Giroux's, Flyers' struggles go hand in hand

Posted: November 01, 2013

Third-period meltdowns, costly turnovers, and an anemic offense have played a huge role in the Flyers' worst 11-game start in franchise history.

But high on the list is Claude Giroux's failure to find the net. The 25-year-old captain is goalless in the team's 3-8 start.

It should be noted that Giroux has been productive recently, notching at least one assist in five of the last six games.

But Giroux's goal-scoring has been intertwined with the Flyers' past success.

The numbers are staggering. In the last three-plus seasons, the Flyers are 44-12-6 when Giroux has scored a goal, and 73-66-16 when he hasn't scored - and most of those latter wins were earlier in his career, when he had a better supporting cast of forwards.

Going back to the end of last season, Giroux is goalless in his last 17 games, the longest drought of his career.

His longest in-season drought is 13 games late in the 2009-10 season.

Flyers coach Craig Berube said Giroux is pressing a bit. Giroux noted that he has hit some posts and said it's just a matter of time before his luck turns.

The Flyers center said he is 100 percent healthy, that his freaky offseason golf injury that required finger surgery has not limited him.

That said, he has been a reluctant shooter. In 11 games, he has a total of just 23 shots. By comparison, Washington's Alex Ovechkin, whose team will visit the Flyers on Friday, has fired 75 shots. (Ovechkin is questionable for Friday with an upper-body injury.)

To beat the Capitals, the Flyers will need to eliminate some of their sloppy mistakes. Turnovers by Nick Grossmann, Vinny Lecavalier, and Mark Streit led to Anaheim goals Tuesday as the Ducks overcame a 2-0 deficit and jolted the Flyers, 3-2.

In the third period, the Flyers were outscored, 2-0, and outshot, 16-6.

"The second and third period, we didn't have any pushback," said goalie Steve Mason, who, once again, was superb in a defeat. "We kind of sat back and let them take it to us, and against a team that has some big, powerful forwards, you can't let that happen or you'll get pinned in your own zone."

"When you don't move your feet, that is when you get in trouble and that is when you do the turnovers," Giroux said. "We're a fast team, a team that works hard and we support each other, but in the third period that wasn't the fact."

In all 11 games, the Flyers have entered the third period tied, ahead by a goal, or down by a goal. They have been outscored in the final 20 minutes, 14-5.

Breakaways. The Flyers have scored two or fewer goals in 10 of their 11 games. . . . Heading into Wednesday, the Flyers' penalty kill had moved to sixth in the 30-team NHL with an 84.4 percent success rate; they have killed their last 13 penalties over their last five-plus games. . . . The Flyers are 3-5 under Berube. . . . Anaheim's Teemu Selanne, hit by an inadvertent high stick from Luke Schenn on Tuesday, will miss about two weeks after losing some teeth and requiring 40 stitches.


scarchidi@phillynews.com

@BroadStBull

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