Time to start treating Giroux like all-time Flyer he is


Claude Giroux was told he was too old. You know the rest.

Monday night, it was a scene, and a script, all too familiar.

The scene saw Giroux scoring his 205th career goal, but the script had heartbreak in the ending.

The Flyers lost their sixth game in their last seven. This time, 3-2 to Vegas. Last week, playoffs seemed almost certain. Now? Still probable but who knows.

Despite the losses, the Flyers remain in third place of the Metropolitan Division but are just two points ahead of Columbus.

One week, the Flyers are up and the next, they’re down. It’s hard to nail down exactly who they are, but through it all, there’s been one constant and it’s flown under the radar.

Giroux, who turned 30 in January, is having a career year and not only deserves to be in the Hart Trophy conversation but should also be a serious contender for the league’s MVP award.

After potting his 25th goal, Giroux is three markers shy of tying his career high.

With 12 games left, he’s on pace to set new career bests in goals, assists and points. He secured his 82nd point Monday, meaning at the worst, he’ll finish at a point per game. Considering his recent pace, it’s unfathomable to believe that’s possible.

Giroux’s goal extended his point streak to seven games and he has points in 15 of his last 17. It was also his second straight game with a goal. Since Feb. 8, Giroux’s 24 points are second most in the NHL behind Evgeni Malkin’s 25.

Among the league leaders, Giroux’s 82 points are fourth most. His 57 assists are third most, behind Jakub Voracek (59), and Blake Wheeler and Johnny Gaudreau (58).

There are a handful of players worthy of the Hart discussion. There’s Nikita Kucherov, Nathan MacKinnon, Connor McDavid, Malkin and even Taylor Hall. Cases can be made for all.

But it’s time to lump Giroux into that debate.

It’s also time to appreciate what Giroux’s doing this season, and what he’s done as a Flyer. It’s way overdue, and it’s time for the fans and media to give him the respect he deserves.

Whenever the Flyers needed a big goal this season, Giroux has been there. There are a lot of factors; the move to wing, putting him with Sean Couturier, health.

That diminishes what Giroux’s accomplishing.

Last season was the low point — 14 goals, 58 points — and it came after his numbers steadily declined in each season after his eight-year, $66.2 million extension in July 2013.

Then, there were the injuries. Factor in his age and we saw the calls to trade him.

The Flyers, obviously, didn't and Giroux has bounced back better than ever. Giroux is three points from passing Eric Lindros (659) on the team's all-time point list.

When it’s all said and done, Giroux will go into the record books as one of the best Flyers ever.

Perhaps it’s time for us to start treating him like one.

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