Ivan Provorov’s snub from top defenseman list sparks reaction from Claude Giroux

Captain Claude knows firsthand just how good Ivan Provorov is.

Ivan Provorov is a machine. He plays 25 minutes a night in all situations, works out like a horse in the offseason, and played a playoff game as a 21-year-old with a broken collarbone. He’s as good as it gets.

Well, that’s how Flyers fans see it at least.

You know we’re in the dog days of summer autumn when national media outlets start ranking everything from players to stadiums to fanbases and everything in between. In recent years, it’s felt like the Flyers have been a bit underrepresented on these lists. Whether it be Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier, or Gritty, the guys in orange and black just don’t seem to get the respect they deserve around the league.

That disrespect continued on Monday with the NHL Network revealing who they have in the running for the top defenseman in the NHL.

Now, normally the rule of thumb is to not give these lists attention for leaving certain players off or having “bad” rankings. That’s exactly what they’re made for: to create discussion and debate, leading to the list being shared across social media. However, when the captain takes notice of a missing name, it’s worth talking about.

That’s right, Claude Giroux responded by quote tweeting the list with a monocle emoji and picture of Ivan Provorov. We’re right there with you.

Good on Claude for showing his support for his teammate. It’s a relatively small thing – he literally didn’t say (or tweet) a word –, but it goes a long way in showing how close this team is on and off the ice.

Provorov was left off the list despite being the top defenseman on one of the best teams in the league. Flyers fans rightfully have some bias in seeing the greatness that is Provorov play 82 games a season, but it’s hard to argue that Provorov shouldn’t at least be in the conversation – among the top 25 – for the best defenseman in the league. He certainly isn’t Victor Hedman, but he’s better than several names on that list.

Provorov is one of the best defensemen in the league. Full stop. He averaged 24:51 of ice time per game last season, which was the ninth-highest in the league. He also had 13 goals (T-9th) and 36 points (T-25th). He did that while starting just 41.93% of his 5-on-5 shifts in the offensive zone, which is the 15th lowest among 99 defensemen to play over 100 5-on-5 minutes, according to Natural Stat Trick.

There were only 13 defensemen across the league who had at least 10 goals, 30 points, a positive plus-minus, and played over 20 minutes per game last season. Provorov is one of those 13. (Plus-minus is a horrible stat, but I’m sure it has an impact on these lists).

Even with all of that being said, it shouldn’t be too much of surprise that Provorov was left off the list. He didn’t make NHL Network’s “Top 20 Defenseman” list back in July, and the playoffs didn’t do him any favors. It also keeps an up-and-coming, 23-year-old defenseman in one of the biggest markets in the country off the list – and Flyers fans are known to make some noise.