Claude Giroux is headed to Tampa to once again represent the Philadelphia Flyers in this year’s edition of the NHL All-Star Game.
For Giroux, it will be his fifth time heading to the All-Star weekend and he is the first Flyer since John LeClair and Eric Lindros to be named to an All-Star roster more than five times. Of course, the record of 10 is still held by Philly legend Bob Clarke and odds are it will never be broken.
When asked, Giroux talked about how a good time is usually had by all who are named to the All-Star Game.
“It’s a pretty good feeling. I think a lot of guys on the team are deserving of going, too. The NHL always does a good job of making this a great event for the fans and players and it’s always a good time.”
After a down season last year, Giroux has experienced a spectacular rebound during this season. He leads the Flyers with 52 points (14 goals and 38 assists) and is tied for second in scoring and assists in the NHL.
As for the reasons behind his amazing turnaround, he credits that fact the the team is just playing better and with improved chemistry.
“There are a lot of reasons why. Things are just going better, the team is playing better. I think going on the wing and playing with Coots (Sean Couturier) and not being able to play defensively as much has helped. Coots is a really responsible player. We don’t spend a lot of time in the defensive zone because he’s making a lot of smart plays and we have a good chemistry going. The last few games we have been playing very well and it’s exciting to be a part of it.”
Despite some solid numbers from many of his teammates, Giroux will be the lone Flyer to represent the Metropolitan Division. The most glaring omission may be Jake Voracek and his 43 assists which lead the NHL.
However, when you look back at the up and down nature of the Flyers’ season so far, the fact that Giroux will be going to Tampa solo shouldn’t come as much of a shock. If the team had been more consistent this year and was more certain of a playoff spot, them you can be sure more of the Orange and Black would be headed to Florida.
Tampa, coincidentally, has the most players going to the All-Star Game with four. They include Nikita Kucherov, Victor Hedman, Steven Stamkos and goalie Andrei Vasilevskiy. In addition the Atlantic Division All-Stars will be coached by Lightning head coach John Cooper.
The All-Star Game will once again be in a 3-on-3 tournament format as it was the previous two years with the game being divided into three 20-minute games.
The All-Star Skills Competition will be held Saturday, Jan. 27 with the puck dropping on the 2018 NHL All-Star Game on Sunday, Jan. 28 at 3:30 on NBC.