really worry they may hurt themselves if the Pens don’t take the cup.

    • jpelle82 - May 2, 2013 at 10:24 AM

      his coach obviously feels the need to keep him relevant after a bad season, even though not many of us still think he is. laviolette needs to get a new girlfriend or something so he can stop sniffing up giroux’s skirt.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 12:24 PM

        What exactly is the coach suppsed to say about his captain pelle??

        What would you have said if you were in the coaches position pelle??

      • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 4:31 PM

        If I were Lavi, I would have said the same thing Bylsma said about Crosby when G and the Flyboys “1st Shifted” them right out of the playoffs.

        Didn’t Bylsma talk about how disappointed he was in his team and especially his captain? Isn’t that what a pro coach does? Blame the best players for all short comings? Yea, I’m sure he did that. That’s what smart coaches do.

  3. lostpuppysyndrome - May 2, 2013 at 12:47 AM

    “Aw shucks, coach. I can’t take all the credit. I thought we were all terrific this year.”

  4. jimw81 - May 2, 2013 at 12:53 AM

    Giroux problems was Paul Holmgren’s fault for not having a winger or another sniper on team so the opponent is just game planning for Giroux.

    • sportsfreak13 - May 2, 2013 at 12:58 AM

      Vorachek?? He was the flyers best player and if anything the opposing teams prepped for him not giroux. Giroux was invisible for a good amount of games this year, can’t say that about vorachek.

      • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 9:59 AM

        Yea! Why didn’t he give an impassioned speech in the locker room to make all the tired veterans, below average defenseman, underachieving youngsters, overpriced free agents, and waiver wire rejects better than they really are?

        A good captain would fix that!

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 10:25 AM

        Jake had a good season……Claude has a lot on his shoulders and will grow into his role as captain and improve as he moves forward.

        Please forgive me I had forgotten that The Anointed one Sid was the BEST captain EVER in his first year……my humble apologies.

      • jpelle82 - May 2, 2013 at 10:26 AM

        or maybe laviolette couldve called some better timeouts this year, wouldve changed the games according to pierre mcguire

    • crosberries - May 2, 2013 at 7:50 AM

      Ahhh classic Philly so quick to blame Bryz yet so quick to defend giroux

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 8:58 AM

        Back under your bridge troll… have no powers here….

  5. Stiller43 - May 2, 2013 at 1:10 AM

    I was trying to look for a listing for where they’d be playing tonight/tomorrow and couldnt find it…anybody know when theyre and on what channel?

    • buysamadrink - May 2, 2013 at 6:17 AM

      I think they’re on the Golf Channel

    • drone501 - May 2, 2013 at 6:48 AM

      there on sometime in october i think. on some cable acess channel.. right after hee haw reruns.

    • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 2, 2013 at 6:28 PM

      Dickhead you stole this line from me last year when the flyers gave your favored to win the cup pens the early exit in the first round ! What till you see what I got for ya when they get knocked out this year ! OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!

  6. Stiller43 - May 2, 2013 at 1:25 AM

    “Claude’s a young captain put into a situation where [there was] a 48-game schedule coming out of the lockout,” Holmgren said. “I think he performed admirably under those circumstances.”

    Yeah…its a shame giroux (25) was the only young captain to have to deal with a short season…not like crosby (25, led his team to playoffs), getzlav (27, led his team to playoffs), toews, (25, led his team to playoffs), or ovechkin (27, led his team to playoffs) had to deal with being a young captain dealing with a short season.*

    *this excludes two captains at 28 (callahan and phaneuf) who dealt with the short season and led their teams the playoffs

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 9:02 AM

      It amazes me how much utter blood hatred you all have for this hockey club…….go take a walk and get some fresh air for crying out loud….

    • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 10:12 AM

      So spot on!

      Like when Pittsburgh was bounced out of the playoffs by the Flyers last season… it was ALL Crosby’s fault and it proved he isn’t the best in the world and is not a great captain. A great captain would have scored 6 hattricks and beat the Flyers!

      That’s how we know that Zach Parise is a great captain and Crosby isn’t, right? I mean, Crosby couldn’t beat a team that didn’t even make the playoffs the next season. What kind of crappy captain is that!? Best in the world???? HA!!!!!

      That logic is air tight, my friend.

  7. dtob79 - May 2, 2013 at 3:14 AM

    Did he call him the best captain in the world?

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 10:30 AM

      You Pitt people are amazing, the article is about a Flyer yet 90% of the comments are from “Burgh” fans just ripping him and the team…..again…get a grip and switch to decaf.

      • miketoasty - May 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM

        Reminds me of last night when there were Flyers fans trolling all throughout the Pens game. Get a grip!

      • crosberries - May 2, 2013 at 10:54 AM

        Your right exlaxman I’ve never seen Philly fans even after this horrendous year for them on pens article wishing harm on our players.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 12:06 PM

        Not by me Berry, I don’t wish injury on any opposing player….that’s just classless

      • eigglesnosuperbowls - May 2, 2013 at 6:14 PM

        They could win 10 cups in a row and they would still remain in Phillys shadow !

  8. mclovinhockey - May 2, 2013 at 5:53 AM

    @ sportsfreak, Voracek has a hard name to spell, but I thought of an easy way to get it right once we got him from the jackets. I knew the kid was going to be a stud, so I called him Ace… His name is Vor-ACE-k : )

    Not that it matters, 90% of the league gives me trouble to spell, just wanted to share, this.

    • sportsfreak13 - May 2, 2013 at 8:42 AM

      Haha That’s a good one. Thanks.

  9. kyzslew77 - May 2, 2013 at 8:37 AM

    Most Flyers fans who comment here on PHT probably want Rinaldo to be captain

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 9:03 AM


  10. phillyphannn83 - May 2, 2013 at 8:45 AM

    As always, Pittsburgh has provided us with the type of intelligence only seen in slugs. Stiller43, you completely missed the point. None of those other guys you listed are first-year captains, which was the point that was being made. Anyway, the truth of the matter is that you have to look no further than man games lost as the reason why the Flyers are at home right now.
    Team. Rank. Man games lost. Est.full season total
    Florida 1 271 462
    Philadelphia 2 262 447
    Detroit 3 243 415
    Ottawa 4 219 374
    Winnipeg 5 173 295
    Carolina 6 168 287
    Pittsburgh 26 78 133

    Must be nice to have a full team most of the season. Only 2 of those top 6 teams made the playoffs, both were by the skin of their teeth and it was due to impressive defense and goaltending. Detroit allowed 115 goals and scored 124, while Ottawa allowed a paltry 104 but only scored 116. Thats because most of their MGL were forwards. 85% of the Flyers MGL were on the blue line. The Flyers scored 133 goals. They outscored 8 out of 16 playoff teams but allowed more goals than all of them. When you lose every one of your top 6 D-men at some point of the season due to injury, there’s no captain in the world who can do anything to overcome that.

    A bad captain would let his team tank at the end of the season after they’re eliminated, but the Flyers went 4-0 in the last 4, 6-1 in the last 7, and 10-5 in the last 15. They didn’t give up and fought till the end. THAT is the sign of a good captain. But shame on us for expecting any bit of intelligence to come out of Pittsburgh, they only learned about hockey 7 years ago.

    What’s more embarrassing…missing the playoffs due to what was mentioned above but fighting and winning till the end, or not reaching the finals as a 1 seed?

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 9:05 AM

      Well put…..alas the Pitt zealots will now rip you….for that is all they know……

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 2, 2013 at 9:22 AM

        I do apologize for the zealots….I’m pretty sure they dealt with a number of zealots last year as well, and the fun they are having at your expense is immeasureable. They still don’t like you….”don’t like anyone on that team” as our Captain put it. Good fun, I’m sure.

    • sportsfreak13 - May 2, 2013 at 9:16 AM

      Considering only one of those has happened already ill go with missing the playoffs. Anything can happen in the playoffs, #1 seeds can lose to #8 seeds, rookies become stars, no name goalie can steel the show. However for any of that to happen you have to be in the playoffs. My team is so I’m enjoying it. Enjoy rooting against the pens though, that must be fun.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 10:38 AM

        I am by no means a Pitt fan but I must say they looked pretty dam good last night and the NYI looked like deer in the head lights……I really thought NY would have made a bit more of a game. This series could become too boring to watch real soon…….bummer really. Even the Bos/Tor game turned into a bore feast as well…….

        Caps/Rangers tonight…….Hoping its a good one

        I’m reminded of something Bill Parcels said about his Giants playing at Washington and RFK was exploding. Walking out of the tunnel he said to Phil Simms..”Listen to them….they hate us so much….they like us”…….

        As much as it pains me…..I get it……

    • hockeywithdrawal - May 2, 2013 at 9:37 AM

      I see these numbers a lot, and disagree. Here’s the breakdown of why:

      Pronger 48 games lost (get over it, plenty of time has been had to make up for this loss)
      Shelley 35 games lost (not needed….most always a healthly scratch)
      Rinaldo 15 games lost (not a necessary player, just a pest)
      Leighton 10 games lost (do I even need to go there)
      McGinn 6 games lost (just called up, did well but not a pivotal player)
      Sestito 6 games lost (see Rinaldo…though I did like his 2 goal game this year)

      There’s 120 games that are inflating your numbers. Your ‘real’ number is more like 142, on pace for 242. Plus, the number of man games lost last year? 437. And they did ok.

      Deciding to finally play the sport is not a sign of a good captain, it might actually be the sign of a new goalie (not that I’m a Bryz critic) and the additional pressure on the old goalie. I don’t attribute the Flyers shortcomings to Giroux…nor to do applaud him for their success late in the season. The team lacks an identity, period. With Pronger, you got the leadership that MATCHED the identity…tough, dirty, bullying hockey. Not going to work with Giroux…need to work on an identity…the game they play doesn’t match the personnel they have. Pittsburgh has had a lot of faithful fans since the time both teams came into the league, together. Remember those cups back in the 90’s? Of course you don’t.

      Long story short, the Flyers will be fine, it’s a young team, led by a young Captain, and like it or not, leadership and experience is an issue. Defensively, injuries were an issue, but even the best Captain can’t fix that…the issue is not so much the man games lost, but that the Defense wasn’t great coming in. Giroux’s not a likeable Captain for much of the fans outside of Philly, but do you care? His relationship with Crosby is probably why he GOT the C to begin with…which is why he milked it in interviews about his wrists. Philly has been looking for the “anti-Crosby” since 2005…which is why a young center that has a couple good years, that has a bad relationship with Crosby, gets the C. Publicity stunt failed.

      • phillyphanatic77 - May 2, 2013 at 7:57 PM

        Publicity stunt? Gimme a break withdrawal. He got the C because he was the de-facto leader all last season when the team was a contender. He has solid leadership qualities. Was Crosby an unbelievable motivator in his first season as captain? No, and it could be argued that he wasn’t a good captain even last season when he totally lost his composure bc his team was losing. Was Pronger the same captain at 35 that he was when he first got the C in St. Louis? No. It takes experience, both time in the league in general and time in a leadership role. Mike Richards wasn’t a great captain when he first got the C. There’s a lot of pressure stepping into that role in a city like Philadelphia. There’s an adjustment period and Giroux has only been captain for half a season. I wasn’t happy with his play for a lot of the year but sometimes stars have down years. The Phoenix-like rise of Ovechkin should illustrate that point. Blame goes all around the organization for this season, including Giroux, but to say he’s in that position bc of a failed publicity stunt is laughable. Giroux earned the title through hard work. There’s not a doubt in my mind this team will have a bounce-back season with Giroux leading the way. He was still a PPG player in a down year. The present looks dim but the future is bright.

    • govtminion - May 2, 2013 at 9:44 AM

      Phillyphannn, those are some sobering numbers you put up there- I knew the Flyers had injury problems all year (obviously), but seeing it broken down like that is pretty shocking. The team didn’t play well when they did have healthy players, unfortunately, but losing most of the team like that throughout the short season- and not just man-games, but significant players like Hartnell and Briere for long stretches- combined with questionable goaltending… no wonder they didn’t make it in.

      Makes me wonder if they’d have made it in if they’d had a situation like Ottawa, where their players were dropping left and right, but their goalie stood up like Craig Anderson (and Ben Bishop) did. That it didn’t happen says far more about Bryzgalov, to me, than any of his poor numbers do.

      Anyway, good analysis, thank you for a very well-thought post! We now return you to the usual Pennsylvania-based back and forth trolling. 😉

      • hockeywithdrawal - May 2, 2013 at 9:57 AM

        The numbers are inflated. Conveniently.

    • buysamadrink - May 2, 2013 at 10:18 AM

      With respect, those numbers don’t tell it all. Its not just how many games are lost but who is lost. If your numbers are correct and Pittsburgh lost 78 man games, then that breaks down as follows:

      Malkin. 17 games lost
      Martin 14
      Letang. 13
      Crosby 12
      Neal. 8

      Total 64. It hurts a lot more to miss those guys than it does Jody Shelley.

  11. pitpenguinsrulez - May 2, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    I forgot that Giroux still existed. I like how the one Flyers fan on here said well the amount of man games lost really hurt us this year with making the playoffs especially since 85% of the MGL were in the forwards. Well gee asshat nice excuse there. For the past two seasons the Pens have a lost a good amount of man games and yet the Pens were still a solid 4th seed. With a week left last year the Pens were still in contention for the division. Real nice excuse buddy…real nice!! Enjoy bragging about beating the Pens last year because last I checked the Devils made you look stupid in 5 games last year.

    • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 10:29 AM

      “I forgot that Giroux still existed.”

      He’s the guy who’s #14 on the leader board in points this year.

      Ahead of:

      Zetterburg, Tavares, Sedin (both brothers), Semin, Nash, Thornton, Parise,… and…

      Every single Penguin not named Crosby or Kunitz.

      Look him up in the future, he’ll be around.

  12. columbiannecktie - May 2, 2013 at 10:17 AM

    Giroux skated hard, worked hard, hit more, improved on faceoffs, was vocal with his teammates, and was a point a game player. No, he didn’t pick the team up, put them on his back, and single-handedly carry them into the playoffs, but if that’s what it takes to be considered a good captain then there’s probably less than five good captains in the league.

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 11:05 AM

      Face off improvement was outstanding…..still makes one pass too many at times (too fancy if you will) but I think he will continue to improve with each year. Just needs more talent around him.

      • columbiannecktie - May 2, 2013 at 11:37 AM

        The Flyers didn’t generate enough offense from their defense, and they need more puck movers, I think that hurt the offense, including Giroux’s production, more than anything.

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 12:13 PM

        Like I said…..a lot of work to be done but a good core that really has nowhere to go but up…

      • jpelle82 - May 2, 2013 at 12:21 PM

        yup because its clear giroux needs someone else to help him do what he’s paid to do. he needs a defenseman to help him score points and win games. heaven forbid he put his team on his back and create something for himself…nice argument for a guy who’s “the best player in the world”

      • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 12:32 PM

        So Sid does it all by himself???

        So how many cups has Pitt won under Sid’s watch…….1……..not exactly a dynasty huh??

        Fleury/Malkin/Orpick/Letang/Eaton……Boy Sid carried some pretty good players…..

      • coopjr - May 2, 2013 at 4:17 PM

        Sid did do it all by himself…last year.

        He lost against the Flyers and it’s totally his fault. If he was any good he would have hoisted the Pens on his back and carried them to victory over a Flyers team that didn’t even make the playoffs the next season.

  13. columbiannecktie - May 2, 2013 at 12:43 PM

    @jpelle82 Not seeing why you feel it’s necessary to pile on. Flyers missed the playoffs, and their team has many deep weaknesses and deficiencies. We get it, no need to kick when we’re down.

    If the inability to single handedly get a team to the playoffs make you a bad captain, then Alex Ovechkin is the ONLY good captain in the league at this moment.

    • laxman1944 - May 2, 2013 at 1:28 PM

      Something up pelle’s butt today…..usually a pretty reasonable poster.

  14. jimw81 - May 2, 2013 at 5:47 PM

    one thing is for sure, he needs to work on his karaoke skills

  15. President Charles Logan - May 2, 2013 at 7:08 PM

    All Flyer telecasts from this day forward have been moved from CSN Philly to the Golf Channel , check your local listings for tee off times… the schedule pretty much goes from October to …. the next October ..and so on and so forth . :)

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Kane (1866)
  2. P. Kessel (1579)
  3. M. Richards (1348)
  4. N. Backstrom (1152)
  5. P. Datsyuk (1139)