VOORHEES, N.J. – It looks like folks around the National Hockey League are starting to notice the Flyers’ resurgence.
Leading that charge has been captain Claude Giroux and on Monday he got rewarded for those efforts by being named the NHL’s third star of the week.
Giroux scored three goals and added five assists for eight points with a plus-8 as the Flyers went 3-0 for the week with two wins over Arizona, plus Saturday’s 4-0 triumph against Chicago.
In the Chicago game, Giroux registered three points, the 50th time he’s composed a three-point game, making him just the ninth player in Flyers’ history to achieve that distinction.
Coming off the best season of his career – in which he registered 102 points to finish second in the NHL – Giroux is off to another fast start, with seven goals and 15 assists for 22 points, putting him seventh in league scoring.
“His competitiveness is always really good,’’ coach Dave Hakstol said after Monday’s practice at the Skate Zone. “Down this last stretch, he’s been important.
“I thought his line (Sean Couturier, Travis Konency) has been really good. ‘G’ has been a big part of that. As our captain, you would expect nothing less. We’ve added extra penalty kill time to his minutes here and he’s done a good job with ‘Coots’ (Couturier) in that role. He’s continued to be that competitive leader for us.’’
Boston’s David Pastrnak was voted first star and Winnipeg’s Blake Wheeler was second.
Giroux has received many of these honors and while it’s not old hat, it’s nothing to do handstands over.
As recently as last February he was voted a No. 1 star of the week.
The bigger headline here is the Flyers’ 5-0-1 streak heading into Tuesday night’s game against Florida. Giroux’s line has been a key component.
“As a line, I think we have our chemistry a little bit better,’’ Giroux said. “We all know we can play a little bit better defensively but we’re creating chances. We’re back to having fun.’’
Giroux’s strong play coincides with Couturier’s recent uptick. Couturier registered only five points in his first 14 games. In his last three, he has six points.