Claude Giroux, a leading scorer in the NHL? Is that a surprise to you?
It may be surprising to hyper-critical Flyers fans and to the pundits of the NHL, but to those who have watched Giroux’s career the closest in Philadelphia, this should come as no surprise.
On Sunday, Rob Vollman, the author of Hockey Abstract, tweeted that there has been a "surprising" scoring leader over the past five years. Giroux leads the way with 367 points in the last five seasons. Behind him are Sidney Crosby (366), Patrick Kane (360), Alex Ovechkin (352) and Jamie Benn (351).
A surprising scoring leader over past 5 years:— Rob Vollman (@robvollmanNHL) July 18, 2016
So why is this not surprising?
Giroux has been a focal point of the Flyers top line for the last five years. There was only one season where he didn’t lead the team in points, 2014-15, when he trailed Jake Voracek by eight points. The last five seasons dating back to the 2011-12 season and include the lockout-shortened season in 2013. In all, Giroux has missed 10 games in that time, playing in a total of 366 games, making Giroux a point-per-game player in that timeframe.
And yet, as Vollman points out, Giroux is constantly left off Top 10 lists despite being one of the most consistent scorers in the league over the years. So why doesn’t Giroux get enough credit? There are three plausible reasons.