clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

2018-19 Player Review: Giroux continues his newfound LW success

Another great year from the Captain

NHL: Stadium Series-Pittsburgh Penguins at Philadelphia Flyers Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Claude Giroux has arguably been one of the biggest comeback stories in the NHL. Just two short years ago, the collective fan base was fearful that the Flyers’ Captain was in serious decline. In the 2016-17 season, Giroux totaled just 58 points, his lowest total since 2009-10 (excluding the lockout shortened season). Fans were rightly worried, and fortunately, the Flyers did not attempt to move Giroux as some called for. As we all know, the following season Giroux put up his first 100+ point season, and last season, Giroux continued to play well. While he might not have been as productive as 2017-18, he still produced above a point per game (85 points) and was one of the Flyers’ best players. Giroux continued to produce from his newly found LW position, though at times he was moved back to center when needed.

By The Numbers

Basic Stats

2018-19: Claude Giroux Base Stats

Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
Games G A Pts PIM SOG Shooting %
82 22 63 85 24 229 9.60%

Giroux provided 60+ assists for the third time in his career, with 42 of them coming at even strength. It could perhaps be expected that Giroux’s shooting percentage would decrease. Last season, in this regard, he was more in line with his career average (he dropped from 17.6% to 9.6%). Otherwise, a very solid season from Giroux, though I know I’m using the word “solid” very liberally. It was, in fact, a very great season! An interesting note is that Giroux spent 1759 total minutes on ice, which is a new career high (per game that’s 21:27 average time on ice).

5v5 Individual Stats

2018-19: Claude Giroux Indiv 5v5

Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
Pts/60 Primary pts/60 Shots/60 Expected gls/60
2.38 1.94 13.75 0.49

5v5 on ice stats

2018-19: Claude Giroux On Ice 5v5

Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals % Relative Goals For % PDO
Corsi For % Corsi Relative Expected Goals For Expected Goals % Relative Goals For % PDO
52.24 5.94 49.96 0.61 54.03 101.31

Giroux’s advanced metrics continued to look very good. He continued to positively drive play last season. Giroux has always been a plus-50 Corsi-For percentage player, and this past season was no exception. Giroux was only behind noted elite play driver Sean Couturier in Corsi-For relative to teammates. He was also 4th on the team in expected goals for. There’s not much else to say about Giroux’s underlying numbers...they continued to be very good, and that’s what we all want to see.

A continued trend that we see this year is that Giroux’s production has shifted to be more based in 5-on-5 play. His primary points per 60 has taken a jump from 0.57 in 2016-17, though he did score more points overall in the past two seasons compared to his lacklustre 2016-17. Still, Giroux provided 42 assists at even strength and 21 assists on the powerplay, which subverts his career trends of producing at an either equal or higher rate on the powerplay vs. even strength.

Three Burning Questions

Did this player live up to our expectations for this season?

Giroux absolutely lived up to expectations. While he didn’t reach the peak that he did in 2017-18. I don’t think that was entirely expected of him. On a struggling Flyers team, he played at a point per game level and showed good underlying metrics. That is exactly what we expect Giroux to do, and he delivered.

What do we expect from this player next season?

As with Travis Konecny, I wrote about what Giroux can project to be next season and beyond. Though Giroux has become a revelation since the switch to wing, he is still going to naturally regress, even if this is ever so slightly. Giroux is going into his age 32 season, and he may show a bit of age next year. I’m not saying that this is guaranteed. In fact, I think it’s entirely possible that we essentially see a repeat season from Giroux, around 80-90 points. Yet, I wouldn’t be shocked or concerned if Giroux comes in slightly lesser than that, at around mid 70’s points-wise. That’s still a first-line level, and I don’t see Giroux dropping from that level of play in the near future. It’s simply natural that he may lose a step.

What would we like to see this player improve on?

There’s not much Giroux really needs to improve on. It’s more that he needs to keep doing what he’s been doing. Ironically, improving his point production on the powerplay would probably be my answer. Though, we are yet to see how Giroux will fit in Michel Therrien’s powerplay. I can’t see his role being massively different, and it will depend more on how the other powerplay forwards perform in the new system than anything specifically Giroux could be doing differently. His drop from 102 to 85 points wasn’t all due to powerplay production. He simply didn’t score as many goals at even strength. Though, even if Giroux tallies 5 more powerplay points, he could very well break 90 points assuming the Flyers as a whole score more goals and don’t waste the first half of the season.

All stats courtesy of Corsica Hockey and Natural Stat Trick

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Broad Street Hockey Weekly Roundup newsletter!

A weekly roundup of Philadelphia Flyers news from Broad Street Hockey