Claude Giroux hasn't looked right lately. Maybe it's just a result of the entire offense going through a sluggish patch, but watching him lately, I'm convinced that it's something more. He just doesn't have that same flair to his game. He's not as flashy. Most games lately, he's been absolutely invisible, and that's about as un-Girouxvian as it gets.
I decided to look back at his game log, just to see if I was right. Has he really struggled lately, or is it just perception? As it turns out, it's not just perception. Giroux really is struggling. After a stretch of 16 points in 10 games, No. 28's only put up two points in his last eight. All numbers courtesy of Hockey Reference.
|five points in eight games to start the season|
|stretch of 16 points in 10 games|
|two points in last eight games|
You'll also notice that those two goals he's had in this eight game stretch weren't really his doing. The Washington goal bounced in off his junk, and the Montreal goal was on a practically-empty net after a nice feed from Darroll Powe.
So what's wrong with Claude? This is just speculation of course, and he obviously hasn't said a word about it, but could he be nursing an injury? Just indulge me on this for a second.Let's go back to that Montreal game, the Carey Price shutout where this all seemed to start for Claude. Setting the scene: the Flyers are killing off a Nikolay Zherdev penalty, Giroux is out on the PK, and here we are. Video:
P.K. Subban slams him into the net pretty hard there. Could he have hurt himself on the play? I don't know. He doesn't seem to show any signs of injury afterward or anything (actually, all he shows is a "what the hell, bro?"-type look to Subban), but just look at the numbers. He hasn't been the same hockey player since, and with a guy like Giroux, I can't help but think it's more than just a dry spell.
Some other folks, such as Dustin Leed and a few commenters below, have pointed out this hit as well, ironically dished out by Subban as well in the rematch between the Flyers and Canadiens. I must have totally missed this one, because it wasn't even in my memory bank. Thanks to them for the heads up.
Brutal. Definitely seems to have affected him there, but has it carried over? He hasn't had a point since.
It's nothing but speculation, but I think it's worth discussion. After all, glance at that chart one more time. As G goes, the Flyers go. Him being on top of his game is a vital part of this team, so, do you think Claude Giroux is playing injured?